A former Yorkton resident was behind a weekend zombie infestation in Regina.
Craig Kozachenko was Zombie Obstacle Challenge co-chairman with the Regina Queen City Kinsmen Club. He explained the ZOC is a five-kilometre obstacle course run filled with zombies.
It was the inaugural year for the ZOC in Regina, he said adding "this type of run is popular in the (United) States and is the third ever such run to take place in Canada."
"We started this event to provide the Regina Queen City Kinsmen with the means to financially support charitable causes in Regina and carry out service work," said Kozachenko. "A community growing rapidly like Regina means our club is asked more often to help different groups and individuals. Instead of saying "no" to these increased calls for support, we decided to expand our fundraising projects."
Finding zombies proved rather easy said Kozachenko, explaining volunteers were from the general public, and others were friends and family members of individuals on the ZOC committee, who underwent the make-up transformation to become part of the living dead.
As for participants the ZOC was an instant success in Regina.
"Our response from everyone has been huge," said Kozachenko. "We had over 350 runners and 150-plus volunteers and zombies. Runners enjoyed themselves, a few commented that this 5km run was much harder than the half marathon for the QCM (Queen City Marathon) is, despite the 16 km difference.
"Zombie volunteers all had a blast and were easily the 'life of the party', pun intended.
"From the community, we could not have asked for better support over such a short time frame. Many businesses made sure our advertising and information was posted at all times, Radio, TV, local paper helped us with some free advertising spots and air time when they could. Our sponsors provided us with so much help and material that we could not have succeeded without them. (Interesting note, our sponsor 'Spirit of Halloween' in Regina is operated by Gerald Lemcke, a Yorkton Kinsmen Member)."
Kozachenko said the dead will certainly rise again next year after the fun had in year one.
"We will be running this event again in 2014," he said. "Our hope is to have a final dollar number tallied within the next two weeks to get a financial measure of our success, and soon after select our members for the ZOC 2014 committee."
So as a former Yorkton resident, Kozachenko was asked if a ZOC could work in his old hometown?
"An event like the ZOC is a very pop culture kind of event. While some people are incredibly taken by the zombie culture that seems to have been going around since 2006ish, it can be a hit or miss event," he said. "The ZOC in Regina and Zombie Survivor in Calgary have both been deemed successes yet the most popular Run For Your Lives circuit of runs when it came to Toronto was deemed a flop. So there is potential I would say for a ZOC like event to succeed in Yorkton based on the scale it is done to."