Zombie Apocalypse Run brings fun, fright and family to Joint Base Lewis-McChord

By Staff Sgt. Micah VanDyke on November 4, 2014

A zombie apocalypse took over part of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, forcing hundreds to battle through hordes of zombies. Luckily, these zombies didn't have a taste for human flesh; they only wanted the blood red flags each runner wore around their waist.

Halloween excitement at JBLM reached the zenith with the inaugural JBLM Zombie Apocalypse 5k Run Nov. 1, bringing servicemembers and families together for this ghoulish and heart-pounding event hosted by the JBLM Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation.

More than 200 people joined in the scary fun, and tried their luck surviving in the face of 100 volunteers dressed as zombies.

"Everyone's on a big hype of zombies, right now, with shows like Walking Dead, they're huge and it's great to take part of something that's so big right now in our generation," said Spc. Bruce C. Svendsen, a military policeman assigned to the 66th Military Police Company, 504th MP Battalion, 42nd MP Brigade.

>>> Photography by Staff Sgt. Micah VanDyke/19th Public Affairs Detachment

Lizza Lockett, an intramural coordinator with JBLM's DFMWR, broke down the unique aspects of the 5k run compared to others and how the zombie interaction was planned out. She pointed out how the run is not going to be like the movie World War Z, which had fast zombies, but rather it will be slow moving zombies trying to snag the runners flags.

"The goal is to complete the course with at least one flag left and you'll be entered in a special door prize to win a Dell laptop," said Lockett. "We have other door prizes, such as tickets to (LeMay - America's Car) museum, tickets for tattoos and gift certificates from AAFES."

>>> Photography by Staff Sgt. Micah VanDyke/19th Public Affairs Detachment

Many participants brought their children to compete in the run and dress up as zombies.

"It's awesome. We're trying to keep our kids active and it's fun to be a part of the first (zombie run) on the post," said Sgt. Patrick Moorer, who is in Bravo Company, 47th Combat Area Support Hospital, 62nd Medical Brigade, JBLM. "They really enjoyed it and had a great time."

The appeal of this type of event encouraged many people to put down their tablets or smartphones, and children to hold off on picking through Halloween candy until after the run.

"It's great to see everybody outside getting away from the TV and other technology; staying active and being fit," said Moorer. "So, it was a good time for the family."

Svendsen was excited about the role of playing as a zombie and really enjoyed the evening.

"It's a riot. I love it, and I have my own make-up on. I wanted to use it for something and this gave me a chance to do it," said Svendsen. "People are getting some exercise and we're getting the screams and scares."

>>> Photography by Staff Sgt. Micah VanDyke/19th Public Affairs Detachment

Everyone, young and old, survived the run but only a few kept at least one flag to compete for the grand prize and bragging rights. The JBLM Zombie Apocalypse 5K Run is set to be a yearly post-Halloween event. If this year's run was any indication, it will quickly become one of most the anticipated DFMWR events.

Staff Sgt. Micah VanDyke is with the 19th Public Affairs Detachment.