Run for Your Lives

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Run For Your Lives
A Zombie-Infested 5K Obstacle Course Race
GenreAdventure Race, Concept Runs
Location(s)United States, Europe, Asia, Australia
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Run For Your Lives
A Zombie-Infested 5K Obstacle Course Race
GenreAdventure Race, Concept Runs
Location(s)United States, Europe, Asia, Australia

Run For Your Lives (RFYL) is a 3-5K obstacle course adventure run series created by Maryland-based Reed Street Productions (RSP). Like other obstacle races, runners navigate through various terrain and physically challenging obstacles. Unlike other obstacle races, runners try to dodge and escape from zombies roaming the course trying to grab flags from runners' flagbelts, similar to flag football.[1] The course was designed to incorporate zombies as well as SERE training learned by a RSP managing-member who is active-duty navy.[2] The inaugural race had about 12,000 attendees[3] and was covered by multiple news sources.

The event is billed as training for when the real zombie apocalypse comes.[4] During and after the race, people attend the Apocalypse Party which has live music, beer, food, vendors, and games. Each participant is individually timed and broken into 9 competitive age divisions.[5] Costumes, team uniforms, and zombie make-up are highly encouraged at the event and add to the lighthearted atmosphere.[3]

On October 31, 2013, Colorado-based Human Movement Management (HMM) took control of the Run For Your Lives Zombie 5k and will be continuing with the rest of the 2013 and 2014 races.[6]

Run For Your Lives Asia (RFYLA) originated from the US event and is wholly owned and managed by Action X, an independent Singapore based event production company. The first Asian leg took place in Singapore on January 11, 2014 right in the heart of the city at Marina Bay to resounding success. Nearly 10,000 participants took part in the event, from 3 in the afternoon until 11 at night. The Asian franchise has been rebranded to drop the word Asia and instead list the country's name after the parent brand.[7]


Reed Street Productions, the creators of Run For Your Lives, was formed in 2011. The initial purpose of the race was to have a small event to help improve awareness of the sponsor Warwear.[8] However, the race gathered a lot of interest helping RSP to expand the event and eventually take it to other cities in 2012. The first RFYL event was held at Camp Ramblewood near Baltimore, MD on October 22, 2011. Over 10,000 runners registered, and over 12,000 people came to experience the zombie apocalypse.[9]

The Race[edit]

RFYL-Blood Pit.jpg


RFYL courses are typically 5K in length, although each course varies by location and trail layout. Trails are mostly through wooded areas with some open fields and water barriers depending on location.[3] Each race has around 12 man-made and natural obstacles that runners must overcome.[10] The creators of the race do not reveal the obstacles as to keep the course a secret, but obstacles typically involve climbing, sliding, crawling, dodging, and sometimes swimming.

RFYL courses also have multiple paths to the finish line. The Run For Your Lives website states, "There will be a start line, and a finish line, but what happens in between is up to you."[10] Some routes are dead ends, and others may take longer or have more zombies in the area. There are also health packs on the course which runners can find to ensure their survival at the finish line.[10]

Zombie Chase.jpg


Anyone can sign up to be a zombie. Each zombie is professionally made-up and are not supplied with wardrobe, although costumes brought are zombified. Zombies chase after runners and try to grab flags off of runners' flagbelts.[11] The creators of the race do not release how many zombies are on the course to keep the course a secret.

Determining locations[edit]

Each location is near a major city. Also, a lot of space is needed for the course. At least 150 acres.[12]

Apocalypse party[edit]

During and after the race, participants and spectators attend the Apocalypse Party. Multiple food and beer vendors are at the event as well as our merchandise tent where we sell all-things zombie .[13] While dancing to the DJ's hits, we have contests and entertainment.[14] At some events, local celebrities have made appearances, such as IronE Singleton, T-Dog from AMC's The Walking Dead[15] and Sal and Richard from the Howard Stern Show.

Charity partnerships[edit]

Kennedy Krieger Institute[edit]

The Kennedy Krieger Institute is a national charitable partner of Run For Your Lives for 2013. A portion of every ticket sold at each race is donated to the Kennedy Krieger Institute to help diagnose and treat children and adolescents with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, and musculoskeletal system.

Project Sole[edit]

In 2012, Run For Your Lives established a partnership with Project Sole, a non-profit organization that collects shoes to raise money for domestic schools and civic organizations while distributing footwear to impoverished and disaster stricken communities throughout the world. At each event, Run For Your Lives participants have the option to donate their used sneakers after the race.[16]

Event calendar[edit]


MarylandCamp RamblewoodOctober 22, 2011


GeorgiaDurhamtown Plantation Sports ComplexMarch 3, 2012
MassachusettsAmesbury Sports ParkMay 5, 2012
MinnesotaSpring Creek MotorcrossJune 2, 2012
IndianaBoondocks FarmsJune 23, 2012
ColoradoThunder Valley MotorcrossJuly 14, 2012
WashingtonBurntridge MX ParkAugust 4, 2012
MissouriWright CityAugust 18, 2012
PennsylvaniaSwitchback RacewaySeptember 1, 2012
TorontoBurls Creek Family Event ParkSeptember 22, 2012
CaliforniaVail Lake VillageOctober 20, 2012
MarylandCamp RamblewoodOctober 27 and 28, 2012
FloridaRevolution Off RoadNovember 17, 2012
TexasBig Longhorn RanchDecember 15, 2012


South FloridaMiamiApril 27, 2013
CaliforniaClearlake OaksMay 11, 2013
OhioSouth LoganMay 25, 2013
Texas: DFWSouth ForneyJune 1, 2013
New JerseyMedfordJune 8, 2013
IndianaKnightstownJune 22, 2013
ColoradoByersJune 29, 2013
MinnesotaMillvilleJuly 13, 2013
PennsylvaniaWampumAugust 3, 2013
New YorkBataviaAugust 17, 2013
WashingtonMcClearyAugust 24, 2013
new-hampshireCandiaSeptember 7, 2013
GeorgiaDaltonSeptember 14, 2013
IllinoisByronSeptember 21, 2013
CaliforniaSan BernardinoSeptember 28, 2013
marylandCharlotte Hall, MDOctober 5, 2013
MissouriWright CityOctober 12, 2013
brooklyn-nycBrooklynOctober 26, 2013
ArizonaSacatonNovember 2, 2013
AustinCedar CreekDecember 7, 2013


SingaporeMarina BayJanuary 11, 2014
Hong KongWest Kowloon Waterfront PromenadeOctober 2, 2014
SingaporeWest Coast ParkOctober 25, 2014
MalaysiaMalaysia Agro Exposition Park SerdangDecember 13, 2014

Race cessation and new management[edit]

On October 30, 2013, registered participants for upcoming races received an email from Run For Your Lives stating in part, “It is with great sadness that we are notifying you that the Run For Your Lives event you have purchased a ticket for has been canceled ... all events are postponed indefinitely and you should contact your bank for a full refund.”

On October 31, 2013 it was announced that Human Movement Management was taking over all future Run For Your Lives events and putting them on free of charge for all registered participants. Jeff Suffolk, president of Human Movement, said his four-year-old company decided to stage the events after reading postings on Facebook and other sites from upset ticketholders. "The things that pained us the most was seeing some of those posts yesterday," he said, "saying this was their first 5K and that this would be the last time they signed up for a 5K. … We're doing it for our industry. We're doing it for people who have a lot at stake in signing up for these races."

William Ward, former vice president of marketing for Run for Your Lives LLC, said the company's head, Ryan Hogan, agreed to let Human Movement take over the zombie runs at no cost. He said the company handed over its list of people who bought tickets to Human Movement Management.

Asian market[edit]

Recognizing the opportunity in Asia, Arthur Lin, co-founder of Action X, made contact with Reed Street Productions to bring the event over to the Far East. With Singapore in mind as the first stop, Action X was founded on May 10, 2013 to organise Run For Your Lives events all throughout Asia. A franchise model was adopted with Action X given full rights to organise the runs in several Asian countries. The event was thus branded as Run For Your Lives Asia with the intention to bring the event, billed as the original Zombie 5K, to countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Australia and several others in 2014 and 2015. With the insolvency of Reed Street Productions, Action X now wholly owns the right to conduct the event in Asia and the world.


On October 2, 2014, the event in Hong Kong received a large amount of complaints.[17] The majority thought that the organization did not planned well in terms of the event arrangement, especially baggage deposit. The participants complained that there were not enough helpers; not enough instructions; and not enough shelters. Some participants spent 4 hours or more under the 31 degree sun in this events. One hour for the run. The rest of the time were spent for lining up to collect the Race Pack, to deposit the baggage and to collect the baggage after the run.


  1. ^ "To Get A Better Workout, Train With Zombies" Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  2. ^ "Zombies Infect Obstacle Course" CNN Money. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  3. ^ a b c "Dodging Zombies, Clowns in 5K" Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  4. ^ "Run For Your Lives | What You Get Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  5. ^ Run For Your Lives | Awards Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  6. ^ Aguilar, John. "Run for Your Lives: Louisville company breathes life into zombie races". Daily Camera. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Run For Your Lives Asia Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  8. ^ "The Zombies Are Coming! Run For Your Life!" Austin Post. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  9. ^ "I Believe in Zombies" Cross Fit Journal. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  10. ^ a b c Run For Your Lives | How It Works Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  11. ^ Run For Your Lives | Zombies Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  12. ^ Run For Your Lives Interview. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
  13. ^ Run For Your Lives | Party Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  14. ^ Run For Your Lives | Entertainment Run For Your Lives. Retrieved 2012-01-03.
  15. ^ Run For Your Lives | Celebrities
  16. ^ Project Sole | Saving Brains & Sparing Soles Project Sole. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  17. ^ Run For Your Lives Hong Kong | complaints on Facebook