Scaring up funds with fun run

Shambling ''zombie''  University of Otago postgraduate student Paris Pidduck, presents a...
Shambling ''zombie'' University of Otago postgraduate student Paris Pidduck, presents a challenge to fun run participants yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
It's almost official. Kindergarten teachers, lawyers and university students all make fairly good zombies.

And zombies were in some profusion at Dunedin's Ross Creek reserve yesterday.

This was during a ''ChatBus Zombie Apocalypse'', involving a 5km fun run with an ''un-dead'' twist, to raise money for the ChatBus counselling service for children.

About 300 runners tackled a route through Ross Creek, which was dotted with obstacles and patrolled by 50 shambling zombies - teachers, lawyers and university students among the ''zombie'' volunteers.

Each runner wore a belt with three rippa-rugby type tags, which the zombies targeted.

Runners who retained one or more tags were later hailed as ''survivors'' and those who lost all three were deemed ''infected''.

ChatBus counsellor Averil Pierce was delighted with the response to the fun run, which was the biggest public event ChatBus had organised since it began offering counselling for Dunedin school pupils, aged under 14, in 2008.

Final figures were not immediately available, but she was optimistic the event had raised its $8000 target, to support expanding the mobile counselling service, by adding a third counsellor position and another bus.

A group of defiant female runners thwarted one zombie attack by resorting to an impromptu group hug, shielding their tags before they ran on their way.

And University of Otago student Paris Pidduck said zombiedom was ''fun'', complete with convincing-looking ''blood'', consisting of food dye and golden syrup.

''I'd rather be a zombie than a survivor.''

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