How much faster can you run if hundreds of zombies were after you trying to recruit you into the ranks of the undead?

The plucky 10,000 people who turned up for Race The Dead, held on Oct 26 and 27, found out in Singapore’s first zombie-themed run.

The 5-km race, organised by Celebrity Trainer (an online lifestyle classifieds), at Sentosa put out the challenge of who would survive an actual zombie apocalypse, the kind seen in popular television shows like The Walking Dead and video games such as Left 4 Dead.

Split into 119 waves over both days, runners assembled at Tanjong Beach before being flagged off on a race route that consisted of a collection of 10 zombie horde areas (also known as ʻKill Zonesʼ) and 5 obstacles.  Each participant had to protect the 2 life flags given to him/her pre-race for the duration of the run, from being ripped up by the 400 convincingly costumed and made up zombies roaming the island.

Limited to one per runner, these flags could also be redeemed by approaching volunteers stationed at a tent set up along the race route, known as the ‘Life Zone’. Participants were only entitled to this privilege given they had one remaining life flag each.

Despite the use of convincing military-styled props such as triangular plastic cones, raffia ropes and even a giant inflatable wading pool, the obstacles, which included jumping over waist-high barriers and commando crawling under a giant net, weren’t quite as challenging to some.

“It would’ve been scarier if zombies were stationed at each obstacle,” quipped 20-year-old national serviceman, Ramesh Vengada.

Upon crossing the finishing line at Siloso Beach, runners who were stripped bare of their life flags were categorised as ʻinfectedʼ, while those who had at least one flag intact were coined glorified ʻsurvivors’ and awarded t-shirts that proudly displayed ʻsurvivorʼ to certify their success in eluding the flesh-eating creatures.

Spotting finishers who had plonked themselves under palm trees to seek refuge from the blistering heat, UrbanWire managed to catch up with runners, who had paid $65.90 to be part of this, on their thoughts about the race. Some collective gripes included wanting to see even more zombies and seemingly endless blank stretches that couldʼve been more exciting with added obstacles.

“Although it was quite fun, being a new concept, much more can be improved,” said 25-year-old participant, Grace Yeo.

So, without the allure of novelty next year, can we expect a more enticing subsequent instalment of Race The Dead?

“I reckon the obstacles may get a little harder. We haven’t worked it out yet, but we want to do a 2014,” event organiser, 21-year-old Samantha De Mello, told UrbanWire.