As a fairly frequent (though others might call it obsessive) runner, I’m always interested in new ways to keep myself entertained while plugging away at the miles.

Music is generally my top choice, but gets old after awhile. I found audio books to be quite entertaining, particularly for long runs. The problem is, they are also quite expensive ($20+ a piece…. I mean I like Cynthia Nixon but I’d rather pay less for a non celebrity to read me my book, thanks). Running with others is another great idea, but not always possible. Then there is my brain, and while we all know that I am just so highly entertaining, sometimes I’m running to escape my brain, not tune into it. Unfortunately, running entertainment is fairly limited, as its not really possible to carry much. I suppose I could watch TV, but that would mean I’d have to run on a treadmill, and I LOATHE (not hate, loathe) treadmills.

A few weeks ago, a fellow runner posted a facebook status that read something like this:

Just completed a 7.72 km run playing Zombies, Run!: collected 17 supplies, outran 3 zombie mobs

Intrigued, I inquired about said strange facebook status, and was told that this was a game as I expected. BUT, you could only play it WHILE running.

I have to admit that the price ($7.99) held me off on the purchase for a bit, even after said friend blogged about the game himself.

Finally I decided I was being silly and just bought the thing. How could something called Zombies, run! not be cool?

The game itself it quite simple, really. (And if you haven’t guessed, is an Iphone app – I am not sure if it is made on Android apps or not). You slide to run – you start the mission, and you run. The GPS keeps track of your distance and pace, so all you have to worry about is running. The story is played directly to you through your headphones, and during the game it will play you music from your ITunes if you choose. I have to say that the story line and characters are a bit cheesy, but luckily none of the characters speak long enough to cause an annoyance.

Basically, you’re in a plane full of supplies – I can’t remember where you are headed. You’re hit and crash and spend the first part of the mission running towards safety in Abel Township – and away from zombies. As you go, you pick up supplies. If you choose to allow “zombie chases” during your run, you’ll hear a voice telling you “zombies detected”, and even hear grunting and growling through your headphones. Your job is to speed up to evade the zombies.  It’s forced interval training, and thoroughly entertaining. I stupidly caught myself checking behind me to see if anything was chasing me the first time.

I had planned on a 5 mile run and was slightly disappointed when I realized the mission was over after about 3. However, the game still runs, playing you your music through “zombie radio”. You still pick up supplies and you can still be chased. After I finished I checked the settings and realized you can make missions 30 min or 1 hour. It could be a slight annoyance if you’re trying for more than 6 miles, because you’re either basically just going to listen to your music when your done or you’re going to have to stop to end the mission and re-start another one. Annoying if you’re trying to tract time, but the game saves your info, so not too difficult to figure out. As you run more, you collect more stuff and unlock more missions. Can’t beat that.

Moral of the story?

If you like to run, own an I-phone (or ipod touch I would imagine), have a sense of humor and a spare $8, buy it.

Zombies detected 🙂

(this is not any kind of paid endorsement – I’m not cool enough to get asked to do things like that)