By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
As if the muddy obstacle course isn’t hard enough, a bunch of moaning zombies will be on the prowl again for the second annual Zombie Mud Run.
At the conclusion of last year’s event, participants had a suggestion – more zombies. So Ivan Kovacevic, recreation coordinator with the Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department, hopes to double the number of zombies this year.
Each contestant starts out the run with three flags on a flag football belt. The goal of the runners is to complete the one-mile course with at least one flag left to be deemed a “survivor.” The goal of the zombies is to rip off the flags, leaving the participant “infected.”
Last year, about 150 people participated, with ages ranging from 5 to 74. Kovacevic is hoping for even more this year.
The event is Oct. 22, with registration starting at 1 p.m., at the Bowling Green Community Center. Participants will be divided up with ages 5 to 12 and some parents in the first heat, followed by heats of ages 13 and older.
Kovacevic, a fan of “The Walking Dead,” TV series, said the zombies add an extra thrill to the course.
“Obstacles courses are becoming one of the fastest growing fitness trends,” he said. So why not throw in some zombies? “Get that adrenaline flowing right off the bat.”
In addition to the zombie threat, there are also a lot of man-made and natural obstacles along the course located behind the community center. There’s a 5-foot climbing wall, balance beams, a bungee cord obstacle, tire pyramid, log hurdles, trenches full of water, an Army crawling obstacle, a tunnel, and plenty of mud.
The “zombified” humans along the course are students from the Bowling Green High School DECA program. Last year there were 35 to 40 of them. But upon request, Kovacevic has boosted the blood thirsty predators.
“We’re hoping to have about 80 zombies,” he said.
“It’s really a cool collaboration,” Kovacevic said about working with the DECA students, who get some experience working with the business community for donations as well.
“Instead of just working on theoretical projects, they get to see one put into action,” he said.
A BGHS art class also created art for the Zombie Mud Run T-shirts, with the winning entry showing a green arm emerging from the mud and grabbing a runner’s leg.
Though the zombies are intended to spook the runners, Kovacevic stressed that the course won’t be too scary for young ones.
“We will have surprises along the way,” but nothing like chainsaws, he said. “It’s definitely family-friendly.”
And the course itself, while muddy, has no features like barbed wire.
“It’s a beginners’ level course, but the zombies add a challenge to it,” Kovacevic said.
Participants may register up to the day of the event. The cost is $20 for ages 5 to 12, and $25 for 13 and older. More information may be obtained by calling Kovacevic at 419-354-6223.