I went and bought an app for my iPhone called “Zombies, Run!” It’s an app that tracks your progress as you run, keeping tabs on your speed, distance, calories burned, etc. Pretty standard stuff until you realize the real functionality of the app. This app is actually an immersive game where you are the protagonist, and you’re running from zombies.
Let me explain.
You open the app and start a “mission” then get moving. Through your headphones, you will hear a story being played out. The voice actors immerse you in a post-apocalyptic setting where a zombie outbreak has collapsed society. You are “Runner 5”, a survivor from a supply mission that crashes outside of Abel Township. The township takes you in as one of their runner. With supplies low, runners go out and run around to collect supplies, to distract zombies away from the township, and to relay messages to other enclaves.
Your missions consist of doing these things within the game as you walk, jog, or run in real life. But here’s the kicker: Zombies appear and chase you. That’s right. Zombies appear within the game and in your headphones, and you are warned to run away from them. So you have to step up your speed for about a minute while they come after you. If you don’t get away from them, you are penalized by having supplies taken away from you.
That’s another thing. As you are running, you collect supplies that you can then use back at the township to help out the folks.
To get a better feel for the app, and so you may understand how it’s gotten me back into running, check them out at their website.
If you want to keep up with my missions, check out my page there too… But don’t make too much fun of my running music choices. ABBA and Roxette are an acquired taste, and I don’t expect you to understand.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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