Patient Zero’s Trek through Zombie Apocalypse
By Elise Colcord, Client Advocate
“You know, this is a humbling reminder; appreciate life. Real life, while you have it. I haven’t quite embraced this lifestyle yet; it’s kind of like I’m in a zombie purgatory,” said Zombie Matt formerly of Team Patient Zero.
It’s 6:29 a.m. and Tristan jolts awake with a dreaded shudder of panic flooding through his body. You know, the one when you know there’s no way getting around being obscenely late. He was supposed to meet the team at 6:30 a.m.
Thankfully, the rest of Patient Zero (Cori, Matt, and Randall) is together and able to scoop him up and head down to the one-stoplight town of Perry, GA.
Arriving an hour early, team Patient Zero steps onto what seems like a scene from ‘I Am Legend’. The Zombie Apocalypse Race is a sight to take in. Cars, all Chevys (which areapparently the first cars to go in a zombie apocalypse) are overturned, and military helicopters cut through the cloudless sky while the sound of machine guns fills the otherwise empty air.
9:15 a.m. rolls around, and they’re off! Equipped only with a map, Patient Zero thought they were ready for the first zombie encounter.
“According to the map and my rough calculations, we weren’t supposed to see a zombie until the first half mile into the race. Then, out of the blue, a zombie came running at us,” said Team Capitan, Cori. “Needless to say, I was a little irritated.”
Patient Zero, along with several other teams: Eat Flesh, Ninja Nurses, The Grateful Undead, Dead Last, Zombies Hate Fast Food, and Deadi Nights bobs and weaves through the first zombie wave. Then they arrive at the first warehouse where other teams have created a human bottleneck, observing the next obstacle: a 10–foot-wide ramp with zombies milling about, impatiently awaiting their fleshy prey.
“This is where a lot of people started dying due to the intense zombie coverage,” said Tristan.
Team Patient Zero trekked on, working through the 5k course like a football team powering through intense interval trainings. After the warehouse, they’re still a loose unit formation, though they almost lose Randall due to his tourist-esque tendencies. (insert Photos and possibly a go-pro video for proof of their brave feat).
At one of his stopping points, Randall draws in some unwanted attention. “One zombie was so infatuated with my Go Pro that she came over to examine it and then decided she wasn’t going to let me go without snagging one of my lives,” said survivor, Randall.
Their sprint style through the warehouse keeps them alive until the second attempt to squeeze through another bottleneck of humans and zombies. “I tried to run on Tristan’s coattails, then this little zombie kid came after me! When I tried to run away, I hit a stupid wall and she still stole my life,” said Cori.
The guts of the warehouse are littered with several overturned cars and zombies lurching around when Matt succumbs to the zombie disease. “I was trying to dodge cars and zombies at the same time, when this little one lunged at me and stole my last life,” said Matt. With Cori and Matt infected, the only two left to carry on the Patient Zero legacy are Tristan and Randall.
End in sight, Tristan and Randall are faced with one last dilemma: Wade through a submerged town sans zombies or hop, skip and jump through the only piece of dry land that’s infested with the flesh-eaters?
Naturally, Tristan and Randall dodge their way through the wall of zombies and skim through the finish line alive – all the while lamenting the loss of their teammates, Cori and Matt.
Q&A with Team Patient Zero
I caught up with the now-divided Team Patient Zero for some insights as survivors and zombies.
Q: After surviving the race, how has your life changed?
A: You definitely start to value life more. The trees are greener, sky bluer, or in this case today, gray, but not a bad gray. It’s hard to eat undercooked meat now. I don’t order my steaks rare anymore, and definitely, no longer make my own hamburgers.(as he says with a slight shudder.)
Q: What is life after death like? What’s changed for you? (We’re separated by a glass wall- for my safety of course)
A: You realize you just try to live your life, though people start to keep their distance because they can see me changing. I really thought I was going to make it and be like the Will Smith of I am Legend. Now, I realize the zombie life is my calling- heck, my arm even fell off yesterday.
Q: You’re a human turned zombie. Have you started to crave/chase flesh?
A: I’m a vegetarian. People are friends, not food. It’s my life motto. I’m starting a support group and trying to convince Matt to join.
Q: The man of many words, what has your life been like after being infected?
A: I’m missing, and now appreciating, more what I used to have. Being a zombie is a truly novel experience though.
Q: As one of two survivors, do you miss/think about your teammates, Cori and Matt?
A: Yeah, it hurts a little, but we all knew what needed to be done. Not everyone gets to live, unfortunately. I try not to think about it too much. The way I have to look at it is, they are already dead. Would I do the race again? I think so. I’ve got enough friends. I could stand to lose a few more.
Q: Do you miss having the ‘live’ versions of Cori and Matt?
A: Yes, I miss them as teammates but now they’re zombies, so I don’t really want them around. They don’t have much to say just, ‘Brainssssss.’ I guess should start wearing a helmet to work…Matt’s fast.