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Run for Your Life: Faith in a Zombie Culture

In a post-apocalyptic world there's less clutter left in the way between us and the end. Most of the people are gone as are careers, gyms, and entertainment distractions. It's the setting that matters, which brings us back to that zombie 5k racetrack.

Two hours after that course official's dire warning to Run For Your Lives competitors, I'm standing in some brush alongside a swamp where a zombie wades, stalks really, with only her eyes and the crown of her soaked, muddy hair visible. I turn and chat up a different zom along the dirt path.

Her name is Jenny and fake blood is caked around her smile. "My husband's running, and I'm gonna get him," she says as runners slog past, exhausted and grateful that I've distracted at least one predator. Too bad they don't know about the swamp zombie hiding up ahead.

Jenny cradles her stomach like she's just polished off a big dinner. "I'm four months pregnant," she says. "My baby's getting to be a zombie with me. Something for the scrapbook."

That's really sweet and fun and only a little creepy, I think, and steady my camera to capture the swamp zombie's inevitable ambush. She waits like death, anticipated but still shocking. I guess no one can run forever.

For more conversation on zombies and God, visit the Patheos Book Clubon Undead: A Dead Person's Guide to Spiritual Life.

10/1/2012 4:00:00 AM