When the zombies finally take over, you’d better be in shape.
This was the chief lesson I learned last night during The Walking Dead Escape, a reenactment of the comic book and AMC hit show in Petco Park, usually home to the only-slightly-more-alive San Diego Padres.
“Live the Apocalpyse” is the theme of the event, celebrating the 100th issue of Robert Kirkman’s zombie comic book. After running through the obstacle course himself, Kirkman told a newscamera that while 300 issues was a goal he’d had in mind, he saw no reason not to go all the way to 1,000.
For my part, I realized that once the undead start roaming the earth, I’m going to avoid places with stairs.
For the event, I joined a handful of survivors making our way up to the top of Petco Park’s outer tunnels, climbing up and down webs of rope, over plastic medians and under bloody tables as other participants—fully made-up Walking Dead-style—got right in our way.
Determined not to get infected, I leaped over outstretched arms, banged into walls and dove onto hands and knees, determined to make it out unscathed. I made it through the long, very involved course, but ended up wiping my fake-bloodied hands (remember: crawling) on my sweaty face and neck, which would lead to some interesting conversations as we hit the pub afterward. (“You okay?” “Yeah, just a zombie attack.”)
The reward at the end of the course was a special edition of the 100th issue, which debuted at Comic-Con this week. And since we went right as the event opened, I was able to get it signed by Kirkman and Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn in the TV series.
It was a highlight of my first day at Comic-Con and a good workout to boot. We’d all be in better shape if a virus would simply create a horde of undead cannibals.
Survivor tickets remain for today and tomorrow (July 13-14). Information at thewalkingdeadescape.com.
Check out photos from the event below.