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Can you outrun a zombie?

Find out at the Zombie Apocalypse Run this Saturday
by: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Imagine going for a nice jog out in the country - breathing in the fresh country air and taking in the fall colors. Now add zombies to that picture and you'll get the Zombie Apocalypse Run.

In this Halloween-themed fun run, participants are sure to have a their feet racing and their hearts pounding. It is the epic battle of zombies versus survivors.

One might assume the creator of such a terrifying event would be some ghoul with a penchant for the dark side. However, it is the creation of two moms from West Linn. But don't let their friendly faces fool you; they both have a love of adventure.

Debbie Parsons, a mother of three, is a hair stylist, and Heather Robbins, a mother of four, is a real estate agent in West Linn. Both are tri-athletes who enjoy challenging themselves and others.

Not only are they training partners, but they are also best friends. The women had talked in the past about organizing an event that had some action and a theme. They wanted to design a unique event that was not only a race but also fun and family friendly.

Parsons' husband is obsessed with zombies, she said, so when she heard of a similar run in another state, Parsons got inspired.

'This isn't going to be your typical 5k,' she said. 'People would enjoy running so much more with an added perk to the race.'

Truly a family affair, the run will take place at Lee Farms in Tualatin. It includes a kids' dash and a costume contest as well as two distance options of the runners.

However, the biggest choice is whether to run as a zombie or as a survivor.

In this race, the survivors wear belts with flags on them and get a two-minute head start. Then, the zombies are released. The women referred to it as an athletic haunted house.

The zombies will be chasing the survivors down a course that winds through country roads, trails and even a cornfield. To add to the fright factor, the race takes place at dusk and there will be special effects like a fog machine, sirens and creepy sounds.

'You won't know what's around each corner,' said Parsons, adding that it will be spooky, but not too scary.

'There will be lots of unexpected surprises,' added Robbins.

And though the 5K participants will be running the same loop twice, it won't be the same both times, the women warn.

The goal of the race is to be the first survivor to cross the finish line with at least one flag remaining and the first zombie across the finish line with at least one flag in hand. The zombie with the most flags will be named king or queen of the living dead and will receive a special prize.

'If you're fast, it's a win, win,' Parsons said.

The race isn't just for hardcore runners, though. Parsons and Robbins encourage everyone to come and enjoy in the fun and the atmosphere.

'It's going to be a party,' Parsons said. 'Come and see what it's all about.'

Though they stress safety, Parsons and Robbins offered up some zombie-defeating tactics, such as picking slow-moving friends and trying to blend in.

The event is Oct. 29 at Lee Farms, 21975 S.W. 65th Ave. in Tualatin. The children's costume contest is at 2:30 p.m. and the kids' dash is at 3 p.m.

All kids' dash runners receive a medal and five tickets to use at Lee Farms. The adult costume contest is at 4:30 p.m. with the race beginning at 5 p.m. All race participants will receive a T-shirt.

Parsons and Robbins are seeking additional volunteers dressed as military or zombies to help out along the course.

For more information or to register, visit www.zombieapocalypserun.com.

The Zombie Apocalypse Run is Robbins' and Parsons' first event for their company Nomad Adventure Series. They hope to add more adventure runs and obstacles courses to their offerings in the future.