Whole Foods and Zombies (not what you think!)


So now that Thanksgiving is out of the way, we can all go back to our healthy eating habits, yes?

Nuh uh. Every year the human interest and health stories line up to remind us that we all exercise bad eating habits during the holiday season. This used to mean just the area of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but can now also include Halloween since that’s when the candy bars start appearing in office break rooms.

Is this truly horrible? Of course not; sweets are fine in moderation. But if you’ve got plans to participate in a high-impact obstacle course (Tough Mudder approaches; plan accordingly) or just generally want to avoid the sweatpants this season, this is the time you will be most tempted.

Here in the Tampa Bay area, we are fortunate to have a shortage of health food stores to aid us in the time of pumpkin pie and sugar cookies. There are two Whole Foods stores, one at 1548 North Dale Mabry Highway, the other at 3802 Northdale Boulevard; a Publix Greenwise Market on West Azeele, and an assortment of nutrition stores.

Unfortunately, all evidence to the contrary, healthy eating habits have never been a sexy subject, and it becomes even tougher to discuss good eating during the holidays when everyone is encouraging you to indulge yourself.

So TampaSportsFitness had to find a way to make healthy eating exciting. And what better encouragement can one have for proper nutrition, in this day and age, than to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse?

Unlike most other fitness websites who are urging you to eat less and avoid sweets during the holiday season (which is a good idea anyway), TampaSportsFitness has confirmed the date and time of the impending march of the lurchers, and there’s good news: there’s still time to register for it. Which means there’s also time to train for it.

The 5K Zombie Run will take place on Saturday, December 22 (assuming the Mayans are wrong and we’ll still be here) starting at 9 a.m. at the Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City. Similar to the Tough Mudder, the runner selects a start time and attempts to clear a 3.1-mile run through an obstacle course. The marketable difference, however, rests with the Zombie Run requiring participants to dodge hordes of wandering zombies, who will in turn be attempting to stop them. It’s kind of like flag football, if the end zone was 3.1 miles away, the other team lurched, and they didn’t care about the football so much as they did trying to eat your brains.

You have two choices for this race: running (listed on the registration as “bait,” so fair warning) or as a member of the undead. Those choosing to be zombies will have the option of being made up to look the part by race staff; those opting to be bait should not wear baggy clothes, as it will slow them down via wind drag and give the zombies something to latch on to.

Every participant will begin with three flags, each representing a “life.” Anyone who crosses the finish line with at least one flag intact will be able to say, without a doubt, that they could survive an actual zombie apocalypse, which should trump most water cooler arguments that involve pop culture. Please note, however, that the 5K Zombie Run will not be an actual apocalypse, so runners will not be allowed to bring any of the prescribed anti-zombie tools (chainsaws, crossbows, axes, etc.) to deal with the horde.

According to the website, all registrants receive a T-shirt, finisher’s medal, and entry to the post-race Apocalypse party complete with music, and food. Zombies, corpses, and course conquerors can toast to their survival or tragic defeat with an ice cold brew (ages 21 and up), or refuel with a bevy of other tasty bites and beverages. Also, zombies will be eligible to run the course after they have completed their duty as an undead obstacle. Minimum age is 14 with a parental waiver for this race.

Online registration at the5kzombierun.com closes Dec. 20 unless it sells out first, but there will be no registrations on race day. So if you want in on this, better do it soon. The registration prices are: $90 5K runner; $60 zombie horde. You can buy extra life flags for runners at $10 each. Spectators require a $25 ticket, or get a spectator ticket for $12.50 if purchased at the same time as a runner or zombie registration. Parking is $10 for all, including volunteers.

So, anyone up for running for their lives?

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