Being chased by brain-hungry zombies while running along a muddy trail through 60 acres on the Castle grounds is one way to give back to the community.
“It’s not your typical 5K,” said Ryan Hardaway, American Red Cross Muskogee Chapter director.
The second annual Castle Zombie Run will take place Sept. 13. Proceeds from the event will go to the local American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity.
Last year, each organization received $3,500, and almost 500 people participated in the run. Hardaway said this year’s goal is 1,000 participants.
Tess Nichols, assistant manager of The Castle, said getting more people involved means more money for the charities.
“We want to grow all parts of it,” Nichols said. “It helps as a whole.”
The three levels of sponsorship are $250, $500, and $1,000.
“Each of these donations come with a certain amount of runners’ registrations,” Nichols said.Sponsors will also receive “swag bags,” their company logo on event T-shirts, and their logo on the Castle website with a link to their business.
Runners will follow the trail through The Castle’s 60 acres of rugged countryside. All participants will start with two flags. The zombies will try to steal the flags. Runners who finish with at least one flag will earn a “Survivor” medal. Those who lose both flags will be marked as “infected.”
Teams of four can sign up for the “undead tug of war” single-elimination tournament that will be concurrent to the race. Spectators can cheer for the runners — or the zombies — and visit the food trucks and vendors who will be at the event.
“We want the spectators to have a good time, too,” Nichols said.
There are several ways to donate to this event regardless of age or running experience. Nichols said a zombie apocalypse inflatable obstacle course will be open to children ages 5 and older or “kids at heart” up to 225 pounds. Tickets for the course are $10 and can be purchased at the same time as a runner’s registration. Children 15 and younger must be supervised by a parent or guardian.
“If you’re not a runner, we do need volunteers,” Hardaway said.
The American Red Cross is sending the Bloodmobile to the run to take blood donations during the event. Both the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity will have information booths where people can sign up to do volunteer work.
Mike Massey, co-president of the Habitat for Humanity board of directors, said participating in the event benefits the whole community. Money raised from the run and donated to the local Habitat For Humanity will be used for a Habitat house.
“We will be using these funds to pay for house No. 38 next spring,” Massey said.
After the run, a “Paint the Town Dead” post-apocalypse celebration will take place. There will be a costume contest during the party. Everyone is welcome to join.
If you go
WHAT: The Castle Zombie Run.
WHEN: Registration begins at 1 p.m., and the first heat starts at 3 p.m. on Sept. 13. “Paint the Town Dead” after party starts after race and ends at 9 p.m.
WHERE: The Castle, 3400 Fern Mountain Road.
INFORMATION: (918) 687-3625.
RUN FEES: $50 until Sept. 10, $60 up to the day of event. Registration for the zombie apocalypse inflatable obstacle course is $10.
You can help
If you would like to be a sponsor, contact the Castle by email at email@example.com or by phone at (918) 687-3625