The Zombie Run

Written By: Justin Meinken

Warning: The following story has been rated “S” for Savage due to
Intense Sarcasm and Brutal Honesty. Viewer discretion advised.

The sky was a silver grey with splotches of white on the morning of the run. It was Saturday, April 22nd and the weather forecast had predicted clear, sunny skies, which I’m pretty sure is some kind of sick joke the weather people do just to screw with everybody. Thanks Corporate Media! Now, even the weatherman doesn’t have real fact checkers. As the threat of rain grew faster than a politician’s ego, the runners who didn’t chicken out decided to ditch their shorts for light pants and thin jackets. Everyone looked like they were going to a rave in the woods, but they forgot the beer, the weed, and those weird glow stick thingies. The runners were fairly mixed in training and mentality, ranging from the, “I train like an Olympian so I can visually show you how much of a macho a– hole I am!” all the way down to the, “I’m just going to walk with my kids and our dog because f— cardio!”
As I silently observed the lumbering herds of mindless, sycophantic freaks… oh, I mean people that surrounded me, I quickly realized that I was not on the bottom of the runner hierarchy. I wasn’t a “Macho Man Supreme,” standing around barking to one another as they held their twiggy trophy wives who wore more war paint than an Iroquois. My “Made by Nutella” body prevented me from joining that lovely group. However, my aerospace engineered 250 pound body did not automatically place me into the “Self Confidence Boosters,” which is the caste of runners that make you feel better about yourself when you see them. And I obviously didn’t fit into the rare species of “Moms with Free Time.” I guess I formed my own category because no matter what happened, I was going to cross that finish line before somebody else…even if that person behind me formed mysterious injuries.
I cradled my pepper spray, I mean, uh, backpack, as I walked to the registration desk. It’s nice when I get confused at an event like this and the volunteer thinks I’m missing a chromosome. They start talking to you like the geniuses at the airport security bag-checks; “Do you know what’s in your bag?” “Hmmmm. No, I blindfolded myself and packed it with my feet. I’m thinkin’ fireworks, peanut butter and a paperbacked copy of the Communist Manifesto.” As the human worker-bee suddenly worked much faster, I got to finally look around and admire the sights. On the right side was the harbor in the Peconic Bay and it was, as always, filled to the brim with yachts. Since we were all going to be slugging through this 5K as a charity run, I’m surprised all the yachts didn’t have this written along the side: “Nanana boo boo, stick your head in doo.” On the left side was this weird pond-estuary-swamp thing and it really upset me because it was a wasted opportunity. Everyone would’ve run that 5K all the way through if a guy dressed up as the Creature from the Black Lagoon came crawling out of there. Now that’s motivation! The rest of the track was surrounded by beach mansions that had signs in front that said, “We own the 1%, B—h!”
I was becoming more concerned that I wouldn’t find my group before the stampede would start. As an official member of the MuvStrong team, (a private gym that plans on using me as the ultimate before and after picture) I am on a first name basis with many of their sadistic tormentors, I mean coaches; why do I always mix those two up? Luckily, I found two of the coaches, Mike and Kristie, and the “Biggest Loser Rejects.” Mike is the most terrifying ginger you will ever see considering he closely resembles The Mountain from Game of Thrones and is somehow able to run fast enough to trample people. Kristie is the opposite since she’s maybe 5’7” and has the muscle tone of an Olympic athlete. She’s the type of girl that either intimidates guys or makes them drool. Sometimes I think about the sweaty routines we do together and…OH MY GOD! I didn’t mean for that to sound like that! Note to self: Stop writing porn on the weekends.
Anyway, the race started with an air horn because firing a revolver into the air in the middle of a crowd doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore. The start felt like a re-enactment of the stampede from The Lion King. My eyes were watering and my nose was running faster than I was since I’m allergic to “outside.” The herd ran like a hoard of zombies was behind us looking for Happy Meals. The coaches raced each other and trampled some people in their wake. I tried to keep up with the “Biggest Loser Rejects,” but they passed me because my legs are allergic to physical activity. The race went through some of Sag Harbor, which is famous as the best place to stab the s–t out of whales. We didn’t have to run through the whale mass grave for very long because we had to make a right turn and continue down a dirt road surrounded by the ocean on either side. I used my parkour ninja skills to flip over and slide through a few houses to skip some parts of the track. I believe the road was originally paved until the ocean said, “Screw you guys.” I guess the ocean wants revenge for those whales. D—n it, why’d they have to be so tasty!
We ran along this dirt road for a mile or so before I saw many runner castes pass me. First the “”Moms with Free Time” passed, followed by the “Dog Walkers.” When some of the “Self Confidence Boosters” tried to pass me, I started getting nervous. I had to act; no, I had to slow them down. A few minutes later, I got my wish as the skies opened up and silver rain started pouring down. I paused my rock-throwing volleys at my pursuers to admire it, and I took the initiative to outpace my lumbering opponents. Running by myself now created the added challenge of keeping myself focused. I ended up thinking about possible prizes I would want and they increased in intensity the further I ran. I started off small with prizes like “all A’s for senior year no matter what” or “guaranteed entrance to all Sorority parties across campus” and they went up from there. By the time I got up to “being bused by the cheerleading team to the Playboy Mansion on Trampoline Night and being escorted home by Riley Reid in a black Hennessey Venom GT,” I was all but spent.
I didn’t think I was going to make it until I saw Mike and Kristie running back to me like those lifeguards in the movies that run in slow motion with the piano music in the background. Kristie runs like a gazelle and Mike sprints with the grace of an eagle…piloting a blimp, but both of them reached me at the same time. They had both placed in the top ten and were waiting at the finish line for the rest of the lowly mortals. When the “Biggest Loser Rejects” showed up without me, Mike and Kristie ran back down the track to look for me because, let’s face it, a six foot half ginger with a black sweat jacket and backpack doesn’t stick out in a crowd. The three of us walked back together since my rocks and the rain had placed the “Self Confidence Boosters” at least a mile behind us, securing my victory above last place. On the walk to the finish line, I congratulated Kristie and Mike on their performances and the three of us compared our trample notches.
By the time I crossed the finished line with them, I was more exhausted than a jock at a Frat party on Spring Break. Finally I could see the finish line banner and its Sag Harbor logo of a fisherman holding a whaling spear. The bottom of the logo reads: “Lets destroy the environment together,” and if you look closely, you can see the fisherman smothering an owl under his left arm. I looked back at the harbor, the sun finally gleaming on the blue ocean water, slick with oil from the greedy capitalists. As I admired it all, only one thought was left in my mind: What are the sharks thinking right now? Most of them would look at me and tell their friends, “Drop whatever you’re doing. I just found all the white meat we can eat!” Well, next year’s triathlon should be quite the show. Note to self: Learn how to sneak bacon strips into other people’s pockets.