On the Loose

NORTHVILLE – Hoards of zombies could be found hiding in the bushes and walking the streets of the village as runners frantically attempted to maneuver their way through a 5K course without losing their lives Saturday morning.

While the sight may have looked like a scene from “The Walking Dead,” the participants and “zombies” were actually taking part in the 5K Zombie Run, which was hosted as a fundraiser for the Northville Central School District’s class of 2018.

The goal was simple. The participants were each given three flags, or “lives,” to be tied around their waists. It was their mission to make it through the race with at least one of the lives remaining. However, throughout the course, volunteers dressed as zombies lurked around corners and behind obstacles, looking to find victims.

The further participants made it along the designated course, the more challenging the zombies became. Their numbers also increased as the race went on.

“We have seen it done at other places and thought it would be a fun and interesting way to get the community involved,” said class of 2018 president Karlie Foster. “It promotes fitness, and they have all these shows like ‘The Walking Dead,’ so who wouldn’t want to see if they could survive a zombie apocalypse?”

The zombie volunteers were made up of students, family and friends of the eighth-grade class. The zombies were in character with tattered clothing stained in fake blood, and ranged from 3-year-old toddlers to mature adults.

“I just want to eat their flesh and take their lives,” class treasurer Jarett Sweet joked about the reason he chose to be a zombie.

Despite the heavy morning showers, the event had more than 30 participants run the race. The money raised will go to the class of 2018’s future expenses, which include any trip and prom expenses and other purchases, Foster said.

The race course started in front of the Northville athletic fields and made its way down Third Street, turning on Van Arnam Avenue and South Main Street before heading across the spillway and down Skiff Road. Racers turned around and headed back to the school at a water checkpoint on Skiff Road.

Northville resident Steve Williams said he was impressed with the students’ efforts to get the flags from his waist, and with how they organized the event.

“It was a lot of fun and a great community event,” Williams said. “I was glad to be a part of it. The kids did a good job putting it together and I think they enjoyed it just as much.”

Meanwhile, 11-year-old Cayden King, of Gloversville, said the presence of zombies added to the excitement and pushed him to run faster.

Class members and advisors said following the race they hope to host a similar event in the future.