The Walking Dead has gone on hiatus again, and everyone needs their zombie fix. Not to worry, you can try your hands (and feet and legs) at undead confrontation and evasion later this week. Outbreak Manila is upon us again. A few days from now, thousands of health and undead afficionados will converge on a former military camp to test themselves against a corps of cannibal corpses (cue death metal music!)
We were there when the first Outbreak happened last year in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa Laguna. Despite the scorching heat of the April sun and the sprinting hordes of the undead, I and Kara managed to make it through alive—meaning we each had one flag left when we crossed the finish line.
We were also there when the second Outbreak happened at the Bonifacio Global City. It was a night run. Kara was not as lucky that time as the eerie, unlighted streets and the creepy pouring rain complicated the basic chore of survival. I made it out with all my flags intact, but got bruised during a mad dash through a phalanx of zombies.
Sadly, we skipped the third event because of other commitments. Anyway, from what we’ve experienced so far, here are a few things to keep in mind if you plan to run Outbreak Manila.
Run a 5k first
Cardio, dude. It’s a fun run, so you need to be fit enough to run or at least finish a 5 kilometer trek. While you will be walking most of the time, there will be plenty of moments too when you need to make a mad dash. So, heed that advice from Zombieland—cardio!
The Outbreak zombies are territorial. While they generally won’t chase you for more than a hundred meters, they will try to grab you if you stray into their territory. Learn to feint, sidestep and duck—skills you should have already mastered if you had been playing patintero as a child.
Wait for the others
The lone wolf is an easy target. Watch some National Geographic and learn a thing or two from the great migrations of the wildebeests, impalas and zebras. Go forward in large groups. There’s safety in numbers when dealing with Outbreak zombies.
Stay in the middle of the pack
You can’t do a “Shane” and feed your companions to the ghouls just to get away.
Still, other runners may become unwitting human shields for you by being on the pack’s perimeter. Good for you.
Bring a handy camera that can shoot video
While there will be plenty of photographers chronicling the feeding frenzy, there’s nothing like having your own camera to document your adventure. Scores of runners will be going in costumes ranging from Spartan warriors, to Batman and ninjas, and you will want to have your pics taken with them. Video is best for capturing the action.
Don’t go in a costume
Outbreak zombies snap into heat seeking mode when they see runners dressed up as Super Mario, Jedi Knight, or The Flash. If you go in a costume, expect to get eaten.
Go in a costume
It’s a fun run dude. In the final analysis, those flags don’t mean anything. Scientific studies show that running in your favorite costume multiplies your fun by several orders of magnitude, and in the final analysis, having fun is all that matters.
Unfortunately, I won’t be running in this year’s event either since I will be covering the Le Tour de Filipinas in northern Luzon. But to all those who have signed up, good luck and may the force be with you.