Abbotsbury turned ghoulish when 4000 people gathered at the Western Sydney Parklands over the weekend, for the chance to be violently cannibalised by their fellow man.
It was Run For Your Lives, a five kilometre obstacle course where survivors would sprint, crawl, jump and swim their way past an army of infected.
Participants were broken into two groups: the survivors who had three tags around their waist to indicate their humanity, and the infected whose role was to turn them undead.
‘‘It freaked me out; I hated when the zombies made those disgusting sounds,’’ Rebecca Hidalgo Perez, from Liverpool, said about the infected.
‘‘Everyone really got into character, the make-up and the noises they made were so realistic.’’
Because it was the first time Run For Your Lives was being held in Australia, people such as Abbey Bartlett and her partner Paul Hulak had travelled from as a far as Orange to take part.
The two of them were acting as the infected, ambushing survivors as they trekked up and around hills and bushlands.
‘‘It was unique, it was nothing I’ve ever done before,’’ Miss Bartlett said. ‘‘Everyone really got into character, the zombies were groaning and screaming as we were crouching over and jumping at people.’’
The survivors and zombies the Champion spoke with had their own undead apocalypse plan, but rule no. 1 was always the same — cardio.
Their mettle was tested with hurdles, water slides, a blood pool and electrical wire which they had to crawl through, and a healthy amount of undead sprinkled in between.
By the end of the 10 hour day, over 60per cent of people were infected and though the organisers have not finalised a return for next year, many of the participants have said they will definitely be coming back.
‘‘It was awesome!’’ Miss Perez said. ‘‘We didn’t survive until the end, but I’m going to keep doing it every year until I do.’’
The participants from the young to the old said they were fascinated by zombies because of shows like The Walking Dead and Zombieland.
‘‘There’s this ongoing joke that there will be a zombie apocalypse one day,’’ Miss Bartlett said.
The popularity of undead has become so widespread that even the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States have used zombies to prepare people for real life emergencies.
Which will be hilarious when an earthquake hits and everyone’s first instinct will be to drive out to the country and stockpile guns.
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