89. ZombiesRun Virtual Race 10K, Spring 2017

This ZombiesRun event was tough. I haven’t done much over the winter, so 10K is a large number for me right now. Still, I have enough leftover fitness to knock it out, even though it’ll cost me later.

We’re getting warm spells at this time of year, and my opportunity to run the 10K event landed on one. Easter Sunday morning didn’t work out and the middle of the day was way too hot for a puggle with thick black fur, so I opted for a super-early Monday morning run. We left just before 5am, in the hope that the sun would rise before we ran out of street lights. As you can see below, that worked out just fine.

Sunrise over the river

This is what you get to see when you leave the house early.

I don’t leave for work until about 7:30am, so we had plenty of time to enjoy ourselves. I had completely given up on any sort of competitive time, so I focused on the route itself and the condition of my dog. I even brought a hydropack filled with ice-water in case she got overheated. We stopped a few times for Finnea to do her business (it was apparently a very good day for business) and to take some pictures, but the water never really worked out. Finnea stayed at a comfy temperature due to the early morning chill and her own incredible endurance, so she refused water when I offered. I brought that hydropack for nothing, basically.

Brian and Finnea

After about 6 or 7K, I was tired and she was mildly curious about the newer parts of our route.

She had a great time, though. When the light was good enough I was able to get some decent shots of us. Finnea was dragging a bit when we went past our usual turn-around point, but she picked it up quite a bit when we came back to it. Once she recognized her normal morning scenery, she knew exactly how far away her breakfast was. It was kind of like cheating, really, because I was being pulled by a one dog-power engine after that.

The Virtual Race Itself

Without going into any spoilers, the mission was another hit from Six to Start. I planned for the two-minute cool down clip at the end, so there was no pacing around the yard this time. The game developers will be happy to know that I actually did use that time for use to cool down and walk the remaining two blocks to the house.

This was mostly like the other races in terms of structure, but it sets itself apart by including extra goodies in the race packet. The race bib and intro card are standard, as well as the medal and post-race card in the your-eyes-only envelope. The comic book, however, is new.

It’s a ZombiesRun comic book based upon the first mission, which you can probably tell from the visible portions of the cover. It’s pretty sweet, but I do have a mild complaint or two. The only one worth mentioning is the way they costumed Runner 5.

Zombies Run VR race packet contents

The outfit is meant to obscure gender and identity, which sort of works I guess, but I would have liked a commitment here. Just go ahead and make Runner 5 a woman. There are dude protagonists everywhere, so there are no worries about me being represented. I already know that Runner 5 has a different identity for every person using the app, so it’s no biggie if the person in the comic doesn’t look like me personally. In fact, it would be more interesting to read if she was nothing like me, with a Venn diagram that barely overlaps.

There’s absolutely no way to personify every single runner using the app, because we each have our own version of Runner 5. With a comic like this, the best you can do is to find out who isn’t represented as well as they could be and put them at the center of things. It’s a way for us to remind them that they’re part of our family. And for me personally, it would reveal someone else’s version of Runner 5, just like when I read someone else’s post on the RoffleNet.

Thanks again to the folks who make the ZombiesRun app, from the developers to the writers to the voice actors. I’m looking forward to the next one, even though I’m going to be really sore from this one.