A Wrong Turn at Comic-Con Leads to the 'Walking Dead' Zombie Run
The second annual "Walking Dead Zombie Escape," a combination haunted house and obstacle course, has already become one of the great traditions of Comic-Con. Each year, AMC takes over Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and builds an elaborate labyrinth through the stadium's bowels, which is then populated with ferocious zombies. Those who choose to undertake the escape must race their way through the course as fast as possible, climbing over barricades and crawling through tunnels, all the while being pursued by howling members of the undead, whose touch they must avoid at all costs.
The race has become such an institution that the local gay community declared the event an unofficial gay pride gathering and urged all supporters to come run it together.
A member of the Comic-Con press corp, I presented myself 15 minutes before the run was to start for credentials. When I checked in, I was asked, "You are just here to take pictures and observe, right? Not to run the race?"I assured the media assistant that, dressed in my khakis and button-down shirt, I absolutely was not interested in running from zombies for five or so kilometers on this muggy day. "Good," she nodded. "Because we're completely full. There's no slots left."
"We're on the same page," I told her. I collected my credential and headed for the gate.
Before I could be admitted though, the guard at the gate told me I would need to check my bag at "gear check" on the other side of the stadium. I made the walk around the perimeter as quickly as I could, but by the time I checked my cargo, I realized it was time for the run to start, and hurried, already weary from a day on my feet around Comic-Con, to get back around the stadium to the gate. About halfway back to where I had come from, I saw an open gate where people with what looked like media credentials were entering. At the gate stood a man in Marine camouflage, urging people in. I asked if I could get to the press area through this gate.
"Yes, you can but you've got to hurry. The zombies are coming. Move down this way. Keep it moving," he replied.