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Zombie-themed obstacle course aims to prevent drunk driving

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The Running Dead Obstacle Course aims to educate students about the dangers of drunk driving. Image courtesy of CSU-Pueblo health education and prevention.

CSU-Pueblo students are gearing up this week in order to prepare themselves for a coming zombie apocalypse.

Unlike the strikingly sudden and terrifying zombie apocalypses most are familiar with seeing on television, however, this zombie apocalypse is not only expected, but also quite a bit of fun.

The third annual “Even Zombies Know” Running Dead Obstacle Course will held across the campus April 22 in order to raise awareness on the dangers of drinking and driving.

“It’s a social-norming campaign that gives us the opportunity to promote prevention in regards to drunk driving,” said Quatisha Franklin, coordinator of CSU-Pueblo’s health education and prevention program.

CSU-Pueblo students decided to go with the zombie-themed campaign three years ago. By doing so, the club capitalized on the growing popularity of zombie movies and television shows like AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

The campaign’s slogan is “Even zombies know not to drink and drive.”

Every year since its inception, the health education and prevention program, with the help of CSU-Pueblo community volunteers, has facilitated the event and studied its affect on students.

According to surveys conducted before and after the event, of students who participated, “82 percent say they’ve spoken up to prevent an intoxicated person from driving, and 71 percent of students also said they’ve given someone a ride to prevent them from drinking and driving,” Franklin said.

Finding fun and entertaining ways to get students involved in spreading awareness for worthy causes is no easy feat.

“A lot of students say there is nothing else to do in Pueblo (besides drink) so we try to give them alternate activities,” she said.

This year’s course is slightly longer than a mile and will span throughout the entirety of the CSU-Pueblo campus. It has changed from past years in order to provide a new challenge for students who have competed before.

“I thought it would be beneficial to change the course every year to make more students participate,” Franklin said.

With a variety of obstacles like a slip-and-slide, a hoola-hoop station, and tire-flip and speed ladder obstacles, students are all but ensured their experience will come with some difficult challenges. All of these obstacles will be in addition to escaping the water-gun baring zombies trying to devour their brains.

According to a CSU-Pueblo news release, the team with the best time has the chance to win parking passes for the next academic year.

Second place finishers will receive $25 in Thunderbucks per team member, while third place team members will each receive a $10 Chili’s gift card.

In addition to the raising awareness aspect of the event, Franklin believes participation is highly beneficial to all students, if nothing else to burn a bit of stress before their upcoming finals.

“We always try to do the event the week before finals. It gives students a chance to relieve some stress. It gives them a chance to go through the slip-and-slide, get a little wet, have a little fun and get some good exercise as well,” Franklin said.