Zombies are coming to Staten Island on June 15 as part of a 5K fundraiser for the Special Olympics.
The rUNDEAD Fresh Kills Zombie Run will challenge participants to run through a trail at the Staten Island site of the Henry Kaufman Campgrounds while avoiding attacks from nearby zombies. The Special Olympics New York is an organization providing year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
The rUNDEAD series began in Saratoga in October 2012. The first event attracted over 1,000 participants and raised nearly $30,000. This year the rUNDEAD 5K will take place in Staten Island as part of its expansion to various areas within New York State.
“The success of our Saratoga run was phenomenal, and we are hoping to match that success and raise about $25,000 for Special Olympics New York,” said Amy Monahan, developmental specialist for Special Olympics New York. “We received many requests to have events that the public can participate in, and the rUNDEAD seems like a great event to open up to anyone who would like to participate.”
Monahan added that the event’s special theme was specifically targeted to its audience.
“The zombie theme was taken from the public’s obsession in the recent year with zombies. When we have positive feedback from the community after an event and feel we can expand the race series, then we do exactly that,” Monahan said.
Every runner will start with three flags on a belt, each flag representing a lifeline. Zombies throughout the course will attempt to take the flags one by one. Runners who finish the race with at least one flag remaining are deemed survivors.
Several safe zones, where runners are given the opportunity to rest and hide from the undead, will be available on the trail.
The race will be divided into two sections — the first with child-friendly play and the second involving more aggressive zombies.
Participants are given the option either to run the race or to join the zombies.
CAS freshman Angela Cao was extremely intrigued by the run’s zombie theme.
“The idea of zombies attacking runners sounds fantastic because it really draws attention to the event. I’d personally be interested in watching this event in action,” she said.
King of the Mountain Events, a group dedicated to running various adventure events in the New York City metropolitan area, will help organize the zombie run. Special Olympics New York was introduced to the group through their previous Rugged Run event. Monahan states that the partnership has been successful and will be continued for future events.
The rUNDEAD series is also scheduled to reach Brooklyn, the Bronx and Flushing Meadow Park in Queens this October.
Fay Lin is a staff writer. Email her at email@example.com.