Walking Dead Escape SDCC 2014

The Walking Dead Escape may just be the most fun you can have while running for your life. Based on the hit comic and ΓΌber popular television show, The Walking Dead, the offsite event took over Petco park again.

This year there were three ticket options available. As a “survivor”, participants test their nerves and stamina as they navigate through an “Zombie infected Evacuation Zone”, dodging walkers while crawling, climbing and running through a variety of physical challenges; as a “walker”, where participants get full make-up treatment and step into the role of the undead on the course; and as an “spectator”, where folks can watch the action from the distance.

With the event, being described as an“obstacle course meets haunted house”, I chose to take part in this year's fun, and boy was I not ready. I really should have followed Columbus's Zombieland rule #1, cause Cardio. This was the first year that any of the Museled members accepted the offer to run the course, and really I wasn't sure what to expect. Armed with only stretch pant, sneakers and an ewoking dead shirt I headed into the fray as a survivor.

Before the obstacle begins your taken to the gates of the militarized zone where a speaker on the bullhorn warns everyone to stay away from the outbreak, and that you are safe from outbreak. The army reminds you that it's not real, but once those uniform clad “officers” begin yelling at you to run, that something has gone wrong and the walkers start appearing the sheer terror sets in as your lungs begin to give out.

That initial boost of adrenaline is put to the test as you hustle up the ramps of Petco park dodging and weaving, trying to avoid the infected. It's all about getting from point A to point B, with no time limit. All you have to do is survive it all. Choosing your running group is essential, as you'll need to not only navigate the course, but at times distract the walkers to get by them. The buddy system is certainly essential, but at the same time don't form attachments.

I went in alone, and made friends on the course, but completely lost my group at the first big scare, and my lone surviving partner was taken out via real paramedics before we were half way through. The night didn't feel all too hot, but the humidity can definitely fool you, and she became faint from dehydration. A long con day certainly takes its toll. But as I said “adieu” to Sara, I did get a very kick ass partner, Batman. Seriously, if you can't be Batman, you should run with Batman for the Walking Dead Escape.

Between some batastic moves and witty repartee those walkers didn't stand a chance. The course consists of plenty of running, stair climbing, but no real crazy obstacles. Batman did far more sliding under tables, and jumping on cars to avoid walkers than I did. I tried to take video during the course, but it wasn't clear at all with the running and screaming. The course did teach me that I'm definitely a screamer during the 45-minute experience, and that navigating a zombie apocalypse is way harder than it looks even with slow moving zombies. I'll have to give it another go next year and arm myself with a go-pro to get some good video.

The Walking Dead: Escape is currently touring the country and well worth experiencing if you’re a zombie enthusiast. So limber up and get ready to get in touch with your inner Daryl Dixon or Michonne, its a ton of fun, you definitely won't regret it. Tickets can be purchased via The Walking Dead Escape website or on Tickets.com as part of a marketing partnership with Tickets.com, and don't forget to bring your own Batman, you'll need him!

PHOTO CREDIT: Eric Charbonneau


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