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Beer Battered Brains

Downtown Bend transforms into a race for survival

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In a 2009 interview, Max Brooks, author of the best selling "The Zombie Survival Guide," and "WWZ" was asked about the continuing obsession with mindless, gruesome, flesh-hungry zombies. He claimed that zombies are a concrete way to deal with fear of the intangible.

"You can't shoot the financial meltdown in the head—you can do that with a zombie," said Brooks. "All the other problems are too big. As much as Al Gore tries, you can't picture global warming. You can't picture the meltdown of our financial institutions. But you can picture a slouching zombie coming down the street."

This weekend, the obsession continues with Bend's Zombie Run, where participants will follow the bouncing brains, splattered blood and guts on the 5k race course.

Runners will choose their own fate as a survivor or a zombie, departing from the Bellatazza courtyard. Survivors will flee hordes of zombie runners following them and face lurking "super zombies" hiding in the dark corners of the course.

Survivors get a 3-minute head start— scarcely enough time for a clean escape—and will be forced to make puzzle stops along the way for brain challenges, allowing the zombies to catch up and attempt to snatch survivor's belted flags rendering them "dead."

Part capture the flag, part obstacle course and part mini-marathon—with the potential to seriously terrify some unsuspecting bystanders in downtown—the race will end with an apocalypse party at Crow's Feet Commons.

Zombie Run

Saturday, Oct. 19, 6 pm.

Downtown Bend

$25. bendzombierun.com

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