Hundreds Outrun Zombies For Brain Injury Services

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October 23, 2018
Ghouls On The Go
Hundreds Outrun Zombies For Brain Injury Services
Daily News-Record 10/22/18
HARRISONBURG — While the annual Zombie Run for Brains event at Fear Forest has been a popular event since its start four years ago, this year’s fundraiser saw a big jump in participants.
Saturday’s turnout of 200 people who had registered plus another 30 who showed up the day of the race easily topped last year’s total of 150 runners, according to Linda Meyer. Meyer is president of the board for Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley, which benefits from the race’s proceeds.
The weather was cooperative for the outdoor run, a little chilly and overcast but no rain. The course took runners and walkers through the Fear Forest corn maze and other attractions at the Halloween-themed venue on Oak Shade Road southeast of Harrisonburg.
“Zombies” chase the runners, who have streamers attached to their waist. If a runner makes it out with at least one streamer still attached they “survived.”
The race was conducted in heats, which also determined the level of aggression of the zombies. The zombies did not chase runners and walkers in the first few heats, making them more family- friendly. The longer the race went on, the more aggressively the zombies pursued the runners.
“Fear Forest is gracious to give us full use of the grounds,” said Dustin Roderick, a board member for Brain Connections. He was dressed in a tattered suit and covered in makeup to look like blood. Runners stopped him to take pictures prior to the start of the race.
Roderick agreed to dress up like a zombie for the event if at least 10 staff members agreed to volunteer.
Makenzi Ryder of Verona participated in the zombie run last year, coming out with one streamer left, meaning she “survived” the zombie attack. She brought along friend Shane Perrine to run with her this year.
“I may or may not have held my flag to keep the zombies from grabbing it,” she said of last year’s race. “It’s definitely motivating.”
Ryder said the hardest part of the race comes when the zombies trap you in the buildings.
“That’s when I lost my streamers,” she said.
Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley was founded in 2005 as a nonprofit organization, which combines public and private resources to provide specialized services for persons affected by brain injury.
Its service area includes Rockingham, Augusta, Bath, Highland and Rockbridge counties and the cities located within.