Runners will sprint through Jamestown with zombies hot on their heels the final Friday of October.
From Lake View Cemetery to First Street and in between, the city will feature a mix of Halloween and athletics during the inaugural End of Days Zombie Run.
Organized by WAKE UP! Productions and Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation, the 3 km run will begin at Lake View Cemetery at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26. Each runner will wear a belt with three flags, or "lives," on it. The goal is to get to the finish line with at least one flag remaining as fast as possible.
This logo, designed by Ryan Gillikin of Almighty Tattoo, will be featured on T-shirts made for the inaugural End of Days Zombie Run in downtown Jamestown.
Led by Jamestown High School graduates Taylor Scott and Vince Liuzzo, the Zombie Run is the first public event for WAKE UP! Productions in the city. The run combines elements of obstacle or adventure races with what Liuzzo calls "the zombie craze," popularized by movies and TV shows such as "The Walking Dead."
"We basically took the format that they were doing in more rural areas (with obstacle races) and transitioned it to an urban setting that would suit Jamestown," Liuzzo said. "We predominantly work downtown and we live downtown, so obviously that was our focus. We incorporated the Northside over at the cemetery, and they were very generous, allowing us to use the facilities there."
Runners will take off from the north end of the cemetery and exit onto Prendergast Avenue, continuing down to Institute Street. They'll take First Street and finish up on Pine between Second and Third streets.
The response from the community has been excellent, according to Liuzzo. He believes more than 100 runners will compete. Area residents can sign up to participate as zombies for $5 or as competitors for $25.
"We thought it was a cool idea and something that with the right support we would be able to pull off here," Liuzzo said. "It seems like that has been the case."
Registration forms are available at several locations downtown and online through facebook.com/wakeuppro. A registration table will also be available, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26, at the cemetery. Only those who register by Oct. 23, however, are guaranteed a T-shirt designed by Ryan Gillikin of Almighty Tattoo.
Runners can be as creative or as boring with their outfits as they would like. However, a prize will be given to the best-dressed competitor.
"You can dress up and get into the Halloween spirit," Liuzzo said.
Awards will also be given to the top male and female finishers for the following age groups: under 16, 16-20, 21-30, and 30 and over.
For zombies, other than dressing the part, only a couple of rules apply.
"They touch the flags, and that's it," Scott said. "And, they will not disrespect the cemetery. They've been very generous in letting us do the run through there."
Each zombie will have a designated zone and won't be allowed to take all of a runner's flags at once. Liuzzo believes at least some of the runners will be able to dodge the zombies and cross the finish line with a "life" or two remaining.
"We want it to be kind of scary and a little bit dramatic, but we don't have any Division I athletes playing zombies," he said. "We want at least one person from each group to finish. Even if no one has a flag left, we want everybody to finish anyway. We're still going to give you a T-shirt that says you survived. We won't tell anyone you lost all of your flags."
Those who would like to see what the Zombie Run is all about without getting involved can watch the finish on Pine Street between Second and Third streets. The block will be set up like an Apocalyptic movie scene, according to Liuzzo. There will be a walk-through maze featuring zombies for visitors to experience until 9.
"We want to encourage everyone who lives somewhere that the runners will be going past to come out and watch," Liuzzo said. "If they want to take it one step further, offer their front porch or bushes for zombies to hide in, we would love that."
WAKE UP! Productions has received support for the Zombie Run from Faulk World Motorcars, Big Kmart, Lakewood Apothecary, Rudy's Pizza, Noeplace Gas Station, Almighty Tattoo, Franchina's Shoe Repair, Jamestown Cycle Shop, Shults Auto Group, and Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation in particular.
"That's an organization we're planning to continue working with because they're open to creative ideas," Liuzzo said of DJDC. "They were accepting and were encouraging us from the beginning."
For more information on the Zombie Run, call 640-6060.
WAKE UP! PRODUCTIONS
Scott created WAKE UP! Productions while Liuzzo was studying arts administration at Columbia College in Chicago.
"It was all online, branding artists and working with labels, and merchandising for their online stores," she said. "When Vince came to town, we decided to work together."
Scott - who has Kleine-Levin Syndrome, also known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome - named the organization after memories from her childhood.
"I would go into these mini-comas," she said. "My mom would say, 'Wake up. Wake up.' I'd be sleeping, but I could hear her. I would be thinking, 'I just want to wake up so bad. I've got so much stuff I want to do.' ... That's what our goal is. We've got to wake up, and we've got to get it going. Everyone talks about doing things. Just wake up and do it. There's no reason you can't make it happen."
The duo began planning the Zombie Run in August and has more events in the works.
"This path that we're on is what I studied to do, and it's a dream job," Liuzzo said. "Taylor and I, as a production company, want to continue to push the idea of community interaction. It's just fun. If you have a creative idea or if want to partake in our creative ideas, you can do it."
The next large, public event for WAKE UP! Productions will be an "end-of-the-world party" on Dec. 21 in honor of the conclusion of the Mayan Calendar.
"We're going to make sure that, even if you don't wake up the next day, at least you had a good time the night before," Liuzzo said.
WAKE UP! Productions: facebook.com/wakeuppro
Zombie Run Registration Link: active.com/running/ jamestown-ny/wake-up-zombie-run-2012
Zombie Run Event Page: facebook.com/events/104528689703037/?fref=ts