Reviews, Running, STL

Zombie Survival Dash STL Race Recap

Months and months ago I came across the Zombie Survival Dash 5k. I saw they were coming to St Louis and I was SO excited because I thought “Finally, a run I can convince my husband to sign up to run with me!” (He has run 2 other 5k’s before this one, but this was the “first” one I got him to agree to!) The registration fee was pretty steep for a 5k at $75, but for something as cool as a Zombie run I finally agreed. $150 later I had high hopes for this race.

Fast forward several months and race day is almost here. Despite the constant posting of Zombie pictures on their facebook page, I hadn’t heard from them since we registered. I didn’t want to drive the hour plus to the race and have issues with registration so I had to call to verify we were all registered. Race morning came and we bundled up, piled into the Chevy tahoe and headed out. After an hour in the car we were finally around the race area, but had a hard time locating the actual race site because of their lack of signage. After a few u turns and trackbacks we found the race site and were surprised to find out there was a $10 parking fee. This wasn’t mentioned in any of the sites or pre-race information (we didn’t get any pre-race information at all). While parking is pretty par for the course when it comes to adventure runs, paying $75 a person to run the race along with the spectator fee for those who were not running it just seemed to add up to a lot. Once on site the registration tent was easy to find. Since we were in the first wave there wasn’t a line. We checked in with Big River Running and got our bibs with no problem. We then had to go to another line to wait for our swag bag and sign our waivers. The waivers had no actual line to sign. We got our flags out of our bag and began to look for the starting line. We walked around for 15 minutes asking vendors, volunteers, and other runners where the starting line was supposed to be. Finally we realized they had yet to set it up! Once they got it set up we were ready to go.

We ran into a trail into the woods and were immediately met by a hungry group of zombies. There were some pretty cool zombies out there! I lost my first flag pretty quick thanks to the creepy clown zombie. Some of the zombies were a little aggressive, but I’m sure the runners were aggressive back. I know I wasn’t, I gave up my flags pretty easily. It did turn into a fun game of cat and mouse a few times. The course was actually pretty challenging with lots of debris, trenches, and uneven terrain. I loved the feeling of being challenged! At one point I fell into a post hole, thank goodness I wasn’t injured! There seemed to be a bit of miscommunication the “Rules of Engagement” as there were pretty aggressive confrontations from runners and zombies alike throughout the whole course. It was a bit confusing the way the course was marked out, I wasn’t ever really sure we were heading the right way. There were few obstacles on the actual race course, which I didn’t mind at all, but the ones they did have were all swarming with zombies. I wouldn’t have minded that if it didn’t seem so dangerous to do so, like the tire wall where you could easily slip and fall back into the trench trying to escape a zombie. I gave my flags away at those obstacles in the name of safety. The race seemed to go by pretty quickly as we rounded the barrel maze and up to the final 3 obstacles.

There was a rope climb over huge steel cylinders. The zombies there were very helpful! They actually gave us good instructions for getting over and down the obstacle. The next was a huge wooden A-frame. The zombies here were very aggressive. It was already dangerous as it was, but trying to avoid zombies on the way down made it even more so. At one point my sister actually fell down the last 2 rungs trying to avoid them! The last obstacle was a climb under a wire fence through a mud pit. As I crossed the finish line I looked up at the clock – 34:00 something. NO WAY. I know my 5k average and 35 minutes is pushing it for me while running on flat straight paths. There was no way that I just walked/jogged an obstacle trail course in 34 minutes. Turns out there was a rather large portion of the trail we didn’t get to because it wasn’t marked out properly. Once past the finish line there was no water, no gatorade, no bananas.

All in all I will say we had fun. It was a great idea in theory but just was not executed well. I understand new races will have hiccups and growing pains, I’m willing to work with that. My main issue is the fact that this cost our car of people $310. For that kind of money I expect a lot. Had the entry fees been cheaper I would have been more willing to overlook these issues.

I did like that they had the National Guard out there, they had some cool obstacles at the end, the zombies were (mostly) fun, and it was great to make memories with my husband and sisters. I’m not sure that I would run this race again.

Check out the husbands recap here on his blog The Traveling Monster

Have you ever done a Zombie run? What is the most unique themed race you’ve heard of?

 

65 thoughts on “Zombie Survival Dash STL Race Recap”

  1. That’s a really cool idea but I’d expect something more for that much money too. Hopefully they got a lot of feedback this year. I think it’s cool these kinds of races are getting creative and hopefully drawing more people in to this stuff!

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  2. thanks for the post. I thought it looked fun and this gave me some “real world” information. I totally agree with your statement that if it would have been cheaper it would have been easier to overlook the flaws of the race.

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    1. It really is all about getting what you think its worth out of it. a $30-40 entry may have been just fine… but $75? I could have run a half-marathon for that fee!

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  3. I had thought about doing this one with my husband, but the cost was a little too steep. I’m glad we didn’t do it this year. Maybe by next year they’ll have worked out some of the kinks. Still, I like the idea of it, and I’ve read recaps in other cities where it is well organized and a lot of fun.

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    1. They are planning on working out some of the issues and say they will be back next year… We’ll see! It is a great idea, I love the idea of playing “tag” while running, it mixes things up!

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  4. Well, that’s too bad to hear about the kinks of the race. But it sounds like it has great potential. It’s thanks to bloggers like you that they can hopefully notice these things and improve for the future events! Great review.

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  5. That is a lot of money for a 5k to begin with, then throw in unorganization and a not well marked course, I’d be mad. I hope you were able to provide event feedback at some point.

    It’s sad because the idea is clever, and a lot of people would go for it because of the zombie idea. But, I am afraid it will scare others off from “real” events because of the mess.

    Great review. SPA love!

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    1. It was pricey, and honestly, thats my biggest complaint. If it hadn’t cost so much I wouldn’t have expected so much out of it. It was a good idea that drew in a lot of people…. always room for growth I suppose!

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  6. Wow sounds fun AND irritating! lol Id feel the same way though and I read the word aggressive a lot…that would have just put me off to the idea of running it again let alone the price. Hopefully the organization changes for the better! OR maybe they wanted it to be like real life where in the case of a zombie attack people would steal your money, attack you and starve you! lol Theres the upside! At least youre prepared

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    1. There was just simply not enough instruction for the runners or volunteers. Some confrontation is to be expected in “game” of capture the flag – but it was a little crazy for my liking… which is why I gave away my flags early

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  7. I’m glad you made the most of the situation. This sounds like a huge lack of planning on their end. Have you thought about emailing them to let them know? My last 5k was $45 & all we got after was a bottle of hot water. No banana, no medal. Ugghh.

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    1. I did email them and they offered me tickets to another event. I’m debating whether or not I’m going to attend, but it was a great effort to make things right on their end.

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  8. I LOVE Zombies – but don’t know if I’d choose to be chased by them..I’d hurt myself or fight back 😉 I’ve had some friends do these in the dark…no bueno

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  9. That sounds pretty crazy!! I haven’t done a zombie race before! I really loved your honest recap of the whole thing tho!! Thanks for sharing! Spa ❤

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  10. You are the first to enlighten me as to what a zombie race entails. The concept sounds creative and fun, though also stressful. I bet the zombies had a good time challenging the runners. Love your comments about forking over the flags for safety.

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  11. This looks really cool to watch. I freak easily so wouldn’t like zombies chasing after me. I would also have been worried about hurting myself on an obstacle if there was a zombie there. And my goodness that’s a lot of money that y’all spent!!

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  12. I love the idea of this race! And I’m super glad that you and your hubs were able to do it together. I do agree that $75/per person + parking fees for a 5k is a bit steep. I would hope that you would have atleast got some pretty sweet swag for that price. But at least y’all had a good time, and perfect in time for Halloween!

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    1. Oh wow, I thought Run for Your Lives would have been more legit than this one, but seems like they had a lot of the same issues. Something about zombies I guess LOL

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