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Zombie Run Malaysia 2013

Zombie Run Malaysia 2013

The Lore

"The night is darker than usual. A lone man is walking near the remains of a shopping mall previously known as One Utama. Even the moon is sallow, the colour of a week old corpse. It illuminates 5 people walking down the deserted street. They’ve heard rumours that this part of town is infected. They should be afraid but they’ve swallowed some pills and are feeling euphoric, invincible. Ahead is the Bukit Utama Park where apparently the infected were herded like contaminated cattle after the grisly battle and then fenced off. Now this is where people looking for trouble come, egged by false courage.

One, an adrenaline jock just wants the next thrill. His best friend who never says no to him follows behind, eyes darting around with fear he will not admit. Ever so often he looks at the chick next to him, a Goth-lolita with crimson lips. She said to him earlier, “bring me the heads of the living dead, and I’ll show you a good time.”

The jock’s kid brother follows, chubby from too much nasi lemak but dying to fit in with the cool crowd. And then there’s YOU. A thrill seeker, you’ve hooked up with this band of crazies because hell, it’s a Saturday night and you heard there might be zombies.

This is the known story. It started with a botanist by the name of Alfian close on a cure for cancer. He’d won many awards in the field of medicinal plants. He’d found a way to control violent epilepsy, pretty much cured bi-polarism and rumour had it could even regenerate decaying tissue. He was a man driven for the improvement of humankind, for helping the sick, for prolonging life.

What many do not know that underlying his obsession was a darker agenda. Alfian desired to cheat death…

He sought immortality, literally. There is a myth about a plant that is able to stun ageing and reinvigorate limbs. A fountain of youth. Or at the very least something that can stop the Grim Reaper cold in his tracks. He fantasied about the glory. This narcissism led him to neglect his girlfriend Zafira who followed him into madness but is fast realising that the man she fell in love with was long gone replaced by a mad scientist.

And then he discovered it, a dwarf species of the Rafflesia known for its death-stench. He found that its stamen is able to reknit itself back to health when bugs come and feed upon its nectar. And to please Zafira, he named it Zaflessia. He’s close to unlocking immortality, there were several prototypes ready for testing.

And then Zafira came, issuing an ultimatum. They had an ugly fight followed swiftly by a desperate make-up. As he slept, she laid in the dark and realised she would never be first. Walking softly to his lab, in a fit of sudden rage she smashed his research.

Liquids and fumes permeatde the air creeping in crevices, airborne and sinister. And those that inhaled, suffocated in their sleep. But death was not the end, the mutated spores moulded with organs and veins and in the deep of the night metamorphosed into something much, much worse. The next day Alfian found Zafira passed outside the lab, most of her body covered in a strange cocoon-like web.

He tried to free her but it seemed that the cocoon was actually part of her. Crazed, and realising his folly, he devoted his time to finding a cure. What he didn’t realise was that she was already dead.

A week later Zafira broke free of her chrysalis, unfurling decayed limbs into the walking dead. Elsewhere similar cocoons were breaking free.

A noise startled the jock. A moan. A terrible sound of dragging, a shambling of rotted flesh and unholy intent. He finds himself surrounded by the mutants, dead people made

limber by the spores of the malicious flower. He swings his fists and contacts with rotted meat. The zombie turns and bites his hand off.

Propelled by his screams, best friend tries to help him but too late another who looks like she could be a Tiger beer auntie buries her teeth into his neck. Her sharp nails thrusts into his stomach bringing forth entrails. His eyes widen in shock looking at Goth-lolita who has turned paler than her white make-up.

There is a terrible sound of Tiger beer auntie chomping and slurping down entrails. Goth-lolita runs only to face a zombie hoard. She turns in time to see a construction foreign worker taking a huge chunk out of kid brother’s side. He’s squealing like a stuck pig. The zombie he rips apart his head and scoops out brains, warm and trickling with head juice.

Goth-lolita finds a branch and brings up this fragile weapon, swiping wildly. Damn it, she’ll go down fighting. From the ground, a legless zombie grabs her legs and tears it off. She falls, tears streaming down her face and crawls making small animal sounds as the hoard envelops her.

And suddenly there’s silence, with only the sound of feeding. They make quick work of her meat and then red-eyed and still so very hungry turn their putrefying heads to YOU."

- Concept by Chacha and Helena Bin
- Written by Honey Ahmad

What you just read was the initial part of the ongoing Zombie Run saga where, through a revolutionary new adventure race format, the overall winner will get to decide how the next part of the story plays out. Participants form teams of 5, are given an objective and basically try to survive the hoards of zombies whilst trying to achieve that given objective. The setting takes place in a jungle that stretches out for almost 45 hectares with obstacles such as broken walls, abandoned huts, and destroyed cars scattered about. Participants were told to choose their captain wisely as failing to do so would ensure swift elimination of the team. In the words of the Great Zombie Lord Chacha, "A great leader can always redeem a team, but a selfish one will almost always decimate it". Here are the rules that were given:

Next : Zombie Run Malaysia 2013 (Part 2)

The Plan

After weeks of counting down to the big day, my team, which consists of two of my brothers, Omar and Aidan, my good friend Andy and his brother Raimy (and of course myself) - a team that was also aptly named as 'The Band of Brothers', rushed to the Canyon Paintball Park in Bukit Utama well prepared to give Wave 4 of the run our best shot! After registering our team at the registration tent, we were given blue bibs that had small red triangles velcroed to the back that represented the 'lives' that we had remaining. Team captains were given more and had the ability to resurrect their fallen teammates by just transferring any spare 'lives' that they had. The layout of the venue had been released beforehand so we then grouped together to go over the tactics that we had thought up beforehand.

Zombie Run Layout

Before the run we had decided that we were going to sprint straight for Zone 4 and 5, then work our way back through Zone 1 and head through Zone 3 and 2 before reaching the Holding Zone. The rationale behind this was purely economical as we were trying to ensure that if we required access to the Zombie Market, it would be somewhere that we would have had to run through anyway to get back to the start. This meant that if we required access to the Zombie Market in order to use the Zombify perk after the first two zones, we would only have to go through zone 4, zone 5, then the Market, then through zone 1 and back to the Holding zone. Then we would have to go back through zone 1,  2 and 3, then back through zone 1 to finish off at the Holding zone rather than having to go through zone 1, zone 2, back to zone 1, then to zone 5 to get to the Market. Then back to zone 1 to get to the Holding zone and back again to get through zone 3, then zone 1 to get to zone 4, and back through zone 1 to finish off at the Holding zone. The time and distance taken for the latter would have far surpassed that of the former. 

We were also aware that there were several types of zombies that were to move differently. 'Stumbler Zombies' were described as being "zombies that stumble, crawl, shamble, etc like normal zombies. Usually will be in strategic places to snatch lives away since they are not limber. Slow, but dangerous in groups". 'Chaser Zombies' on the other hand were described as being "running zombies that chase you till your health strap is in their hands. Beware of them, you might be able to outrun one of them.. but against a pack, your best bet is a miracle" so we knew beforehand that different tactics may be required depending on the type of zombies that we were to eventually encounter.

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The Band of Brothers pre-run. Courtesy of Andy Saiden

Next : Zombie Run Malaysia 2013 (Part 3)

The Zombie Run

As soon as the participants were released from the Holding zone, my team sprinted through zone 1 all the way to zone 4 like we had planned beforehand. Zone 1 almost entirely consisted of Stumbler zombies so was surprisingly easy to transverse. Zone 4 on the other hand consisted mainly of Chaser zombies. This is where the fun began! I was wearing my GoPro on a bicycle helmet and since we were the first team to reach zone 4, were swarmed by these zombies probably because they simply had no one else to go after. This worked in our favour though as my team mates found it fairly easy to get to the first token as the main bulk of Chasers had been drawn away by me. 

Courtesy of Andy Saiden (www.andysaiden.com)

Courtesy of Andy Saiden

There was a brief regrouping just before we went into the adjacent Zone 5. One thing that I noticed was that Omar and Aidan naturally seemed to team up as did Andy and Raimy. For some reason we also seemed to work flawlessly as a team without much communication between each other, almost as if we had rehearsed the whole run several times before. Another thing that struck me was how quickly things unfolded. We managed to get the first two tokens (zone 4 and 5) in a matter of minutes - 5 minutes 50 seconds to be precise. Navigating the course this quickly didn't give us much time to appreciate the time that had been put into the makeup and outfits for the zombies. The adrenaline coursing through our bodies left everything somewhat a blur. 

Courtesy of Andy Saiden (www.andysaiden.com)

Courtesy of Andy Saiden

Our tactics quickly changed from brute speed to covertness as upon entering zone 3, we realised that there were zombies that were heavily camouflaged and lay hidden ready to ambush unsuspecting participants. Our team stuck together and slowly circled the perimeter of the zone in order to get to the tokens that were most often than not placed at the far end of the zone. Similar tactics were also employed for the adjacent zone 2.  As soon as all 5 tokens were secured, we sprinted back towards the Holding zone as we knew that every second wasted would count. Time taken was 14 minutes and 25 seconds, with all  5 tokens and all 5 team members still alive.

Courtesy of Andy Saiden (www.andysaiden.com)

Courtesy of Andy Saiden

Suunto Movescount Stats

2a

2b

The full page of the recorded run can be found on my Movescount Page.

Next : Zombie Run Malaysia 2013 (Part 4)

Only much later were we actually able to appreciate the zombies themselves (I mean the makeup!). They came in all shapes and sizes, each with a different persona and costume.

Courtesy of Andy Saiden

Courtesy of Andy Saiden

Courtesy of Andy Saiden (www.andysaiden.com)

Courtesy of Andy Saiden

Courtesy of Andy Saiden (www.andysaiden.com)

Courtesy of Andy Saiden

Courtesy of Andy Saiden (www.andysaiden.com)

Courtesy of Andy Saiden

Courtesy of Andy Saiden (www.andysaiden.com)

Prize giving ceremony. Courtesy of Andy Saiden

The prize giving was held after the final wave results had come through and after being interviewed by the Star newspaper. We were fortunate enough to be the extremely happy recipients of a Nintendo Wii U Deluxe set each! Not only that but there was also numerous other goodies like a Nestle hamper for each team member as well as a magnificent looking pavlova at the end. A thoroughly enjoyed event and one that we will be looking forward to again next year!

Pictures courtesy of Andy Saiden. His website can be found here.

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