Zombies in the City – Outbreak Manila 2
by: Jason Cruz – Follow him on Twitter @jsncruz
Runs in Manila have become a regular weekend occurrence for the past couple of years. Labeled a ‘fad’ by some, it has nonetheless gained a large and dedicated community of practitioners – from hardened elite athletes to weekend warriors. Lately though, the format has remained the same: wake up early, go to starting line, run the same route as the week before, cross finish line, go home. Outbreak Manila sought to break this monotony. On its second installment, this time at Bonifacio Global City and at night, Outbreak Manila 2 unleashed more scary zombies and even more fun.
On a wet Saturday evening, dozens of runners waited anxiously as they prepared to be released in their respective waves. A part of me knew this anxiety wasn’t on finishing quickly, not for most that is. It was more of surviving the run, as each runner was only given three red flags representing ‘lives’; lose them to the zombies, and it was game over. The first turn was merciless, with a couple of zombies already ‘killing’ some of the runners with slower reflexes.
A great gimmick used in Outbreak Manila 2 was the presence of obstacles. From elastic band ‘forests’ to a dark and creepy maze house, the run certainly lived up to its ‘scary’ and high-tension hype. The zombies were very well made-up and – provided one did not get them to break the fourth wall – really allowed a runner to be immersed in a ‘zombie apocalypse’ setting. For a more ‘zombie game’ feel, there were also a couple of spots where ‘dead’ runners could scavenge for extra lives, but these were very few and far in-between.
While there were some unsavory moments of runners slipping and falling, these accidents between runners gave Outbreak Manila 2 a more ‘realistic’ atmosphere as people gave in to panic when confronted by a horde of surprisingly agile zombies. Medical personnel quickly and efficiently treated the scrapes and bruises acquired by many a runner, enough so that plenty continued on to finish the race ‘dead’. There were also instances of runners – total strangers, mind you – working together to slip past wary zombies and onto safe spots.
Outbreak Manila 2 also included some runners in ridiculous and outrageous costumes, all in the name of having a good time. In my wave, we sent in ‘Captain America’ first into the eerie maze, while other runners dressed as priests, Ironman, and even a bee waited their turn. There were friends in matching outfits, and some runners were shrewd enough to come as, unsurprisingly, zombies.
If Outbreak Manila 2 desired to break the predictability of road races in Manila, it certainly achieved that. Should runs like these encourage more casual runners to take up running as both a sport and a hobby, the quirky event like Outbreak Manila 2 will certainly gain itself more followers from the Manila running community, one victim at a time.
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