“It was just more of an adrenaline rush,” said Ana Aguirre, one of about 300 runners in the Escape from Temple Zombie Run on Saturday afternoon.
Starting at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum at 4 p.m., the race took runners to Eighth Street and back, with a few wrinkles thrown in. They had to shoot paint balls at targets, pull sleds, climb a wall, go through a mud pit, and face other obstacles.
Yvonne Lane, museum events coordinator, said each runner started with three flags. About 100 zombies awaited them along the way, trying to take their flags.
“They need to finish the race with one flag,” she said. “They get a medal.”
Aguirre said she had one flag until the very end. “And then there were too many zombies,” she said.
Her cousin, Tish Samarripa of Temple, ran with her.
“We were using our ninja skills to avoid them,” Aguirre said. “She would go right, and I would go left.”
Samarripa laughed and said she almost kicked one of the zombies. “Because they got too close,” she said.
Aguirre said her daughter, Daniela, 6, wanted to make the run, but no one under 12 was allowed to run.
“It was creepy and funny,” Daniela said.”The zombies kind of scared people, and Gloria (Palomino) took a picture of me.”
Palomino said she told one of the zombies she hoped they got well. “It was fun watching them,” she said.
One of the zombies, Linda Taylor of Killeen, said she got 16 flags, two of them at one time. Every year at Halloween she wears the costume for her grandchildren, she said.
On Saturday morning, Zombies ran with a purpose in Belton’s Confederate Park. About 150 entrants walked or ran the Zombie 5K, sponsored by freshmen at Belton New Tech High School @ Waskow, said Trisha Kaer, freshman biology teacher and race coordinator.
“This is a freshman biology project,” she said. “We are a project-based school.”
Jill Ross, principal at Waskow, said a lot of freshmen and sophomores ran.
“They’ve been studying how viruses are transmitted from person to person, and they’ve been studying about vaccinations,” she said. “This has grown from about 100 last year.”
Proceeds from the run will help support a Body of Christ Community Clinic free flu shot clinic in November, said Donna Dunn, the ministry’s executive director.
“This is our first time to partner with the school, which will allow us to give probably three times as many shots as we usually do,” Dunn said.
A lot of the Belton contestants got into the zombie motif, with tattered clothing, pale skin and scabs on their faces. One fearsome trio turned out to be Kelly Dusek of Temple and her stepchildren, Valerie, 14, a freshman at Belton High School, and Aaron, 13, a seventh-grader at North Belton Middle School. Dusek said they ran a little and walked a little.
“I ran fast at the end,” Aaron said.
This was their first zombie run, although they’ve done several other 5Ks, Dusek said.
“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “We got to play around with the makeup.”