Despite the threat of zombies roaming around Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area, 119 runners came out to participate in the unique Zombie Fun Run Saturday.

“It was fantastic,” Spc. Edward Richards, said about the run. “I survived!”

Richards, 91st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Bde. Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, who was the first to cross the finish line at 21:44, said it was his first fun run at Fort Hood and he was doing it for his mom.

“Happy birthday, mom,” Richards said after finishing the race.

The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation hosted the run, which was supposed to be a 5K, but ended up being more of a 3.5-mile run, not counting the extra running participants did while trying to evade zombies. Danyell Homoki, recreation aid with DFMWR and event organizer, said the route consisted of three stops, where the runners had to grab “anecdotes,” while avoiding zombies. The runners had two flags attached to their waists that the zombies had to grab. To qualify for first, second or third place, the runners had to keep at least one flag and all three anecdotes.

“Going there, it wasn’t too bad, but coming back, they were after me,” Spc. Eric Watkins, 3rd Bn., 8th Cav. Regt., 3rd BCT, 1st Cav. Div., said about the zombies along the route.

Seven-year-old Alex Rodriguez, who volunteered as a zombie alongside his mom Fridae, said he captured a total of 67 flags from the runners. The quick little boy manage to grab the flags of more than half the runners.

“I will say I laughed,” Toni Kornegay, recreation specialist for DFMWR, said about the Halloween-themed run. “I laughed a lot out there.”

Families participated in the run with their little ones and enjoyed the time

“Don’t underestimate the families who have children,” Shannen George, spouse of Sgt. Justin George, 3rd Cav. Regt., laughed. “We will feed them to the zombies, so we can finish first.”

Shannen and her 7-year-old son Logan both had their last flag taken just mere feet from the finish line.

“It was challenging,” Dr. Peter Craig, DFMWR director and event runner, said. “Having to sprint when you see the zombies and trying to dodge them drained me of everything that I got.”

Craig said it was a great even to kick-off the beginning of the fiscal year race series.

“We really want to thank our zombies who volunteered to come out,” Kornegay said. “We didn’t have a lot, but they did a very good job of covering the route.”

The next DFMWR event is the Spooky Spin Party, which will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday. The event is $5 per person and participants are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite spooky attire for a chance to be named the Top Spin Creature. For more information, visit