Running with Zombies

Does the Trail of Terror’s Running Dead Zombie Run in MN Measure Up?

Have you ever said to yourself, I want to run with Zombies? I don’t know about you, but a Zombie Run in MN has always been on my bucket list! When I heard about the Trail of Terror’s The Running Dead 5K a few weeks before Halloween. I couldn’t miss this opportunity. 

Even though my sister and I have been slacking on the workout routine since our last 5K in July, we figured we would give it a try. It’s gotta be a good motivation to get back into gear with our workouts.

We also figured they are Zombies. It’s not like they run that fast. I’m sure anyone that has seen Zombie movies or TV shows may have a different take, but that was my interpretation.

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The Running Dead Zombie Run

Zombie Run Costumes

If you hadn’t picked up on this yet, I love Halloween costumes complete with blood and guts. Probably a little more than I should. For kindergarten my daughter even wanted to be a zombie scaring others.

Selecting a costume for a zombie run is a completely different situation. It had to be movable, relevant and stay secure through sweating and bouncing. Unfortunately, the wigs were out of the question.

Face makeup, had to be light. In the end, I ended up doing a variation of the Goblin King from the Labyrinth. I could still wear yoga pants and just needed a vest over top.  A little light makeup and I was good to go.

My sister opted for a convict. We also some more elaborate costumers complete with tutus, princess dresses and superheroes. 

Getting Tickets

Tickets were purchased online for $30. It’s probably the cheapest race I’ve done considering what comes with it. A free beer afterward and admission to the Trail of Terror! It’s been a few years since I’ve been there so I figured why not? We got there and found that you didn’t need to bring the voucher you got online.

That was nice because my sister forgot to bring hers. We got checked in and wandered around the grounds sizing up the competition. We started to see the group of real runners, you know the ones in all the appropriate gear and headphones. No one was in costumes… yet.

We immediately went into the oh no… are we going to be last to finish? Then the playing field started to get populated with the more casual runners. People started to come in costumes and makeup too. There was even a cute little 4-year-old running.

The Zombie Run in MN

They finally got us started. They warned us all that it was going to be a trail run. Now if you’re like me and have never done a trail run, it’s a little different. I would equate it to running on a trail at a State Park.

You could possibly fit two people side by side. That’s really bad if you’re running right out of the gate with slow people or those that want to run faster than you and they are all on your heals.

You also have twigs, roots, leaves, loose dirt and hills to deal with. It was a fun challenge, but it probably added a good amount of time onto the run due to difficulty levels.

Running along side Zombies

The paths were really well marked. They also had a lot of creep out sections right in the beginning of the run. The start of the path doubled as a haunted walk once the Trail of Terror opened.

I have to say with all the people there, I was very impressed that one of the Zombies dressed as Freddie Kruger got me pretty good. The Zombies were all a mix of terrifying, humorous and motivational to help you get running.

Even if you were taking a small running break, they didn’t give you too much grief. Though they were not the biggest fan of having their pictures taken. Honestly… what’s the fun in that!

Once you got out of the real wooded area, probably only a quarter mile, you were on gravel road. If you are at all familiar with the back entrance to the Renaissance Festival, we ran almost all the way to the gate.

They did have Zombies all along the paths in character. What would a Zombie Run be without them? These ones were more to mark your path and make sure you don’t get lost.

Speaking from the perspective of a person that had done a different race where this was not done, we were really happy to see this.

Trail of Terror, Zombie Run

The Zombies

All of the Zombies on the trail were really great. I loved that they never really broke character either. The one passing out water even had the foot drag down perfectly. In the end, we survived the run!

I won’t mention our time. Oh, and in case you are wondering… the 4-year-old beat us. Sad but true… She did get a piggyback ride for at least some of it….

Once we got done with the race, you could pick up your T-Shirts. They ran out of our size so I had to give the person a little bit of guff about that.

Thankfully she took it the right way and gave me just as much sass back as I gave her. I guess if we would have trained a little harder and gotten a little better time we would have gotten our pick of shirts.

We dropped off our stuff at the car and picked up our warm gear for the night and decided to check out the party scene. We ended up coming into the tail end of the costume contest.

They invited us to participate but we opted out. We just got our drink and checked out the rest of the Trail of Terror while we saw the line of guest waiting to get in.

All in all, a great time. I would defiantly go again next year. This time I may train a little more on a trail environment next time around. I may also work a little more on perfecting my zombie makeup application.

Minnesota River at Sunset

Random Notes:

While you cannot reenter the Trail of Terror once it opens, you can re-enter if you are a racer before 7pm.

Guest are free to come watch. They won’t get to see much more than the starting and finishing line, but still good encouragement. The Zombie Run seriously lack the traditional finish line experience. No cheering section, timer or anything else.

It’s classified as a fun run. Because of that, you should have fun with it! I know some peoples idea of fun is getting the best time. Mine is to be enjoying the experience and not keel over.

All the runners (at least the ones toward the back) were very supportive. I’m sure they were in the front too. Maybe next year I’ll be able to find out for sure. 

The race end was timed perfectly with the sunset. It was beautiful there! For more things zombie releated, check out the 13 Scariest Haunted Attractions in the Twin Cities


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