This Saturday, when the Run For Your Lives 5K race comes to Denver, the fast and wary will survive. The rest will be zombie fodder. That's right -- at long last, someone has combined a 5K obstacle-course race with the walking dead. Or in this case, the running dead. Sure, zombie purists may hate them, but something tells us the zombies of Run For Your Lives aren't too concerned with what purists think: They're going to run, so you need to be ready. We can't offer much in the way of fitness tips for competitors, but we can provide a few helpful resources -- in the form of movies you should watch to familiarize you with that most dangerous of undead foe: the running zombie.
5. 28 Days Later/28 Weeks Later
If you're looking for a primer on fast zombies, either of the 28 ... Later movies offer all the running, jumping, crazed zombies you could ever hope to never actually run into. Both films deal with a virus that causes the infected to go berserk and attack anyone uninfected -- scratching, clawing and biting at them in an uncontrollable rage. The first, 28 Days Later, is even a really great film. It's also largely responsible for kicking off the modern trend of running zombie movies. Oh, and for those who would argue that these aren't zombies, go ahead and argue it with them while they're trying to bite a hole in your face. Or better yet, save your breath for running like hell.
The zombies of Zombieland are fast and hungry, so the characters of Zombieland learn quickly that to stay alive, they've got to stay fit. That's advice that will come in handy in Run For Your Lives (if you aren't fit, you're not going to make it through a 5k, with or without zombies trying to take you down). The movie is full of handy hints and tips, presented in the form of its rules. Hopefully you've already got Rule No. 1 down, or it's going to be a long day.
3. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
The original Dawn of the Dead featured the old-model zombie: slow, clumsy and dumb as a bag of hammers. The 2004 remake fused the original's setting with 28 Days Later-style turbo zombies for a nihilistic take on zombie armageddon that helped reinvigorate the genre and introduce it to a whole new generation of zombie fans. Don't be fooled by the fact these zombies spend all their time hanging out at the mall -- dying seems to have done wonders for their ability to run you down.
2. Nightmare City
In all likelihood, Nightmare City was the first movie to ever feature running zombies. Of course, these zombies not only run but use guns, knives and hatchets, work as a team and even manage to fly a plane. It's pretty much a worst-case scenario when it comes to the undead, so any tips you pick up here should serve you well. For example, as this clip shows, dancercise will not keep you safe from the hungry dead (just in case you thought that was a legitimate plan).
1. Devil's Playground
Speaking of worst-case scenarios, how about parkour zombies? That's the gimmick in Devil's Playground, a mess of a film about an experimental drug trial that goes very, very wrong and creates a batch of super-agile, super-fast and super-strong zombies. Sure, the movie's pretty bad and doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's worth watching if only to get an idea of what kind of moves you might expect from the most athletic of the undead this weekend.
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