One of the first rules for surviving an attack by the living dead — as related to us by the main character in the film "Zombieland" — is cardiovascular health. The undead may be clumsy, but they're also fairly quick and extremely unrelenting, so being in top shape when the time comes to escape the brain-hungry masses should be a priority.

What better way to measure how you're stacking up against the competition then by participating in this year's "Run For Your Lives" race? The 5K (3.1 miles) event, taking place an hour outside of Baltimore has participants frantically running through a forested obstacle course — all the while attempting to avoid a horde of zombie volunteers nipping at their heels.

Participants receive flag belts that represent health. The zombies' goal is to grab all of those flags, effectively killing a runner's entry in the race (and turning them into one of the undead). Just like a video game, additional health flags will be scattered throughout the course. Runners can choose to avoid one of the 12 man-made and natural obstacles, but missing even one will make them ineligible for prizes. The ultimate goal is to make it to the finish line (which has its own zombie challenge) with at least one health flag remaining.

While organizers have established a beginning and an end, the course itself features enough twists and turns that could quickly turn a 5K run into a 10K.

“We’ve always been huge fans of zombie folklore and wanted to create a live-action experience that provides fans with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Ryan Hogan, managing member of Reed Street Productions. “For training, we recommend some running, along with in-depth studying of zombie movies — it’s not the fastest who will win, it’s the one that can best out-maneuver his foes.”

Even automaker Subaru has gotten in on the fun, sponsoring the event with the tagline "The official escape vehicle of the zombie apocalypse".

While the race takes place on Oct. 22, you'll need to register before Oct. 1. Those wishing to forsake the living and join up with the brain-eating masses in hot pursuit can meander here.

Check out a well-produced promo for the event below.

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Can you survive Baltimore's 5K zombie run?
Unique competition has participants racing for the finish line with hordes of brain-hungry, bloody zombies hot on their trail.