November 08, 2013 - 3:58 PM
KELOWNA - Who would have thought the first ever Zombie 5k Run in Kelowna would be cancelled because it lacks a pulse.
The 5k obstacle course, where volunteers dress as zombies and chase after the athletes, was scheduled to take place at the Mission Park Greenway on Nov. 30, but there weren't enough participants.
The brains behind the event, Trevor Soll, says so far they've only had around 40 participants register and to do the run properly, he needs at least 200.
“It takes a lot of preparation to make it fun for the participants,” Soll said. “To be able to plan accordingly and be able to get all the equipment required we have to put the orders in at least three weeks in advance.”
Soll says that although the buzz around Kelowna has been quite good, it hasn’t translated into actual sign ups. And without enough time and commitment, it’s difficult for them to plan things like body paint and costumes. There also needs to be a large enough group of zombies for the chase to feel authentic, says Soll.
More than 1500 people signed up for the first Zombie Run that Soll organized. It took place in Edmonton on October 18 and he was hoping to see the same level of interest here in the Okanagan.
“The Edmonton race was by far one of the most fun events I’ve ever done,” said Soll, who organizes running races and triathlons all over Canada. “We did group starts of around 250 people going out the gate being chased by zombies as well as having zombies staged throughout the course. You get mass pandemonium and hysteria. If you were to do that with 40 people it just wouldn’t be the same experience.”
Despite the disappointing turn out, Soll is already planning for next year and hopes to have a firm date by January with a race date of sometime in October of next year.
As for why he decided to organize such a unique event, Soll says that he is always looking for ways to engage people in new and relevant ways.
“If people are sitting on their asses playing zombie shoot-em-up games on Xbox then let’s get in the real world and get their heart rate up being chased by zombies.”
The fastest time at the Edmonton event was around 18 minutes but Soll says it’s not about having a fast time. Those who are able to keep their two ‘health flags’ are permitted into the “live results” but those who lose them get listed under the “dead results”.
“It’s not really about your official time,” Soll says. “It’s more about whether you survive or not.”
To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250) 718-0428 or tweet @AdamProskiw.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013