Can You Survive The Zombie Dash? E-mail

by LeAnn Secord

Find out at sunset on April 28, 2012 at Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery (3142 Four Mile Rd NE)! Race against darkness and a zombie apocalypse! “The Zombie Dash” is not your typical 5K race. Not only is the race held as darkness falls, but as you are running (for your life) you need to gather supplies at three depots, and avoid encounters with the undead.

“Fortunately, the strain of infection turning people into zombies in the area has altered their palette. They hunger for apples instead of human flesh and brains. But they do not want you to reach your home base with the much needed supplies. They will try to scare you and try to block your way from the trail,” reassuringly warns Mark VanTongeren, Race Director and the brains (pun intended) behind Michigan Adventure Racing.

The registration fee for survivors (runners) is $28.00. Racing not your forte? Participate for free as a zombie (if you’d like a race t-shirt the cost is $12.00)! Feel free to dress for the occasion, but please keep costumes family-friendly.

The race will begin at 8:30pm with waves starting every five minutes (the last wave starting at 9:00pm). Be sure you bring along a headlamp or flashlight (required for later waves, recommended for all waves of racers).

“The Zombie Dash” is going to be a gruesomely great event supporting an incredible cause! The race’s charity partner is Michigan Blood and the Michigan Blood Stem Cell Program. The Michigan Blood Stem Cell Program “recruits potential marrow/stem cell donors for the National Marrow Donor Program’s ‘Be The Match’ registry.” Take the opportunity to learn how to save a life, before or after you run for your own!

Race sponsors include: Gazelle Sports (Lead Sponsor), Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus, and Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery.

To learn more and keep up to date on the race details, visit Facebook and the official website.

Adventuring racing is exponentially increasing in popularity, especially in West Michigan. This was evident at last year’s first “Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race”. Expecting maybe 150 racers, Mark VanTongeren hosted a very successful event drawing over 750 participants! Adventuring racing typically involves 3 facets: 1) incorporates multi-sport components (running, biking, orienteering), 2) features an open course, and 3) is map-based. Adventuring racing usually involves 2-person teams and “brings your brain into the race more than most sports.”

In addition to the “The Zombie Dash” on April 28th, there will be an additional Zombie Dash on Halloween weekend with a few surprises and twists. Michigan Adventure Racing has several other inventive race opportunities this year. On May 19, 2012, gear up for the “Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race – Spring Edition” at Millennium Park (this race will test your skills on dirt, road, beach, and water!). This edition will be in support of Catherine’s Health Center. Come June 16, 2012 at Seidman Park in Ada for the “Hurt the Dirt” trail race featuring a 5K, 10K, and half marathon race. On July 14, 2012, the “Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race – Summer Edition” will start at Riverside Park, will take racers into downtown, and will even involve canoeing on the Grand River! There are many more events planned for the year. Visit for details on these races and many others.

Whether your draw is racing through the dark avoiding the lurking zombie masses, exploring different parts of the area while exercising, testing your physical limits, or just having a great time through a new experience, Michigan Adventure Racing has something for everyone.

“The ultimate goal is to get more people addicted to these races, enjoying the outdoors, and smiling at the same time, making West Michigan an even better place to be attacked by the undead than before,” cheerfully shares VanTongeren.


Published: April 3, 2012

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