Time: 1 hour and 4 minutes
Date: April 14, 2012
Pace: 12:48 minutes per kilometer
Zombies has just entered Manila and their undead ways has somehow brought them to Nuvali and so was 5,000 other runners who’d attempt to get past a killer (I mean this literally) 5K distance. Outbreak Manila just came at a time when runners where looking for new concepts and new challenge to overcome. It was great that Outbreak Manila had Total Fitness as a media partner so I was able to join this run. The concept was simple three lifelines and finish with at least one to stay alive but we all now Zombies won’t make this an easy one.
Part of the mystery that came with this run was the race route was never disclosed to leave a lot of room for surprises. I did expected that the race course were on flat roads so it did came as a surprise that after a few hundred meters, we took a right turn to the trail part of Nuvali. Dodging zombies on narrow trails has reduced the chance of survival. The first two kilometers had the runners going through the trail with series of zombies to overcome and an obstacle where you have to crawl and go over some gartered room. At the second kilometer, you get to choose the easy way or the horde way which would then intersect at around the 3rd kilometer and goes on until midway to the last kilometer where you end up going through a maze. The last 500 meters is the dash to the finish with Zombies lurking.
I was part of wave 3 which meant that we’re among the first zombie baits in more than 20 wave of runners. I went at it a fast past thinking that the course would be on road and figured out that I’ll just try to out sprint zombies but at the 300 meter mark we headed towards the trail route with a dozen zombies in tow. It then became a game of strategies.
Strength in Numbers
We started the trail with our wave working as a group wherein we’ll try to confuse zombies by running in different directions. It did feel good when you get past dozens of zombies with flags intact. At the first kilometer we had to crawl under wires to get a new life. After this was another stretch of about a dozen of zombies on narrow trails. I ended up running on grassy part and had some scratches and it was also in this wave the I lost my two flags (taken by one zombie) since it was closely attached together. Rules had it that a zombie can only take one flag though it would be funny though if a zombie would approach you to return your flag. Goodbye two flags, 2 to go.
At the second kilometer, you get to choose the easy or the horde way. The easy way had more zombies but a shorter route and I ended up in a horde way which was a lot longer but with less zombies. This is also the part I got separated from the lead pack and ended up with a smaller group of runners thus decreasing my chance of survival. There was also a part wherein we had to pretend to be like zombies just to escape them. I was able to preserve my flags until midway to the fourth kilometer. It was a bit more difficult dodging zombies at this point since there were fewer runners to distract the zombies. Ended up losing another flag at this point. Goodbye flag, one to go.
The finish came on the fourth kilometer as I attempted to escape three successive zombies with not much runners in the pack. Went to the left, zombie one down. Fake to the right and then left zombie 2, down. Tried going to the extreme left for the last zombies but my last flag was gone. At least, this was a way I would have wanted to go… going down with a gallant stand. Infested at kilometer 4.
Losing my last flag had me relieved as you can just go past zombies without them approaching you. Going through several scares had my heart rate bpm going through the roof. Imagine my average heart rate is just 149 bpm but in some stretches my heart rate would go to a maximum of 194 bpm. 5K felt like forever and going through the trails felt like being in a zombie movie trying to survive an outbreak. I did went on to finish the race even without any lifeline remaining.
Team Total Fitness Survives
Surviving a zombie infestation is not an easy task as Moby and our fastest runner Rojan joined me in the list of casualties and only James was able to survive the outbreak. Tough luck, the zombies had quick lateral movements and were still perked up and full of energy during our wave. Next time, we’ll be ready…
Need I say more…
Back to the trails
While there will still be several outbreaks to come, I ended up back to the trails as I had to take some photos as part of media (Total Fitness). What started as just to shoot some pictures on the trail part ended in me having to go past the trails and zombie again but at this time the zombies were a lot friendlier and a bit tired. At this time, the heat was already overwhelming as both zombies and runners had the heat to deal with.
I guess the answer to the question on how to survive a zombie outbreak is let the others tire the zombies first. Running for your life has never been this fun. What a great first Manila Outbreak. Congratulations to the organizers!!! Heard they are planning a midnight one, any takers?
Photos taken in the trail and while distributing dermplus. (click here) Please do follow Team Total Fitness while you’re viewing the pics.