IF YOU GO
■ What: Zombie Rundown.
■ When: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 5.
■ Where: Old McDonald's Farm, 16705 Coulterville Road, Sale Creek.
■ Entry fees: $5 FunWalk, $65 adults if register today or Friday, $85 adults day of event; $45 military personnel, $20 zombie, $10 after-party only, ages 10 and under free.
■ Website: redtowersentertainment.com
A new fundraiser is launching Saturday, April 5, that combines the thrill of a zombie chase with the challenge of an obstacle course. Throw in an early morning FunWalk followed by an afternoon festival, and you've got a full day of family entertainment.
Red Towers Entertainment co-founders Jay Hudson, Garrett Bruner and Gary Newman have partnered with Urban Clay founders Julie DeFriese and Kelly Easter and the management of Old McDonald's Farm to create what Hudson expects will become an annual event.
Zombie Rundown offers participants three options: a nonscary, one-mile, kid-friendly FunWalk around the farm or a test of endurance in a 5K race over 11 obstacles while being chased by brain-eating zombies.
And you don't have to be a runner to join in the fun.
The third option is a call for zombies only. For a $20 fee, you can dress as a zombie and join the undead on the obstacle course just for the fun of scaring runners and grabbing their flags (meaning the runner just lost his life.) An added perk: Hudson says a half-dozen makeup artists will be on-site as early as 6 a.m. Saturday to get your zombie face on. Zombies must rise (arrive) no later than 7 a.m., already dressed in their undead duds.
Hudson says the first heat sets off down the 5K zombie/obstacle course at 9 a.m. That race is expected to finish about 1 p.m. or when the last runner crosses the finish line.
"We have a stream runners will go through, a lake to go over, three mud pits, a run through the woods and a hay wall they have to climb over that is 13 feet high and 30 feet wide," says Hudson. "We'll get their adrenaline pumping pretty quick."
The child-friendly FunWalk steps off at 10 a.m. and makes a one-mile loop around the farm grounds.
As participants finish both races, they can cool down at the Refuge After Party, a festival-style event at the farm from noon to 5 p.m. It will include a zombie-free kids zone with activities such as panning for gold, mini obstacle course, ring toss and concessions.
Their parents can enjoy music throughout the afternoon by Pack of Wolves, Plowboys and Stevens Layne. The featured act is Brennin Hunt, who finished in the Top 8 on Season 1 of "X Factor." If family friends want to join runners just for the party later in the day, they will be admitted for $10.
This inaugural Zombie Rundown is a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga; $5 of every entry fee will be donated to the nonprofit. Jane Kaylor, executive director, says the donation will support the Share a Night Fund.
"The Share a Night Fund allows us to provide services for families whether they can afford to make a donation for their stay or not. Our cost is $55 per family per night. Families are asked to make a $10 per night donation, but last year 71 percent could not do that," she explains.
Zombie wannabes must register by Friday, April 4, on redtowersentertainment.com. Zombies will be turned away at the door Saturday.
Walk-up runners will be accepted on race day. However, it is to the runner's benefit to register sooner because the entry fee is $65 today and Friday, $85 at the gate Saturday.
Contact Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...