Back in May of this year I ran in the undisputed king of obstacle races, Tough Mudder. It was 10 miles of agony up and down Mount Snow in Vermont, broken up by twenty seven obstacles ranging in difficulty from the absolutely brutal to the positively pedestrian and in the end the experience acted as a sort of benchmark for the 10 months of training I’d undergone to get fit and lose a shitload of weight. I did really well and the run was a lot of fun. So much fun, in fact, that I’m already signed up for next year’s Tough Mudder New England.
Coming off of Tough Mudder was a lot like being high. I buzzed with energy and everything around me seemed far less intense in the wake of that run. I badly wanted to do it again or something like it but these races tend to be pretty expensive so I had to gradually come down from the buzz and get on with my regular life but you better believe that I became pretty familiar with the many varieties of these runs. Since Spartan Race, Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder gained steam, it looked like every venue in the world capable of hosting a race like this suddenly had their own. You had Renegade Playground, Metro Dash, Muddy Buddy, Jailbreak, Rugged Maniac, etc. and each one of them was more of the same. Many of them take place at the same venue and they feature more or less the same track so you can honestly make the claim that if you’ve run one 5K obstacle race, you’ve run them all. I mean honestly, how many cargo nets can you climb and pits of mud can you run through before it starts to feel stale? If you’re going to jump into the mix and run your own obstacle race you had better have an angle that nobody else has considered and I think I may have found it in Run For Your Lives.
Run For Your Lives, on the surface, looks like a cross between a Warrior Dash and a fairground haunted hayride but it’s actually pretty novel. You, as a racer, are outfitted with a belt that holds numerous flags that represent your health. The zombies are out on the track and they want to take all your flags. If you run out of flags, you “die”. If you’re dead, you get no prizes. There are several routes to the end and ways to replenish your health. There’s also 12 obstacles and a lot of zombies. Sounds like an awful lot of fun, if you ask me. Unfortunately, the only Run For Your Lives event is currently happening in Baltimore, not a convenient drive from the New Hampshire Seacoast, you know? Remarkably, the price tag for this race isn’t what the other races are. These tend to run no less than $85 if you get in early. Run For Your Lives is set at $67. If you’re local to Baltimore and in the sort of shape to run it – I can’t stress enough that fitness is a must, in spite of the novelty – register and report back to me. Personally, this is the sort of thing I’d kill to run.