Zombies soon will be invading Mount Airy, but all in the name of fun and to support a charitable cause.
The second-annual 5K Zombie Run for Charity is scheduled for the evening of Oct. 21, sponsored by Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies Inc., Hillbilly Gluten Free Bake Shop and Creamery, and Miss Angel’s Pick Your Own Country Farms.
Angela Shur, also known as Miss Angel, said the theme for the event acknowledges the recent popularity of television shows and movies featuring zombies. “‘The Walking Dead’ is big,” she said of one example of that craze, a TV series of which Shur is a huge fan.
The local businesswoman said the first zombie run in October 2016 was a great success and she is hoping for more of the same this year.
“The reason why we started this was because there weren’t any 5K zombie runs in this part of the state,” Shur explained Thursday. “The nearest one is in Charlotte.”
Last year’s event involved more than 100 people racing through the streets of Mount Airy. For 2017, the course will utilize the city greenway system. “It’s going to start at Creek Bottom Brewery and end at Creek Bottom Brewery,” Shur said of a business near the greenway just below the hospital.
Running for lives, charity
Under the race format, the humans who participate will be issued race “life” belts with three Velcro flags attached to each. Zombies positioned at strategic locations along the course will try to take the human flags, or “lives,” as the runners likewise seek to dodge the “dead.”
“We probably had about 30 last year,” Shur said of the participants portraying zombies. “We’re probably going to have about the same this year.”
Competitors can qualify for a grand prize by completing the course with at least one flag “life,” with prize tickets to be issued at the finish line based on the number of flags still attached to the Velcro belts. Awards will go to the fastest finishers in the chip-timed race.
Other than the zombie and flag aspects, the race will be relatively normal. “It’s going to be a regular 5K,” Shur said of the standard 3.1-mile course.
As was the case last year, the run will benefit the community.
“It’s going to be for three charities,” Shur said.
These include the Shepherd’s House homeless shelter and Mayberry 4 Paws Animal Rescue, both in Mount Airy, and Surry Animal Rescue in Dobson, which collectively will receive 100 percent of the race proceeds. Seventy-five percent will go to the Shepherd’s House, with the remaining 25 percent divided between the other two entities.
Last year, the run raised more than $6,000.
This year’s event actually will include two runs, one for wheelchair/special needs individuals to begin at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 as a first “wave.” Three other waves of participants then will hit the course at different intervals beginning at 6:10 p.m., one for individual competitive participants, another for groups/teams and the third for families or individuals which will be a fun run or walk.
Registration fees for those who sign up by Oct. 20 are $10 for those in the wheelchair/special needs category, including one guest; $15 for youths ages 6-12; $20 for teens 13-17; and $25 for adults 18 and over. There is no charge for kids 5 and under.
On race day, the cost will go up by $5 for the youth 6-12, teen 13-17 and adult divisions.
Pre-registration can be completed online at zombiesarecoming5krun.itsyourrace.com or in person at Traxx Shoes, 367 S. Andy Griffith Parkway.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.