www.mybaycity.com October 10, 2015
Rotary Article 10144

ZOMBIES Invade Saginaw Public Golf Course

Rotary Club of Bay City Holds Running Dead Marathon

October 10, 2015
By: Stephen Kent


Something didn't seem quite right at the Saginaw Public Golf Course last Saturday morning. Rather than the usual contingent of golfers, the former Country Club had been invaded by hundreds of people, tents, volunteers, and ZOMBIES. It proved to be the first "Running Dead Zombie Marathon" held by the Rotary Club of Bay City (noon).

"We were looking for something different as a major fund raiser this year" said Wendy Dore, Rotarian and committee member. For some 20 years the club has held their "International Night" dinner and auction in the fall. Although a very popular event, the committee wanted to try something else. Zombie runs have become a popular event nationally so it made sense to try it here.

The event turned out to be a screaming success. Over 90 volunteers participated and there were over 425 registered runners who participated in 4 races. The morning started around 6:00am, before the sun came up. Volunteers were on hand to lay out the course, set up tables, arrange all the items in the tents and generally go crazy! Wendy Dore, who runs the Golf Course, was all over the place being sure every detail was right.

Runners started arriving around 7:00 and many started in the make up room where the "Face the FX" makeup club provided free face painting. "Face the FX" is made up of high school students who meet monthly to learn the art of face painting. Each fall they become the makeup crew for the "Haunted Masonic Temple" which is run by the Bay Arts Council and its Friends of the Historic Masonic Temple. It the kids seemed tired it was because the annual Haunted house opened the night before and they had been there until the wee hours of the morning. Following the Zombie race they would go home to catch a few Z's before returning for the second night at the temple. (The Haunted Masonic Temple runs each Friday and Saturday in October.)

Four races were held: 8K, 5K run, 5K walk and the Double Z. (the "Double Z" was actually people who ran both the 8k and the 5k. "The smaller 8k will be your hard core marathoners", said Chris Girard as he followed the pack in a golf cart. "Most runners will do the 5k". The really serious runners did the Double Z.

This race had a number of unique elements. Running on a golf course was one. The crisp early morning air and brilliant sun was a beautiful location. Runners followed a course that led them across mowed meadows, past lakes, through woods, and across gentle hills. Then there were the occasional Zombies that jumped out from behind a tree or from bushes to get the heart beating faster. Rob Clark noted later that his older son finished at the front of his race. Rob was surprised to see his second son close behind. It was explained when the first son said "when he slowed down I just told him that he better run faster or a Zombie would get him."

Runners all received medals and tech t-shirts. Winners received plaques. Will the race return next year? It's not certain, but considering the success, the chances are good.

RACE FEMALE MALE
8K Run 1 JENNIFER AYERS-GOULD 1 WILL CLARK
2 JAMIE SAVAGE 2 JOSEPH SWOPE
3 SAMANTHA AVERILL 3 COLTON MAHER
5k RUN 1 LAUREN GERARD 1 NOAH REUTER-GUSHOW
2 CARRLYSSA WHITTINGTON 2 CARL VAN EPPS
3 LAURIE BENNETT 3 BRIAN FOULDS
5K WALK 1 KAT VOIZ 1 BAILEY SCHALK
2 RACHELL PAZDRO 2 RANDY BUCHANAN
3 BRENDA SCRAMLIN 3 BEN RADER
Double Z 1 JILL GUSHOW 1 DAVE LEDER
2 ELIZABETH COJEEN 2 WILLIAM GRZEGORCZYK
3 DIANE KONWINSKI 3 KEN KOCHANY


First trips onto the course were in total darkness.
Workers arrive before the sun comes up.
Sunrise was a welcome sight
Among the first to arrive were volunteer ZOMBIES!
Sunrise on a dew covered course
Trees across the course were beginning to show their fall colors

Six members of the "Face The FX" makeup club were on hand to provide face painting.
Well decayed prize winning makeup.

Rotarian Gary Reidlinger shows off his Zombie makeup.

Frank and Kerry Janca really get into the mood of things!

Wendy Dore was everywhere. Here she helps set up the finish line gate.

Morning activities kicked off with the 8k run.

"Cheering squad?"

A Zombie leaps out to surprise a runner passing through the woods.

Everyone loves a photo op

The walk/run group brings up the rear.

The unique opportunity to run on a golf course offered some great scenery.

YEAH! That's the idea.

Does it count when you get a ride?

Someone else in the spirit of the day.

Costume winners on their way to the finish.

Runners on the way back.

They probably don't know that two more Zombies are just around the corner.

Walkers approach the water station.

Tents at the clubhouse mark the rewards of the day.

A proud runner shows off her medal.

Rotarian Chris Girard hands out medals at the end.

Two young ladies approach the finish gate.

Did they start with that blood, or did they have a snack on the course?

Frank and Kerry Janca greeted finisher with medals in hand.


0202 nd 10-16-2018

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