Run For Your Lives which billed itself as “The Original Zombie Infested 5k Obstacle Race” has closed it’s doors, effective immediately. Following the recent closings of Hero Rush and Great American Mud Run, here is yet another OCR which got mostly glowing reviews, but apparently could not make enough money to stay in business. This is in addition to countless races which have taken locations off their calendar as a result of low registration numbers.
It’s surprising news in that as recently as the end of August of this year, Microsoft announced a major partnership with Reed Street Productions through the game Dead Rising 3. Reed Street is the company behind producing Run For Your Lives. The RFYL website and Facebook page which are still live as of this posting, both bear “Dead Rising 3” incorporated into their logo.
Run For Your Lives failure shows how difficult it is to survive in the larger space which OCR can be lumped into called “Fun/Themed Runs”. With new Foam, Bubble, Glow in the Dark, Color, Zombie, Underwear, and Prom runs popping up weekly, there are only so many participant dollars to go around.
Some thought the zombie races had a stronger chance of survival (no pun intended) with the themed runs because the vampire and zombie community is so loyal. Hit shows like The Walking Dead and True Blood attract millions to the boob tube. These people are apparently content to sit on the couch and watch these shows from the comfort of the living room rather than actually run over obstacles from the undead.
In another interesting trend of recently cancelled races, RFYL do not appear to be offering refunds directly to customers. Their message to participants who have registered is to “contact your bank for a full refund”. Recent chatter in OCR groups is that this seems to work. We have reached out Reed Street Productions, but at this point, have not heard back.
We are sad to these these guys go. We sent Val and Jeff up to cover the action at their Georgia race and they made a great video.
Featured image courtesy of Brian Snyder / Reuters
Matt B. Davis
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One needs to be cautious when a race starts aggressively advertising huge discounts. I got burned by an event called “Toro Loco”.
We did too. Which made me really sad because the money was supposed to benefit animals.
Did Blood and Guts Run. It’s a zombie themed 5K obstacle course that is still going and getting stronger! Did this run last year (their 1st year), and this year. This year’s run was better than last years. More obstacles, bands, food and drinks… Apparently, the goal of the Blood and Guts is to improve and make it better by asking their participants. They just had a race in the Northern Virginia / D.C. area. If you have not run this race, you should definitely look into it.
Damn, they just sent out an emailer 5 days ago about pre-registering for 2014 events.
Must not have had a good response to it.
“contact your bank for a full refund” — holy shit, how lame is that?!
Super bummed, I had SO much fun at this race (far surpassed my expectations!)
this sucks!!! really liked this OCR event.
By the way.. its Reed Street Productions not “Red”
Yeah, I had a great time at this event last year. It was a rush! It is a shame the way they are handling the shutdown but who knows what they are facing with shutting down something like that.
I bunch of us from work just did the one in Maryland about 4 weeks ago. It was awesome. We all preregistered for the one in May. Now we have to try to get our money back. What the FRIG!!!
Can’t contact my bank purchased the tickets at the beginning of summer and have since changed banks!!! Bought a couple tickets, very upset. That’s a couple hundred dollars gone !
Sports are created slowly, continuously and persistently. Events are not the product. The participants and the audience are the product. They need to be nurtured, promoted and built up. They form the foundation that allows multiple events to prosper. OCR needs to study sports like soccer, lacrosse and rugby to see how these sports filled with passionate participation failed to succeed in the “event business.” Even to this day camps, clinics, regional tournaments, world championships and other collaborative events survive — but each of these sports fail to build enough value in the athletes themselves. That is where longevity comes from.
My credit card company said that most charges can’t be disputed after 6 months. I am sure they must be loving this. I would love to know any other events Reed Street Productions puts on so that I can AVOID them at all costs.
I’m with you. Unbelievable.
How frustrating. Check out The Zombie Dash next year if you are in the Midwest. As a locally owned race company holding two races in West Michigan (August and Halloween), we won’t over-extend ourselves and you can always find us if we close our doors. Also, at under $40, you get a Run for Your Lives type experience (over 300 obstacles but they are all living ones…) at an affordable price. Over 20% of profits go to Michigan Blood (of course). We had a 0% unsatisfied rating in our last post-race survey (100 respondents). Find out more at http://www.TheZombieDash.com
I had bought this ticket for this thing last spring break, and here I am looking to see if I am able to transfer it to another place and I ind out now that it is closed down?! I trained for weeks to be in my first 5k obstacle run, even if I was going to be a zombie. This is just awesome *sarcasm*.
I’m not surprised that the Zombie run failed. They choices of locations in the Northeast were very dubious choices. They first choose a location that was an hour away from Boston which was helpful, then the following year in 2012 choose a location well over 2 hours away. Most of the attendees were students which did not have the means not the need to travel 4 hours for that race. It could’ve been managed better had they actually listened to the participants from the previous year! These obstacle can’t survive in metropolitan areas without having some means of public transportation within reach!!!!
I always wanted to go but they never announced the dates early enough for me to ask for time off work. I do hope they’ll come back with a slightly better system and maybe some sponsors to help out.
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