Miriam Abbott is a big fan of obstacle courses, but doesn't much care for zombies.
So the upcoming Run For Your Lives 5K race, featuring relentless pursuit from bloodthirsty automotons, presents something of a conflict for Abbott, who lives in Clintonville.
"Actually, I have a strategy and that's to die quickly because I'm not so comfortable with zombie attention," said Abbott, who will celebrate her 44th birthday being chased by the undead.
"I appreciate zombie culture, but I'm really interested in the race," she said.
Run for Your Lives will be held May 25 at Hocking Peaks Adventure Park in Logan, Ohio.
Three races will be staggered throughout the day, beginning at 8 a.m. The last race will be held 4:30 p.m. Runner passes, $100 each, are available at the gate the day of the race. Spectators can watch for free.
Race organizers are anticipating a total 4,000 runners and 750 zombies.
In the style of flag football, each runner is given three flags attached to a belt.
While trying to complete the course, participants will try to maintain their flags while fending off snarling ghouls.
Those who finish with at least one flag are considered part of the living. Runners who finish with no flags, well, join the ranks of the zombie universe.
The course is modeled after the zombie apocalypse, and runners must crawl though pipes, traipse along balance beams, slide into the "blood pit" with sticky red-dyed water, meander through a maze and enter the smokehouse, complete with fog and mild electrical shocks, before reaching the finish line.
"It's definitely not your general 5K. The element of zombies adds to it," said Lauren Gambler, customer service manager for Reed Street Productions, which stages 20 zombie runs throughout the United States.
Reed Street started the first Run for Your Lives in October 2011 in Darlington, Md., Gambler said.
The success of TV shows such as The Walking Dead and movies including Zombieland have fueled interest in walking corpses, she said.
"A lot of people didn't think the zombie craze would last, but it did and is getting stronger," Gambler said.
"We had 13 races last year and this year we have 20," she said. "It's growing more and more each year. We're excited."