* From: Kristine Dreher
* Event: Zombie Charge
* Date: 2014-06-14
* Event Details
The event was held in North Stonington, CT. The biggest complaint most people had was driving back country roads unfamiliar to many and there not being any signs for the race until you actually arrived at the one road leading into the race. A few cars in front of me passed the stand up flag signs as they weren’t really visible. More signage directing you to parking/race venue would be great. I arrived early so the parking was easy for me and very close to the entrance to the venue.
Overall the facilities seemed to be fine. Given that there wasn’t a huge crowd (approx 1200 pre-registered races per the RD) there was plenty of room to walk around, enough port-o-johns and getting through registration to pick up your bib was hassle free.
Vendor area seemed to be laid out well enough for everyone to access. While there was no free beer at this race I was perfectly fine spending the $4 for a Heineken (thank goodness it wasn’t Bud..), the food vendor was great as I was starving and enjoyed a pulled pork sandwich. Was awesome they had breakfast sandwiched freshly made all day as well. I didn’t shop the merchandise tent but picking up your finisher shirt was easy and fast! The shirt is a great quality…would have loved to have the date on it but nonetheless it’s a cool shirt. The finishers medal is also pretty cool. Having the option to pose at the green screen was fun – this was not marked at the photography area, but it was an additional option to buy a photo when they were published. It wasn’t part of a free race photo.
* Race Details
Overall the course was well laid out and marked. I’m not a zombie fan but it was a really fun race overall. I enjoyed the course, though I’m not sure it was an actual 5K and the obstacles were pretty good. Of course given the location is on (or near) a farm, the first water obstacle we crawled through the water stunk to high heaven…there was another water obstacle that seemed to be challenging in that the water was deep but getting in to it was slippery mud and lots or roots sticking out. I wasn’t to concerned with out running any of the zombies as I really didn’t want to get hurt avoiding them. Our group had an encounter with two zombies in the gravel pit area that grabbed one of our teammates jerseys and pulled on it to get her flag. We all made a comment about not grabbing and holding on. We did find a few zombies who seemed to violate their rules with grabbing and holding onto someone – or taking to many flags at once. There were two water stations so that was a plus!
The highlight for myself (and many) was the end of the race with the slide….
There really was no incentive to keep your flags. It would be great to have some type of incentive if a racer finished with their flags, especially if they had all 3. I’ve heard from other zombie races there was a survivor medal for those who had a flag(s) or an infected medal. Good, fun concept.
Overall I found it to be a fairly easy course and it was a fun day, and as usual, a nice turn out by NES!
Name: Michael Carr
event name: Zombie Charge New England 2014
parking: $10, field within a very short walk of the event base
facilities: plenty of porta-potties, hoses to rinse off after, changing tent
vendors: several, food, beer, Zombie Charge gear, energy shots, gyms, etc.
schwag: awesome athletic cut tech tee (my new go-to short, race directors take note!), awesome medal, a really neat Zombie Charge buff, free energy shot
course: a 5k mostly flat course primarily through the woods with several man-made mud features, and several huge man-made gravel, stone, and sand hills (that neatly made up for the otherwise flat course). Excellent use of the local terrain and features.
obstacles: the obstacles were comparable to local races of this type, the typical 4’/6’/8′ walls, with and without cleats, the standard high ladder-walls, a up-and-over cargo net, an A-frame, a couple of slant walls with rope-assists, and a low-crawl in muddy water under chain-link. I love it when races have easy/medium/hard variants of their tougher obstacles, so that everyone can succeed and the elites can challenge themselves.
What truly separates this race from others similar, is of course the signature zombies. Racers were given a flag belt and three flags (attached by velcro) at the start of the race. On course, they would encounter zombies. Not the Walking Dead kind of zombies, but more like World War Z zombies. This racer had to sprint at full steam for a good 45 seconds to elude one over-aggressive young zombie. Once a racer reaches an obstacle, the zombies must retreat (for safety sake). Having to sprint during an OCR (when you are already running at your best OCR pace) is extremely challenging, and takes a lot out of you. If the zombies get all of your flags, you can still continue the race, and you would get a one-minute penalty added on to your net time. Halfway through the course was a zombie chained to a fence at a distance of 50′, and an opportunity to gain back you missing flags by hitting it with a paintball gun. You had two chances to hit it.
Rating: above average
Would I have signed up for the 2015 event if there were a registration table with a good discount? Absolutely.