Oct 29, 2014

Zombie Running - Blood and Guts Run Recap and Review

The opportunity to run this race recently fell into my lap. I have my daughter to thank actually. We were purchasing a plethora of My Little Pony items for her birthday party when the unexpected happen. We spent over a magical dollar amount that earned me a free entry to do a zombie obstacle course. Felt random but free? Yep, it's for me.

Zombies, Obstacles and Mud, Oh My!

The Blood and Guts Run is a zombie themed obstacle course 5K. The zombies were minimal impact. They lined the course sporadically: some lumbering slowly down the path, some coming out of tall grass to scare you, some chasing you from behind to startle you. There were some nicely done zombies, but they had little impact to the race. There were several stations that were zombies squirting you with "blood", but the water wasn't even red by the time we got there, and we were one of the middle start corrals, which was disappointing.

Some people costumed up for the race which was nice. There were people as zombies, general Halloween costumes and some zombie slayers. I saw one girl with a corset zombie killer outfit on - complete with two play guns strapped to her back - that was pretty sweet as well as a little 3 foot tall Captain America. You get 'em, Cap! They came in all shapes and sizes. I opted to use this as an opportunity to break out my team shirt from my intramural softball team in college: the Amputated Stumps. It just felt appropriate.

Blood and Guts Run

The obstacle course was fun but just challenging enough. It was not (and nor should it be) on par with an obstacle course on the level of say a Spartan Race or Warrior Dash, but I wouldn't expect or want it to be. There was a fairly large number of "up and overs" as I'd call it: small wall, tall plank walls, inclines with ropes, etc. Spread throughout the obstacles were muddy patches. I say it that way for a reason. They didn't feel like enough to be an obstacle or a part of the race like a mud run, but were more than just mud developing from all the runners in that portion of the field. It felt more like someone decided "Hey, let's mix it up. Hose down the straight aways so it gets muddy." I'm not saying that's the way it was carried out, but just how it felt at times. It didn't always seem to server a purpose, nor did it feel like it was thought through to balance the amount of water properly to get good mud as opposed to just muddy and flooded areas. Some parts were fun to run through but some took away from the experience.

I ran this race with my namesake John. We had a blast on the course and I enjoyed the company to chat while we ran. My favorite story has to be the army crawl section. One obstacle was simply called the army crawl: netting set low to the ground over mud that you were meant to crawl through. One side was all water while the other was mud. Naturally, most people (including us) chose the mud side. When you got down in it, we'll just say it smelled "country" so we did hands and knees as opposed to down on our chest. We come out the other side and John makes the remark "What, you didn't army crawl? Where's the mud?" Just as he finishes, karma hits. He slips falls straight down on his back. He gets up, does a little slippy slide and back down again, this time on the front. Covered in mud. Oh so funny. I of course didn't dare laugh until I was across the puddle though. He's faster than I am, so really helped push my pace early on. It felt good and I kept pace, but by the end I was gassed and let him finish strong ahead of my slower pace.

Unofficial time: ~50:00

Post Race Swag

After finishing the race, you were greeted with a nice little medal and your cotton t-shirt for finishing. Pretty nice swag for a small little 5K. As you walked down further, they gave out protein bars. Not one, but one box full. A nice unexpected bonus.

From there, we wanted to hit 2 important things (after hosing off some mud): the food trucks that smelled so good and the beer garden. We had an 11:30 am start time, so it was perfect time to eat. We chose a truck that smelled wonderful: the Urban Bumpkin BBQ. The whole menu looked fantastic. I chose the Alaskan frybread taco, with Asian beef brisket. Oh my goodness did I choose wisely. I had several people telling me after seeing mine they were mad they ordered anything else. I was not disappointed. It was well worth however many points it would cost me, not that I bothered trying to find out how many it would be. From there we took our food to eat in the beer garden, featuring 3 craft brews: a pumpkin beer, an IPA and an amber ale. I can't remember where they were from, but I know at least one (if not all) was local. Nothing like a food truck plate and cold beer to celebrate the race with.

Race Review

I had a really good time on this race. I wish I had been running more recently so I wasn't so gassed at the end, but I enjoyed myself. It was just tough enough without being overbearing. It kept its fun. The main downside was the odd thing about the mud that I mentioned. I have no problem with it being "an obstacle" of the course but it felt so haphazard that it was hard to enjoy. It felt less of a challenge and more of an hinderance to the rest of the race. I was pleasantly surprised to earn some bling and had a good time. Weather was perfect, and the course route was nice. I enjoyed and would do again.

Race grade: B

Check out my review on BibRave

Final Take Away

Did I have a fun time doing it?

Could it be improved?
Yes, survey was provided via email immediately following, which was nice touch.

Would I do it again?


  1. I haven't done a themed run yet - I'd love to try the Disney/ Marvel Half Marathon at Disneyland some day. But a zombie run looks like a lot of fun. I'm a Walking Dead fan and all around zombie enthusiast so this would be in my wheelhouse. I can appreciate the zombies being low impact - you never know when someone would take things too far.

    Nice job recapping the race.

    1. Thanks. The Avengers Half looks great, as well as the Star Wars. Both are themes to my own geek heart.

      My cousin ran a zombie run once that was more of almost a flag football zombie race. You essentially got three flags on you and your goal was to run the 5K without the zombies grabbing all of them or you were "dead". While that sounds fun, I'm hardly fast enough to feel like I could do that, unless they all operate at the slow lumbering zombie pace maybe.

      I really liked the way this race was run though with the obstacles. There were some people who clearly put a lot of working into their zombie costumes which was really cool.

  2. Yay for My Little Pony...haha! I think this race would be a blast to watch, but I don't think I'd want to participate in one! ~M

    1. Yeah, we've seen the whole new series several times over. Well, my wife more than me, though I've seen most of it. Luckily, we know they're working on a new season, so there will be some variety eventually, haha.

      It was a good time. I enjoyed. Could be fun to watch too. I enjoyed watching when other people jumped and was scared by something I saw coming, so that would be only doing that without having to run. Haha.

  3. I love it when races put out a survey! Glad you had fun and free is always nice!

    1. Yeah. I actually had the survey before I even got home which was funny.