Saturday, April 2, 2011


Wow! Have you ever been involved in breaking a Guiness World Record? Well, I now can say I have! It's was almost like a bucket list moment. The night started by arriving at the Johnson City Library with the Austin man in tow to a small field full of peeps dressed on black. A sea of black shirts so to speak. I read up on facebook zombie tag event that was to be held in downtown Johnson City during the "First Friday" celebrations that are held downtown every year throughout the spring and summer, the "First Friday" of every month.... The first FB page had the date wrong but had a whopping 9K people that had replied "attending". The new page only had about 2K attending but was only up for about a week. The weather was very nippy so I think it hampered the final turnout even though we beat the standing record by over 2000 entrants.
Some peeps above really dressed the part huh? creepy!!! Austin was meeting a friend here and I knew I couldn't keep up so he and his buddy dropped me like a bad habit at the start. A friend from art class, Drea, was there to so I kinda ran with her as a team, two heads are better than one ya know! Austin went right and we went left and the chaos ensued big time. It was the closest thing to panicing mob that I have ever seen, it was kind of freaky to tell the truth. Drea and I managed to get to the first checkpoint quite easily. I checked the map and we were off to #2. This time we encountered quite a few zombies and had to ditch into yards and alleys in the neighborhood. We made #2 checkpoint and got the stamp on our hands. I have to admit this was a blast, an adult game of tag, awesome!!! Ok head downtown to the "urban" checkpoints. This was going to be hard because we had no place to hide. We weasled down through and behind the old Mr. Toad's building and encountered several zombies. We hopped a fence bypassing all those but hopped right out in front of one and she tagged Drea. Sorry Drea, I'm outta here. I skipped across the RRX and slid into checkpoint #3 and got the stamp once again. By now the ratio was about 50/50 humans and zombies, it was getting harder. I slipped out of the #3 checkpoint with a mass exodus hardly unnoticed, I headed for a steep bank that I figured most of these people weren't in shape to climb, I was right! I shot up the 75ft bank into a church parking lot only to see 2 zombies looming. I adapted a stealth ninja pose and slid by unnoticed! Down onto Main St. then behind a car, hid behind a trashcan watching 3 zombies walk by so close I could almost touch them, then off to an alley where I could hear several voices near the end. I carefully managed my way to the end all creeping down to see about 25+ zombies just swarming the safe zone around the checkpoint, not good! I sat crouching behind a shrub unnoticed paying attention to the growing human group that was fixing to blast out of the checkpoint into the zombies. I played this one well! When they bolted I bolted the opposite way, they never payed me any attention at all and slipped right into checkpoint #4 for me, two more to go now! It was now bad, zombies 65% humans 35%. Doom was afoot! I paid attention to the exiting groups and it took me several attempts to rush out on the many mass exodus attempts. I figured that the way I got there was probably going to be the best way to get out so when the time was right, BAM, I was out of there. This time I had about 10 peeps following me, dang not good, I'll get noticed for sure! back up over the hill and down the bank losing my groupies but I landed into a hotbed of zombies and was being chased by at least 20. thank goodness they had just short bursts of energy or I would have been caught. Just before getting to the previous checkpoint #3 that I was returning to out of strategy I had to do an old school Earl Campbell shuck & jive move to get into the safety zone. I was touched by a zombie by one hand but not the two hand tag that was required to turn you onto a zombie, oh yea!
Now I had a dilemma. There are sooooo many zombies lurking just outside the safety zone that it would be suicide to make an attempt to leave the security of the checkpoint. It had to be 85% zombie 15% humans by the way it looked. It seemed everyone as far as you could see was wearing white zombie shirts. The rule; if you are tagged you have to take off the black "human" shirt and wear a white shirt to symbolize being a zombie thus the whole wear two t-shirts thang. I watched as everytime someone made an attempt to get into or out of the checkpoint they were swarmed by white shirt zombies. I had to make a plan...... Ok, lets just hang out for a while check on Austin and see what happens, there's still 3 hours left of this. All of the previous happened in the first hour so far. Austin was already a zombie tagging people and having fun with his friend so I hung out patiently as I started to notice the zombies tiring of waiting for us to leave. I walked down to the end of the safety zone and wasn't noticed. Hmmm. I overheard someone say that they already had declared a winner, 90 minutes in, dang! So I just started walking back to the start. I noticed something else - don't run! It draws attention to you! I walked back like I didn't have a care in the world passing about 250 zombies and they never even gave me a look see. Wow! As I arrived back at the 94.9 FM van the game looked to have fizzled out and be, what looked like, OVER. I called Austin to regroup with him and he was amazed that I had not been "turned". He said they were swarmed and zombified before his 2nd checkpoint.

I have to say that was one of the most fun nights ever. This can be something I can tell the grand kids about one day, I helped create a Guiness World Record with friends and family! For more on the story click JC Press. With a little tweaking this event could be huge, no.... stoopid HUGE! I bet they could get 5K for this event after last night and when the word of mouth gets around. I heard the announcer talking about another one happening in the future this summer, hopefully it will.

OPPPSSS.... Sorry for the non-biking post so here's the biking part...... Mars Hill crit tomorrow in Asheville, N.C. at 8am (ughhhh) then leave Ashvegas for MoTown BMX for a makeup race that was rained out today. Tomorrow should be good!!!

LAter G.......................

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