I survived and all I got was this lousy comic book.
What was a lackluster day as far as panels were concerned sure as hell ended with a bang. Why? A little thing called The Walking Dead Escape. I can honestly say I was in no way prepared for the horror that was unleashed upon myself and my fellow survivor’s wave.
This was something that we had talked about on this site not long ago when it was initially announced. On our podcast we discussed the obstacle course, the possible pitfalls involved and what not, but the truth is we really had no clue what The Walking Dead was going to have in store for us. The key reason- there hadn’t been anything like this before (at least in my neck of the woods). We’ve all grown accustomed to the theme park horror mazes during Halloween time and the haunted houses that spring up, but has there ever been an obstacle course? With ZOMBIES?!? I’ve seen a couple of zombie marathons/ fun runs but that’s a set trail, nothing more.
If you can harken back to the 80′s comedy Police Academy and take that officer training obstacle course, put it on crack and then add zombies- this is what The Walking Dead Escape was.
The most fun part about it all was not really knowing what to expect when your wave begins it’s run, because you are truly not prepared for what is in store for you. The fact that at the time of registration/ badge pick-up they have you sign insurance & liability waivers in triplicate, kiss your loved ones goodbye and hand you a tracker so they can follow your time in the maze had me second guessing my choice to take this on. In the end though the “No Refund” sign was my motivation to do as Rick Grimes would do and forge ahead. The main thing on my side: I didn’t have to concern myself with where the hell Carl was every five minutes.
There were several people that “prepared” for this run in my survivor wave. Now by prepared I mean that they had on running shorts, special running shoes, hi-tech gripping gloves and the whole sha-bang. Myself, personally, I went dressed in my con apparel for the day: jeans, my sweet-ass Shredder t-shirt and a pair of cross trainers I always wear. Needless to say I had a lot of those “prepared” survivors looking at me like I was zombie chum. Here’s the thing though, when (not if) the zombie apocalypse comes there won’t be time to prep, especially if you’re at a baseball game at Petco Park. Wouldn’t you want to know if YOU could truly survive the zombie apocalypse, even if it’s only for about an hour?
From the moment the course begins it’s all out havoc. You’ve got the military and FEMA reps telling you everything is under control and that there’s nothing to fear, just make sure you’re not bitten. To the contrary though there are sirens blaring, chaos over the bull horn, a zombie horde in a cage that can’t quite hold them and a young soldier who can’t seem to control two walkers they’ve just captured. As those zombies begin to take notice of all the fresh meat that has just walked in things quickly go awry. The gates bust open as they tell you to RUN! People are screaming and pushing and in the very instance it all jumps off a giant blast of fog is shot at the crowd. You do your best to avoid the zombies that you see ahead just before the fog kills any vision you had and begin your trek to the top of Petco Park from the ground floor.
Now be forewarned, this maze is dangerous so do not take it lightly. There are real dangers in that it’s a real “police academy marine style basic training” obstacle course. You runners that think you’re cute in your running shorts better go buy some pants as you will spend 40% of your time crawling and at times in blood. Watch your footing, make sure you have a solid grip and keep an eye out on your clearance. Not becoming infected can very easily distract you from that potential concussion.
Without really wanting to spoil too much of this great 2012 Comic-Con attraction that was my The Walking Dead Escape experience, I don’t want to say much more. What I can say is if you wanna learn something about yourself and find out if you have the will to survive, head over to Petco Park and get your Walking Dead Escape ticket. You won’t be sorry. Visit www.thewalkingdeadescape.com for tickets and info. Oh, and you do not need a Comic-Con badge to take part in this attraction.
How did I do you ask? Well, I finished the course in just under 50 minutes with a “minor risk of infection” so I think I’ll be ok >=)