Runners take off at 1 p.m. Saturday on the first Zombie River Run on a three-mile Riverwalk Trail course. Runners had to avoid zombies who leaped out and grabbed at the "life flags" the runners wore. The race was a fund raiser for the Flint RiverQuarium. (Oct. 27, 2012)
ALBANY, Ga. -- Zombies lurked in bushes, in secluded spots and behind trees along Riverwalk, waiting for their prey Saturday afternoon.
Runners in the first Zombie River Run crowded to the starting line with "life flags" -- the kind worn in flag football -- streaming down the sides of their running shorts. Their object: to run the three-mile course and not lose life flags to the lurking undead.
"It is a family activity for downtown Albany. A lot of other cities have had fun with it," said Vicki Churchman, from sponsor The Flint RiverQuarium. "We've placed zombies about a half-mile into the run so they wouldn't be expecting them right away."
The $25 Zombie Run entry fee benefits the RiverQuarium. All participants received medals for finishing the run -- dead or alive.
Steven Holden, the captain of the Lee County High School cross-country team, returned first to the finish line. Unfortunately he arrived without his "life flags."
"It was a good fun run. Helped me get back after an injury," Holden said. "I had a little trouble with the zombies and that was upsetting."
Quite a few who ran in the race came equipped with zombie hair, face paint and costumes. Zombies have no loyalty, though. The zombie runners lost their life flags just as often as the living ones.
Two bands not often seen in daylight put down some hard rock and "industrial-thrash-metal" songs during the event. Lo-Cast opened and played an original song, "Scream My Name." The band Dog Head, with members looking like zombies, thrashed their way through a metal original, "Monster."