The Zombie Dash 5K   |   Saturday, October 22, 2022, 6:45 PM

Race Information

Greetings and salutations my friends (yes, we do consider zombies our friends most of the time)!  Our 9th annual Zombie Dash 5K will be taking place on Saturday, October 22, 2022 at Sixth Street Park in Grand Rapids MI.  We strive to improve this event every year and love the feedback we get from our survivors and zombies alike.  Read on to prepare yourself for another thrilling night!      

The long and SHORT of it

5K traffic free loop, downtown GR, start/finish 6th St Park, 6:45 PM, flat route, life strips, slow zombies, dodge, potential bonus time, pay early=save, pay late=pay more

Zombies matter!

We could not be the Zombie Dash without zombies.  If you are not into running or walking long distances and prefer slow shuffling, grunting and dressing like the undead, then we have an opening for you!  Volunteer as a zombie for a wee bit and get a FREE SHIRT on us!  You must personally pick up your free shirt and look like a zombie.  This zombie pickup policy will be enforced, otherwise we get nilch in return for a shirt.  Register today before we hit our limit!      

What you get for 1 paid adult run/walk entry

  • Custom t-shirt (assuming you register in time, see below for nitty gritty details)
  • Chip timed
  • Custom finisher cup
  • 3 life strips (any life strips left at the end of the race gives you bonus minutes)
  • Age group medal if you dash fast enough
  • Refreshments galore
  • Life altering stories 

ZombieDashMug v1 no white

ZD Shirt 2019 v1 no white

Tweaks to make this a better event

  • Zombie costume contest BEFORE the 5K race from 5:45 - 6:15 PM.
  • Start time of 6:45 PM with no assigned waves and a start cutoff of 7:00 PM for you night owls.  You will still start in small groups to avoid congestion on the Riverwalk.  Your time starts when you cross the start mat.  
  • No late starts after 7:00 PM for safety reasons.  Volunteers are being dismissed by a cyclist following the last official runner.  
  • Age group award pickup starting at 8:00 PM.  No formal awards ceremony.
  • Kids 10 and under running 'FREE' with a parent get a small kids medal at the finish (see below for instructions regarding Kids 10 and under)  

Longer version of LONG and short of it for RUNNERS

5K runners and walkers will be given 3 life strips to insert into their waist band.  Please TUCK the shirts so the life strips are clearly visible (yes, there are rules when it comes to this zombie event).  If you prefer not to be chased by zombies, you may run without life strips.  The 5K course will be clearly marked with arrow signs and volunteers at key intersections.  The 2022 will not have any road closures to keep our zombies 'Alive'.  The feed zone is in Ah-Nab-Awen Park.  The beginning of the race meanders by a babbling brook otherwise known as the Grand River.  Zombies are only allowed to scare participants on the Riverwalk.  There are two 'feed zones' on the 5K route, both in Ah-Nab-Awen Park where slow moving zombies will try to take your life strips.  An aid station with is located in Ah-Nab-Awen Park, which runners will hit twice.  Gillett Bridge, just south of Ah-Nab-Awen Park, is the only 'Scare Zone.'  All other areas on the ocurse are 'No Scare Zones' due to the narrow sidewalks.  After going south past the Blue Bridge, you'll head past GVSU before heading back through Ah-Nab-Awen (east side of park, closest to water).  Then you'll head over to Scribner, then into Fish Ladder park, weave right next to the river, go north, and then take the sidewalk on Sixth Street Bridge into Sixth Street Bridge Park.  Upon finishing in Sixth Street Park, your life strips will be counted (if you have any left), and you will have one minute for each remaining life strip deducted from your total time.  If all your life strips are taken, you are not disqualified.

Kids 10 and under can run FREE with their parents.  FREE kids are not timed, do not get a shirt and do not get a fabulous finisher cup.  Do not register your FREE kids 10 and under online, just sign a paper waiver and pick up a special kids bib at registration.  Kids 10 and under that want an official time and shirt must pay the full entry fee.      

Zombie Role

Zombies are going to SHINE again in 2022.  The zombie costume contest is going to be BEFORE the race, from at 5:45 pm - 6:15 pm.  After the contect, zombies should head out on the course.  The zombies need to be out on the 5K course for the entire race duration, 6:45 - 8:00 PM.  Zombies in a 'Scare Zone' should only scare for safety reasons.  Zombies in a 'Feed Zone' should grab for runners' life strips at a realistically slow pace.  Zombies do not run the course (no World War Z zombies).  By the time runners reach you they will be tired and some should be low hanging fruit.  Security will be on hand to identify zombies not playing nice.  There is NO zombie award for the most life strips taken.  Scare, have fun and be careful.     

Costs and DEADlines

  • 5K registration through August 17 is $45.  $5 price increase on August 18, September 15 and Oct 5.  Race day cost is $70.  Custom t-shirt is guaranteed through October 4. 
  • A custom shirt is NOT guaranteed after October 4.  Those runners registering after the deadline can check in with the shirt pickup area after the race to see if their size is available.  However, we do order extra shirts in anticipation of more registrations after the shirt order deadline.
  • Group discounts are available.  Please visit the Register Now link to get more details. 
  • For a military discount, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a discount code.
  • Zombies are free, but must register online.  Register as a Zombie by October 4 to guarantee your free t-shirt.

Not your average 5K course, so beware!

The 5K course is not a run of the mill rail trail 5K.  The course traverses uneven sidewalks plus you'll be navigating some of the Riverwalk’s slippery wooden planks.  It may or may not be dark when you run and lighting is not bright in most areas. Please bring a headlamp and wear reflective attire if possible.  Please be aware of these facts so you can properly prepare for this adventure.  Do not register for this race if you are not prepared for these conditions.

Our charity

We have a new charity partner for 2022.  We are giving a portion of our profits to Hunt 2 Heal


We will race rain or shine… or snow. In the event of a thunderstorm, tornado, or freak lake-effect blizzard, we will postpone the race until conditions improve. Find secure shelter if severe weather occurs before, during or after the event.  We will not be able to reschedule on a different date due to over $7,000 in costs (police, road closure crew, permits, ambulance, timing etc.) we would have to pay again. We will do everything we can do get the race complete that evening.  Please bring rain gear and umbrellas if necessary.


We would encourage you to invite friends and family to watch the race. We will post race maps so spectators know your route. There is no cost to spectate.


Walkers, if you plan to participate in the Zombie Dash, please be near the start at 6:45 so you finish the course before the cutoff.  Please walk single file where the route is narrow, such as on the Riverwalk and sidewalks, especially when you hear approaching runners.