Outbreak Manila 2 Debriefing

Outbreak Manila 2– a 5k run in Bonifacio Global City held last April 13 where you run for your life while hordes of zombies corner you in every direction, aiming to get the three life flags you’ve been provided. Joining the seventh survival wave of the remaining humans were me, Josh, Ungri, Ives, Reanne and David. Five of us were barely able to survive with just one flag left, but alas that David had to take the fall.

Back then, I really wasn’t fond of running, and track for that matter. But ever since Josh and Dave kept inviting me on their training, I began to appreciate the sport more. So yeah, I guess this is my second 5k run already. The first was in Ateneo with a route from Katipunan to Marcos Hi-way. It’s very tiring, but ironically that’s actually the fun part of it all, and also that you get to do it with friends and other aspiring strangers who share the same sentiment. Anyway, our wave was set to start at 7pm, and each wave had three set courses: the Appetizers, Main Course and Desserts.

The Appetizers were the first ones to go, meaning that they get to clash with the hungry hordes of zombies first, then the Main Course and Desserts follow after. At first I thought we were going with the Main Course ’cause the undead would probably be a bit tired by then after feasting on the Appetizers, but Josh insisted we go first. And we did- considering how few people joined the Appetizers, we had to sprint our way through. It was fun running at full speed while trying to dodge the zombies, but I also felt the danger that I could trip anytime or bump into anyone also running in full speed. Adrenaline took over, along with a bit of mass hysteria for most.

Every 250-500m would be an alternating pattern between desolate asphalts and three to an unlimited number of layers of zombies, and every 1-1.5k would be a water station and a murder site for the living. By murder site, I mean mazes, tunnels, obstacles, etc. where you’ll certainly be slowed down in your run while an army of the undead try to feast on you from all sides. Fun, eh? Now, for the top 5 tactics we used!

1.) Let other humans go first to act as decoy and when the zombies are busy with them, pass by casually without attracting too much attention. Be alert, though. Their rotting brains also know of this strategy.
2.) When you get the heat, just fake, side-step and spin!
3.) Bring your camera, and ask the undead to take a picture with you. They will and it will be considered as a white flag moment. And when they do, run away!
4.) Legally ‘hide’ your flags from their eyes. While putting them inside your pants is illegal and would disqualify you from the run, putting them behind you is not. This would give the illusion to the zombies that you could be out of flags. They’ll just focus on the ones who have them out front.
5.) Always move with hordes of people. The undead will be disoriented on the amount of food running amok. It’s a chance moment!

After all the fun, run and dodging done, there were still casualties- me included. And in the first 1km mark at that! It happened in the entrance of the first feasting site- the marshals told everyone that a water station is just beyond the tent and when we looked inside said claustrophobic tent, it was literally crawling with zombies! No one wanted to go in. Full of adrenaline at the time, I battle-cried “Ok, I’ll go first!” and sprinted ahead. Little did I know that there was a little unnoticeable wire hanging out on the side of the entrance, and my shirt and flesh happened to get hooked on it as I ran full speed ahead.

Next thing I know, my shirt was ripped and I was still running, trying to keep my balance. But I couldn’t, and I fell to the ground elbow first. To prevent further shame, I stood up right away and pretended it didn’t hurt. But it actually did. Haha! Funny how the human ego defense mechanism works. A weirdly pretty zombie girl tried to help me get back up, but I just said I’m good and ran on ahead. I met up with the guys at the water station next. I wonder how many saw my stunt from start to finish to have determined how reckless and stupid that was? Anyway, the guys joyfully treated me after the run. By joyfully, I mean them enjoying themselves as they sprayed alcohol on my open wounds. Haha. Such awesome friends.

Overall, it was a very awesome experience! We’ll definitely join again next time. But that next time maybe we’ll try auditioning as zombies so we can get to experience the other side. So should you decide to be a survivor in the next Outbreak Manila, I better see you there standing tall in the platform with medal on your neck and flags on your hand! 😉

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