by Hani Yassine
The Lance – Arts Editor
Mixing elegance with terror, 29-year old Rachel Wamboldt attended the run with her mother and friends as a group of zombified ballerinas.
“The facial makeup is a white walker from Game of Thrones, but we didn’t want to do the costume, the girls wanted to go with tutus so I’m wearing a green, orange and black tutu to match the occasion,” Wamboldt said.
It was clear to distinguish the runners from the walkers, undead or otherwise, during the fourth annual Zombie Chase which occurred Oct. 8. There wasn’t a single cloud looming over the city’s waterfront as hundreds gravitated to the registration booth to enjoy a 5K run or walk alongside friends and family.
Organized by the event company RunningFlat, the nature of the run seems closer related to the Halloween spirit, but organizer Chris Uszynski finds it to ultimately be a better fit for families to attend during thanksgiving weekend, as the weather is still fairly warm.
“People wanted to do something on thanksgiving weekend, and something that was family oriented, and it was really a big surprise, I didn’t think zombies were that family oriented, but it’s amazing, entire families show up,” Uszynski said.
The run was set to begin as soon as the sun went down and the darkness took over. Anyone dressed as a standard runner were the first ones to cross the starting line. They’re given a three minute head start before all infected participants begin their march down the riverfront, where the course goes from its Askin Avenue position to Ouellette Avenue, which marks the course’s loop back to the finish.
Having attended as a runner for all four years, Matthew Wiper says he’s accomplished some of his best time during this 5K, and keeps returning due to the event’s organization.
“It’s really the first one I noticed in the area that really does a good job setting up the course,” Wiper said. “I feel that you get your money’s worth when you sign up.”
Each participant was set to receive a glow in the dark zombie medal. Proceeds from the event itself were set to go to Life After Fifty, a recreation centre for middle-aged adults which uses Aide Knox as its location.
While he’s always enjoyed organizing this event, Uszynski says it’s his last time doing the Zombie Chase as he’s ready to move on to bigger projects in Canada and stateside. Having partnered with the Detroit Red Wings for the Hockeytown 5K and running the provincial-wide Le Chocolat race, he wishes to spend more time developing those events due to their scope, and says the Zombie Chase will return only if someone wishes the take the reins.
“I’ve offered it to other charities to take it on, but it’s time for me to hang it up,” Uszynski said.