Runners must dodge zombies at Auburn ski area obstacle race

Posted Aug. 02, 2013, at 6:49 a.m.

AUBURN, Maine — On your mark, get set: Braaaaaainnns.

Organizers behind the new Zombie Mountain Challenge have designed a course that will have runners zigzagging up and down the mountain at Lost Valley, dodging zombies.

It will be held at night, under the lights, on Oct. 26. Registration opened Thursday.

“You can’t have a zombie thing without it being at night,” said Walesca Whitcomb of Turner. “It might be too scary; it might not. Everybody’s going to have to gauge that themselves.”

Whitcomb, president of the Planet Cheer Parents Association, conceived of the challenge as a fundraiser for the private cheering squad. The athletes often travel for competition.

She’s mapped out the 2.65-mile course and plans at least six obstacles over mud, water, tires and logs in addition to the costumed volunteers “doing the creepy zombie gate-thing.”

“We’d love to do a contest for best zombie costume,” she said. “With (it being) almost Halloween, how can you not dress up?” Numbered bibs would help distinguish between racing zombies and scaring zombies, she said.

Registration forms are available at Lost Valley and online at the group’s Facebook page. The $35 entry fee covers a T-shirt and a participation medal. Kids race for free with a paying adult.

The shorter kids’ race will begin at 5 p.m.; the adult’s race at 7 p.m.

Whitcomb said she hopes to create an event feel with hay rides and face-painting and a separate apocalypse party after the event.

Her goal is 200 runners. Whitcomb wants the Zombie Mountain Challenge to become an annual event, maybe, each year, with just a little more zombie.

A T-shirt logo contest is open to entries until Aug. 25 in two categories: adult and 12 and younger.

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