First Zombie Run Spooks Hundreds of Runners

By  | 

PANAMA CITY - Hundreds of Bay County runners are staying away from Harders Park after a spooky 5K run. The Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center held its first Zombie Run Saturday morning at the park.

About 300 zombies all around Harders Park waited to frighten more than 350 runners at Saturday's Zombie Run.

Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center organizers came up with the idea after staffers agreed zombies are becoming popular again. They say Harders Park was the ideal location for the event.

"This location was perfect because a lot of people know it for the haunted hayride. There's lots of eerie and creepy things out in the woods along the way and it worked out perfectly for a zombie apocalypse," said Lori Allen of the Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center.

As runners went to each different area of the park, they saw more zombies.

"We had a blast. I mean the make up that the characters were wearing was awesome. They did a great job. The obstacles were a lot of fun," said Cheryl Mobley, a Bay County resident.

They paid $60 apiece to participate in the 5K run. The money will benefit young abuse and neglect victims.

Several organizations including the Bay County Sheriff's Office, Tyndall Air Force Base, and Walmart helped put together the event.

"It's a chance to have some fun. It's something different. I mean you don't see this kind of thing very much. I think it's one of the first ones in this area, a Zombie Run," said Major Tommy Ford of the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

Volunteers who turned into zombies say they enjoyed scaring the runners and seeing their reactions.

"Well they were terrified," said a volunteer.

Based on entry fees alone, the Gulf Coast Children's Advocacy Center raised more than $20,000 this weekend.