I am Runner 5!

If you have read my blog before you will know that:

  1. I am a bit geeky.
  2. I’ve been getting fit for my forthcoming wedding (I’ve lost 2 stone!)

So imagine my joy when I found a great running app called Zombies, Run!. It’s basically an adventure story that you listen to while you are running. You play the character ‘Runner 5” and you’ve got to help your base rebuild from the ruins of civilization by going out and collecting critical supplies.

I am Runner 5! (Me sporting the official ‘Zombies, Run!’ T-shirt)

When you start your run, your base (Able Township) will give you a mission (from what I’ve done so far most missions last about 30 minutes) and then the app will play you tracks from your own music playlist as if your base is broadcasting it from their radio tower, it will then briefly interrupt the music every now & then to let you know you’ve found something, “You’ve picked up a first aid kit”. After each track someone will update you on your progress and how the mission is going, and letting you know if zombies are nearby. They will tell you If you need to speed up, slow down, and more importantly if you are being CHASED BY ZOMBIES!!!

Once you have completed your mission you will be told to return to base and the app switches to radio mode. This mode is basically the same as the mission mode but the story won’t progress any further. Instead two DJ’s from Able Township (the base) will give you light conversation between tracks. This basically gives you opportunity to ‘collect’ more items for the rest of your run. Once you have finished running you can then use the items you’ve collected to develop your base and help your surviving population thrive. My base as gone from a population of about 60 to around 150. You can then post your progress on Twitter. With a bigger base comes more missions and some unexpected surprises!

I started using the app about a month ago on ‘Accelerometer’ mode while using my Wii Fit. So yes, I had been doing a lot of running on the spot, and the app would detect the motion of my iPhone and calculate my approximate pace. Yeah, yeah, I know, I was a bit lame, it’s not real running, but using ‘Zombies, Run!’ had made double the about of time I spend ‘Free Running’ on the Wii Fit and made me want to go out running for real. So that was my next plan, go out on the streets, turn on the GPS, turn on  the ‘Zombie Chase’ option, go for a run and see where the story would take me.

The first run I did was at night. I put on my black jogging bottoms and hoodie, and headed out into the darkness. I thought I was ready, I thought I was prepared. I wasn’t…

I turned out that running on the spot is NOTHING like the real thing (who knew). After about 10 minutes out I felt shattered, but I was scared. I was out on my own, and expecting zombies to attack me at any moment so I kept on running. A police car slowed as it passed me, so I turned the corner and started heading down a side road. I know I had done nothing wrong but the sight of the police car had given me a wake up call;

  1. It’s late at night.
  2. I am dressed in black with a black hoodie.
  3. I am running.
  4. If stopped, the police would probably not believe me if I told them I was being chased by zombies.

As the mission was over anyway I decided it was time for me to head home. I collapsed on the sofa, and started allocating my supplies. I had been out for about an hour. The next day I could hardly walk. I could hardly walk for a week. I ached all over. The next week I decided that from now on I would do more of a ‘Zombies, Walk!’ than ‘Zombies, Run!’.  So that’s what I’ve been doing. Walking.

I have being doing Chichester’s Wall’s Walk, starting off slow at first, just incase I need to speed up due to the threat of Zombies. As it’s easy to complete the walk in less than half an hour, I’ve got into the habit of doing laps or adding to the route. I normally go out for an hour, given myself around 30 minutes to complete the mission and then 30 minutes of ‘radio’ time. Sometimes i’ll jog, sometimes I’ll stroll but I will always be out long enough to complete the mission.

Hang on… Wait…. what’s that? Behind you! No!! No!!! It’s them! They must have broken through the barriers!!!  Zombies, RUN!!!!!!!

An ultra-immersive running game for the iPhone, iPod Touch, & Android.