More than 1,000 run from zombies at fairgrounds

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - What happens when you take two fads--an obstacle course and the undead?

You get, a zombie run. It's a popular event that's infecting the nation and drawing in some killer crowds to the Harrison County Fairgrounds. Roughly 1,200 people flocked to Zombie Run Gulf Coast on Saturday.

"You can either volunteer as a zombie. They're doing zombie check in right now. You get make up. Costume and all of that. Or you can come as a runner," Executive Director of Hands on Mississippi Holly Gibbs.

Runners wore tags and ran a 3.5 mile course infested with zombies wearing blood splattered clothing and trying to steal their tags. Only those with tags at the end were considered survivors.

Those who didn't ended up with a different fate.

"You get bitten. You have to get eaten by a zombie and then. That's what I've watched on TV. You get eaten by a zombie and then WHAM you're a zombie," Michele Bennington said.

Staying true to the zombie genre, organizers created fun challenges for runners like a haystack climb and mud pit making it all the more difficult to avoid the undead.

But the event wasn't all about fun. It was also meant to raise money for surgeries for children with cleft palates.

"Stuff like this is good for the community. Its great stuff," said Alan Hadaway.

"I'm so happy that we finally have a zombie run in our area that isn't six hours away and also the charitable things they are doing with the money collected today is really amazing so I'm happy to be a part of that," Bennington said.

While the laughs and after party made it apparent it was no "real" zombie apocalypse the desire to be chased by fake zombies is going to help put smiles on the faces of children with serious facial and dental issues.

The non-profit group, Hands on Mississippi partnered with Zombie Run Gulf Coast to provide the 250 volunteers who helped carry out the event together.

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