July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Zombies ambush Buckeye Woods runners

LAFAYETTE TWP. — Most runners didn’t stand a chance. Several zombies cornered them at a curve in the path, hiding in bushes and ambushing the runners as they raced to the finish line.

More than 150 runners and 30 zombies came out for Project: LEARN’s second “Run for Your Life” zombie 5K, a race with an additional challenge: zombies hungry for brains.

Each runner was equipped with three flags made out of caution tape that represented a “life.” If the zombies managed to capture all three flags, the runner became undead as well.

Toward the end, many runners were without flags.

The top three male finishers who still had flags were: John James III at 18 minutes, 52 seconds; Ryan Oleksiak, at 19 minutes, 14 seconds; and Rodney Hower, at 23 minutes, 30 seconds.

The top three female finishers were: Kalin Weber, at 22 minutes, 14 seconds; Savannah Kole, at 22 minutes, 49 seconds and Theresa Wright, at 23 minutes, four seconds. Wright had all of her flags taken, but she was awarded a medal anyway.

“Even though she’s dead, we’re going to give her a medal,” said Karla Robinson, executive director of Project: LEARN.

The zombies were very aggressive this year. Ethan Briggs captured 100 flags and Joshua Zackery got 46, netting them prizes for the most humans attacked.

Roxana Rathbun and her husband James Rathbun won the zombie costume contest, with stage makeup dripping blood.

All who crossed the finish line, whether dead or undead, received certificates of participation. Project: LEARN offers free tutoring for adults in reading, math, GED preparation and English as a second language. The organization also sponsors preschool literacy programs like Brunswick ROCKS. The non-profit operates three used bookstores in Medina, Brunswick and Wadsworth to raise funds for tutoring.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.