EMERSON HILL — The undead have risen in Staten Island.
A 5K race is not only pitting runners against their competitors. They're also trying to outrun a horde of zombies.
The rUNDEAD Fresh Kills Zombie Run, being held in June to raise money for the Special Olympics New York, will challenge runners to make it through a trail at the Henry Kaufman Campground while trying to keep touch football flags — known as life points — from being taken by zombies.
“It’s a fantastic fundraiser,” said Amy Monahan, development specialist for Special Olympics New York. “It’s kind of a 5K meets flag football, infused with a little bit of zombies.”
Each runner will get three life points, or flags, and have to make it through the course with at least one attached. Along the track, several different types of zombies will attempt to steal their flags.
Participants can either sign up to run the race and try to survive, or join the ranks of the undead.
Zombies will be scattered across the trails. Some have permission to chase runners up to 100 feet, Monahan said.
“Some of them can chase you a little bit and others are only allowed to grab at your ankles and freak you out a little bit,” she said. “We're expecting lots of zombies and lots of makeovers.”
This will be the first rUNDEAD event held in the city, which the Special Olympics New York started last year in Saratoga.
It plans to hold zombie runs in Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx later this year, Monahan said.
While runners need at least one flag attached when they cross the finish line to qualify for awards, runners who could not survive the zombie horde are still encouraged to finish the race, Monahan said.
There will be several “safe zones” along the trail, where runners can catch their breath and hide from pursuing monsters, said Matthew LeBow, director of King of the Mountain Events, which is helping run the event.
And for families who want to try and survive the zombie apocalypse, the race will be broken up into two heats — the first with less scary and aggressive zombies that will be more kid friendly, LeBow said.
“We have two heats: at 10 o’clock a family fun heat that’s less scary, less aggressive, more for people and their kids,” said LeBow. “The 11 o’clock heat will be a full blown zombie race.”
Monahan said the makeup on the zombies also won't be too scary for kids in the earlier race.
So far, LeBow said response has been great, with around 160 people already signed up for the race. He expects at least 500 to 600 runners to compete.
“We try to keep it within the hundreds,” he said. “We can have more control over it. It’s more of a friendly event than a big corporate event.”
Organizers are also expecting a 100-strong zombie horde for the race, which will arrive an hour before start time to be transformed to the undead with makeup at their “Mob Tent.”
The rUNDEAD Fresh Kills Zombie Run will be on June 15 at the Henry Kaufman Campground, at 1131 Manor Rd. Registration will start at 9:00 a.m., with the race starting at 10:00 a.m. Runners can register online, and all money raised will go to the Special Olympics New York.