Last week, a horde of gaunt-faced rabid zombies ran riot on campus, terrifying bemused bystanders with their lack of direction, inhibition and brains. No, it wasn’t simply kicking-out time at Pop, but the annual Warwick Sport Zombie Run.
The event came courtesy of Warwick Active, a fantastic programme designed to accommodate for the sporting ability (or lack of it) of every student and staff member on campus, so not everyone participating on the day looked like a member of the men’s rugby firsts. Which was fortunate, as the undead already looked terrifying enough.
People either volunteered to be a zombie for the start of the event, at 3pm, or they were caught and ‘infected’ by pre-existing zombies. These poor victims were then subject to a swift Warwick Sport zombie makeover. Think an episode of Gok Wan, only with less overweight middle-aged women and far more blood-splattered students.
The rules of the game were pretty simple. The uninfected were given a map of campus with a series of locations marked. They then had to run to these ‘bases’ where they would receive a code. When each code had been learnt, the survivors were then permitted to enter survivor’s camp. These quick-footed students then had to proceed through quarantine, with those unfortunately infected then swiftly transformed into zombies to experience life from the other side of the grave.
One slight catch: these weren’t your The Walking Dead style zombies. The Sprinting Dead would be more appropriate. Or The Pelting-Towards-You-Quicker-Than-That-One-Sucker-Who-Always-Just-Misses-The-U1-Bus Dead. Anyone who ever criticises the student population as lazy should have been in attendance, because in my time at Warwick I’ve only ever once seen people move quicker and that was when they were admitted to the student union book-sale (R.I.P) at the start of term.
People could enter individually or in teams of five, and prizes were also awarded to the best-dressed teams. The effort people went to was genuinely fantastic, and more than a few people made damn sure they didn’t miss the opportunity to live out every Dawn of the Dead fantasy they’ve ever had. Special mention here has to go to two girls I sat next to at the Dirty Duck shortly after the event finished, both casually eating their dinners in full zombie regalia. It served as one of the more surreal moments of the day.
The event seemed to go down really well, and everyone I encountered was dead happy they had taken part. I had a quick chat with Oli and Rosine, who you can see in the accompanying picture. They looked pretty awesome, and told me that their make-up was all their own work. Oli was covered in small red dots, and looked a bit like he’d been attacked with lipstick, but these marks were simply the result of being attacked by Zombies earlier in the day, who carried a red marker to ‘dot’ their victims. ‘Being a zombie is definitely more fun, though’ he told me. ‘They absolutely sprint after the runners!’
For the next 12 months, however, we can all rest safe in our beds knowing that the harrowing prospect of a campus-wide zombie invasion is at bay. And fears of being chased around the university by the brain-eating undead can be cast aside, leaving us to return to our more traditional fears and concerns such avoiding bumping into everyone you know on campus when you’re bleary-eyed and pasty-faced after a night out; whether you’re going to die or not in your asbestos filled room on campus; and term three.