Review – Zombies, Run! Autumn Virtual Race
Preface: I love the Zombies, Run! app, the story, the characters, the zombies. You name it. It was pivotal in getting me into running, and quite frankly, it got me from being someone who never even considered running, to someone who has run two half-marathons, and these days enjoys running!
I’m half-way through season 4 of the the story, and have loved seeing how the app has developed and grown in quality over the past few years.
With that said, I was dubious about a “virtual race”, races are events, things where I’m able to pick targets to get past, to push myself and gauge myself against others when the results come in.
I thought to myself that I might struggle with pace because I wasn’t in an “actual” race. But I was wrong. I opted to do the 5k race and tie it in with the weekly 5k Park Run near where I live. So I gave myself the race environment and the opportunity to compare with others. Although, I can also compare my recorded Zombies, Run! time online, so it was never a real issue in the end!
Review: So, the event was paid for, and I was awaiting info/training missions. Then, they came! I got emails, training missions and a parcel in the post. The whole thing was impressive, to say the least. The emails were all tied into the narrative of the race missions and the training missions. Full briefings from the characters, information from the company we were infiltrating, it was excellent.
Then I decided to try a couple of things, I called a phone number on one of the emails which had a chain of emails from the employees of this fictional company……low and behold, there was an automated phone system in place, with options and recorded messages, as if I was phoning an actual company! Then I tried the website for the fictional company, and there it was! All set up with pages and information. The effort gone into create a real sense of immersion was incredible. Some really nice detail created to make it feel as though this was an actual company that had had actual employees, with worries about their work etc etc.
The package had an envelope stamped with “to be opened at end of mission”, an employee ID card for the fictional company, a race number to wear (I didn’t, but wish I had now….) and a plan for the heist that we were to undertake.
So, immersion outside of the running itself was fantastic.
How about in the missions? There were 2 training missions and a choice of 5k or 10k race mission (same mission but the audio segments were made to last longer or shorter, based on your race selection). This is where Zombies, Run! has always shined, to me. The now well-established characters, and fantastic voice actors and sound design are fantastic, and this new stand-alone story was excellently written and performed. This is no surprise to me at this point, however, the race mission had me in fits of laughter at one point. The dodgy accents trying to bypass the AI were hilarious. I can’t credit the voice acting and scripts, enough.
I got home after finishing the mission, and opened my envelope, to receive my completion medal!! I love receiving medals, and this really just rounded it out for me, an official Zombies, Run! medal for a virtual race.
Summary: I loved all of this, the training missions, the immersion outside of the running and the quality and thought put into the whole event. It was fantastic and I’ll be doing their future events without a doubt! Thanks to my sister for buying my entry!
Now I’m really excited about the next one and will probably go for a package with a technical tee to represent as Runner 5 whenever I’m running.