First of all, you’re always inviting trouble when you deal with metrics. What’s wrong with the All-American mile?
More importantly, this is a Halloween Zombie Fun Run, which means that most of the entrants aren’t hardcore runners looking to set personal best times.
3.1 miles isn’t that hard to cover when you run only once a year. Heck, you can walk most of it and not even break a sweat.
Bump that distance to 6.2 miles, however, and you’re opening the door to cramping, chest pains, shortness of breath, rivers of sweat, and people passing out in the streets.
Plus, at the Zombie Fun Run, most participants are decked out in bulky Halloween costumes, that are bound to slow their progress. Add to that the fact that onlookers are encouraged to pelt the runners with Halloween candy.
That makes for a very slow pace over twice the normal distance.
Maine has a sizeable Zombie population, most of which is confined to the North Woods and monitored around the clock by Maine Zombie Hunters.
But every Halloween Season, the Zombies are allowed to move into more populated areas to give the tourists a thrill.
And the culmination of it all is the Zombie Fun Run on October 30.
As you know, Zombies are painstakingly slow. They trudge along at a clip that even a drunk could stay ahead of on a bad day, but over the course of 6.2 miles, on crowded streets, in a heavy costume, while people are pelting you with candy, an out of shape individual might not be able to outrun a determined pack of hungry Zombies.
I warned race officials that something horrible was bound to happen, but they assured me that every precaution was being taken to make sure the Zombies never caught up with the slowest participants in the race.
One thing I’ve learned in my fifteen years in Maine is to never underestimate the freakish powers of any Otherworldly Being.
Especially ones that are starving and craving brains.
I’m not going to go into the gruesome details, but let’s just say that fewer runners finished the race than started it, while more Zombies made it to the finish line than were at the starting line.
Congratulations to Mike Harris of Bangor, who finished first in the Men’s Division, and Meaghan Walcott of Ellsworth, who finished first in the Women’s Division.
Happy Halloween. If you see any Zombies, pick up the pace. Better safe than eaten…