Volunteers of the Student Wellness Initiative Toward Community Health helped bring back the fourth annual Zombie Run. The race served as a fundraiser for SWITCH and its multiple programs — and as an opportunity for participants to help the community and have fun at the same time.
The Zombie Run, an all-ages event, is an annual race organized by the student-run non-profit SWITCH and is open to the public. This year, the race was a three-kilometre fun run that had obstacles set up throughout it. Runners wore a belt with flags hanging off it, and as they ran, zombies hidden throughout the course jumped out and tried to steal the runners’ flags.
If the runners made it to the finish line with some of their flags intact, they were considered alive, but if they did not have any flags left, they were considered dead. This year, the race took place at Donna L. Birkmaier Park on Oct. 22.
Brittany Lee-Acton, a second-year sociology student at the University of Athabasca and the program co-ordinator at SWITCH, explains that participants could either register as a runner or as a zombie.
“All of our participants have the option, when they register, between being a runner or being a zombie. There are prizes for both groups, so the deadliest of zombies will get a prize, and the coolest costumes will get a prize; and there are, of course, the regular race prizes for the fastest finishers,” Lee-Acton said.
According to Lee-Acton, the Zombie Run is a great opportunity for people to volunteer and give back to the community. She further explains how the funds from the event will be used.
“The funds go into all of our operating costs and our programming costs. Everyone through our door gets a hot meal, we have educational programs, and then we also have our clinical programs,” Lee-Acton said. “We are also having a food drive added, so we will be taking donations of food, and that goes to support our nutrition program. So, all the food donated will be used towards making those meals for everyone.”
While funds for the clinic are important, the major highlight of the event were the zombies themselves, as Lee-Acton explains.
“The zombie costumes are the most popular aspect of the race. People really go all out to make their costumes spectacular,” Lee-Acton said. “People like seeing them, people like getting scared of them, and they like seeing who is going to win the costume contest at the end.”
While the Zombie Run provides Saskatoon residents with an opportunity to get involved in the community, it also allows them to experience and prepare for an apocalyptic zombie infestation. Prospective zombie-apocalypse survivors-in-training should be on the lookout for this event in October next year, as it’s the only one of its kind here in the City of Bridges.
Gabriel Siriany Linares
Photo: Katherine Fedoroff