Jessica Keck, 31, who is currently living in Seattle, came back to Sandusky to visit friends when the group of seven was persuaded by 15-year-old Alexis Zess of Sandusky to participate in the Zombie Mud Run. “I thought it would be fun. It just looked cool,” Zess said. Keck was a survivor. “I just ran,” Keck said, as a survivor medal glimmered from around her neck. Survival of the fittest was very much on display Saturday afternoon. “I got attacked by three zombies,” said Dominique Davie, 32, of Sandusky.
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Those who became infected by the undead could stop by the immunization station, take a shot of Monster drink and a bitter candy pill to regain life in the form of a flag. But if you crossed the finish line with no flags on your belt, you were still given a medal — it read contaminated.
About 650 racers had to navigate a 3-mile obstacle course of mud, net crawls, ladder climbs, more mud, slippery beams, running in the water of East Sandusky Bay and of foremost concern — brain-eating zombies. All together, with zombies and other volunteers, about 900 people were required to make the event a reality.
“We are happy. It is big,” said Bill Criscione, event organizer along with his wife, Jayme. The couple operate Ghostly Manor, the race’s primary sponsor. Erie MetroParks, which oversees East Sandusky Bay MetroPark activities, was the other sponsor.
There are many 5K’s vying for athletes’ attention. From mudders to warrior dashes, the couple knew they needed to be unique to stand out.
So they went with what they know best, terror and zombies.
“And then we went the extra effort of the obstacles,” Criscione said. “If we can’t do it top notch, we will not do it. We don’t do mediocre.”
The zombies will most definitely claw their way back out of the soil next year, Criscione said.