The First MiniThon Zombie Run


By Jonathon Bender

In a dark forest, a scream cries out. A light appears in the distance and it begins approaching faster and faster. As the crowd moves further along, trying to escape their pursuer, they only draw in more of the horde. By the time they’re out of the trees, they’ve already been chased by four “zombies”, but they still have a long walk to go before they have truly “escaped.”

This is what participants of the first Methacton Mini-Thon Zombie Run experienced on October 22nd. Participants in the event walked/ran through a course with a flag belt. As they progressed through the course, participants would be chased by “zombies” at different checkpoints who would try and grab the flags from the runners. If you could make it to the end without having your flag pulled, you would “win”. 

The event started at 6:00 pm and ended at 9:00 pm, but preparations started much earlier. In order to get volunteer “zombies” for the event, MiniThon partnered with the boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams. Approximately 20 runners showed up to give the guests a good time. 

The target audience for the event was elementary to middle school students and their families, but people from every age group attended. About 100 people participated in the event which is an excellent turnout for the run’s first year. But, out of all participants, only 5 made it to the end without getting “eaten” at any point. Every runner paid $10 as an entry fee and could buy concessions. The total earnings for the event were close to $1,500, a truly remarkable result.

But, even with this great success, the event had many issues in planning and through the night itself. The most pressing issue of course was the course. The MiniThon team had to make a path that wasn’t too short or too long and that would be visible and safe when it became dark. This took a few attempts to get right, but the final route had no injuries and was doable for all attendees. Another issue came from the zombies themselves. Many of the cross-country runners felt that they had very little to do between groups coming through their assigned sections. Most groups had to intentionally limit the number of people they “ate” so that other groups had something to do. The number of people paired with their casual running pace made the runners feel unchallenged.

In future years, the MiniThon hopes to gather about 300 attendees during this event with more outreach within the high school, middle school, and elementary schools to raise more money and give everyone a better time.

Mr. Smith, the MiniThon coordinator said that:

“ I am proud of the fact that each year, students want to not rest on what their peers from previous years have done, but want to create their own legacies. I believe that the Mini-THON leadership of 2023 created the Zombie Run that will be their legacy for at least the next dozen years. Many other high schools have already heard about this event and we have been sharing this idea with them. ” 

Overall, the event was a great success and has left many people excited to see what it has in store for the future.