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Undead rising for fun run in Dayton


Recreation — Zombie Apocalypse Run both thrills and chills adults and children at local farm

DAYTON — The undead will rise again Oct. 12 and take over Heiser Farms in the Zombie Apocalypse Run.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Zombies -- The third annual Zombie Apocalypse fun run encourages participants to dress as zombies or survivors. This year the event will be held Oct. 12 at Heiser Farms in Dayton.

Heather Robbins, co-owner of the run, said the concept is that participants register as either a zombie or a survivor. Survivors get a two-minute head start before the zombies are released, and the chase begins. Zombies will try and capture survivor’s flags all while running either 5k or 1.5 miles.

“We had all sorts of theatrics last year. We had a tank at the start and a helicopter hovering ushering people to the quarantine area, fog machines, a military camp in the woods,” Robbins said. “As if being chased by zombies isn’t enough, we have volunteers throughout to scare runners.”

But she said it really is a family friendly event. Before the zombie run begins there is a kids dash, kids costume contest and an adult costume contest.

“It’s really an all day event,” she said. “When people come they realize it’s a great destination and have a great time.”

The zombie events begin at 3 p.m. Until then, Heiser Farms will host a range of other fall events, including a hay maze, hay rides, a petting zoo and pumpkin cannons.

John Heiser said the run melds in with what’s already going on at the farm.

“On that day you definitely know there’s something odd there, but we are still able to do our normal stuff,” Heiser said. “This is the pumpkin patch’s 20th year, and we’ve never had anything this crazy before. But what people don’t understand is it’s really a family-friendly event. It’s more for families than an adult thing.”

Robbins said they do enjoy the theatrics of the run, however.

“Runners will be absolutely thrilled with what we’ve added,” she said. “We’ve been planning for a year, so we’re anxious to unwrap the theatrics for the year.”

This is the race’s third year. The first year, Robbins said they planned the whole event in six weeks and sold out of the 600 tickets. After moving last year to Heiser Farms, the number of runners increased to about 2,000 — which she expects to see this year, if not more.

“Most people sign up last minute,” she said. “But this year is bigger and better and even more exciting.”

Heiser said they put on a great show last year and is looking forward to this year’s event.

“With all the people in costume, food vendors, the Voodoo Doughnut truck and music,” he said. “Seeing all the people dressed up running around, I don’t know much about zombies but I know people take this seriously.”

To register, visit www.zombieapocalypse run.com. The 5k and 1.5 mile run are $45 and the kids dash is $15. When registering for the kids dash, if participants select the child’s school, Robbins said they will kick-back $5 to the school listed. The farm is located at 21425 S.E. Grand Island Loop near Dayton.