Andrew as a Zombie at 2.8 hours later

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse – 2.8 Hours Later, London

My feet thud against the wet, pitch-black muddy park, my heart pumping in time to their beat – I’m only vaguely aware of the fact that I’m screaming, my terrified shrieks merging with those of my fellow survivors and the terrible groans of the figures staggering – and now sprinting – towards me through the darkness.

I’m literally running for my life.

Andrew as a Zombie at 2.8 hours later

Andrew after he was bitten by a Zombie

Someone clips me as they rush by and the force sends me lurching to the side, I feel my feet slipping on the sodden grass and there’s a moment where I think – “Shit, I’m falling” before I hit the earth. I’m flat on my back, staring up at the black sky when the bloodied face of a zombie dressed in ripped hospital scrubs looms over me:

“Are you alright?” he asks.

Thankfully, I was – if you don’t count the bruises, shredded nerves and raw throat from screaming. In fact, despite all that I was better than all right. Call me a freak, but being chased through London by Zombies was the best Friday night I’ve had for as long as I can remember!

2.8 Hours Later, London – what the hell is going on?!

This was 2.8 hours later, the zombie chase game that’s garnered a cult following in the UK.  So, imagine that a deadly virus has swept the country, one that kills its victims and then turns them into flesh-eating, un-dead monsters. It’s a familiar scenario, right? Well the aim of the game is that we, the teams of survivors, have to get across the infected city (in this case, London Docklands) and make it to the safe-house (the Zombie Disco) without getting infected.

We were well prepared for the chase:

Before the zombie chase2.8 hours later start point, London2.8 hours later costumes

 

Along the way we met survivors who gave us clues on where to go next; we were sent through a subway lined with zombies to a creepy abandoned shipping yard and then into a multi-storey car park crawling with zombies. Next came an ingenious twist, we arrived at a park to the sound of screams in the distance – ahead of us I could see a couple of players, one displaying his bloody wrist to a passerby. He must have been injured, I absently thought, my mind preoccupied with the zombies that lay ahead.

 “We’re waiting here because we’ve lost our group,” the girl explained, it was then that her friend with the bloody arm began convulsing and transforming into a zombie before our eyes; there was hardly a second to take it in before he was snarling and chasing us right into the gauntlet of zombies ahead and to my unfortunate accident.

The final challenge of the night was to collect a ‘cure’ for any of us who’d been infected; so, everyone in our team apart from Andrew.  To get the cure you had to leg it through a pack of about 10 zombies who sprung to life as soon as we started moving – none of us got through unscathed and we only collected enough cures for five members of our team. In a final act of solidarity we decided that if we couldn’t all be cured, we’d become zombies together.

We got infected by zombies at 2.8 hours later

We all became zombies together!

You call a Zombie Chase fun?!

 

Have you ever imagined what you’d do in a zombie apocalypse – ever wondered whether you’d be one of the resourceful survivors?  Well I certainly have. For as long as I can remember I’ve been obsessed with zombie movies and post-apocalyptic fiction, ever since I read Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ for the first time when I was 12. I’ve plotted in detail what I’d do if there was a sudden apocalypse, where I’d go (to the nearest forest, and eventually the Scottish Highlands) what weapons I’d use (a gun, stolen from an abandoned police station) and what mode of transport I’d get on (a motorbike to dodge the stationary traffic and speed past the infected). 

Amy as a zombie in 2.8 hours later

I’m not much of a survivor afterall…

In fact, I even wrote about 30,000 words of my own post-apocalyptic, dystopian-feminist story, before realising that it was probably just a hybrid of all my favourite books and films, from The Handmaids Tale and 28 days later to The Stand, Romero’s Dead trilogy, the War of the Worlds and everything in between.  And then I gave up – for now.

What did I learn from the Zombie Apocalypse?

At the zombie disco

Andrew left me for dead!

Playing 2.8 hours later was probably the closest I’ll actually get to experiencing a real zombie apocalypse, and it taught me several things:

1) Even though I spent months training for this by jogging in the park every weekend, I’m still not fit or fast enough to outrun an adult male zombie

2) If there really was a zombie attack, I’d be on my own – I wouldn’t see Andrew for dust. Yes, the minute a zombie appeared he was off, focused only on his own survival. Granted, he survived until almost the very end without getting infected, but at the cost of his girlfriend’s life.  Well, at least I know where I stand, right?

Jo and Amy at the zombie disco

Jo ‘The Brave’ and Amy the ‘Not-so-Brave’

3) Sometimes your friends are really your foe – it was Bonner, my friend/priest survivor who dealt the fatal blow that left me flat on my back in the middle of a pitch black field with zombies closing in around me

4) It’s best to wear dark, camouflaging clothing – not a bright white decontamination suit (decorating overalls from B&Q, actually) to avoid drawing the attention of the zombies

A well-deserved beer after 2.8 hours later

A well-deserved beer after 2.8 hours later

5) I am not brave, or smart in a crisis. In fact, I’m sure my tactic of screaming as loud as possible and running in a blind panic only made the zombies chase me more

6) My friend Jo, on the other hand, is incredibly brave. She ducked and dived through the car-park zombies and was off like a lone wolf across the park, a pack of zombies zooming after her. A good 10 minutes of us screaming her name later she emerged, jogging back from the furthest and darkest corner of the park

7) Maps are hard to read under pressure. There were eight people in our team, could any one of us figure out how to get between checkpoints? No. We got hopelessly lost and at one point ended up somehow doing the course in reverse – don’t ask me how.

If you live in the UK or are planning to visit, I’d highly recommend taking part in 2.8 hours later – especially if you’re a zombie obsessed fiend like me – you will have the scare of your life!

2.8 Hours Later Video

It was really hard to get any good zombie footage while we were running for our lives – here’s the best we could do under such terrifying circumstances:

 

2.8 hours later tickets are available online, an extra week of London games have just been added, so get in fast before they sell out. 2.8 Hours Later ticket prices: between £34 and £40 each

Check out the Zombie Chase – Part 2 to find out what happened when we volunteered to be zombies!

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25 Comments
  • Andrew Bonner
    Posted at 18:03h, 03 November Reply

    I’d just like to say that amys assertion that i knocked her over is entirely baseless and probably stems from her prejudice against the male race. She will be hearing from my solicitor in due course….

    Father Bonner

    • Amy
      Posted at 18:05h, 03 November Reply

      My prejudice is against the clergy rather than the male race I’ll have you know!!

  • Andrew Bonner
    Posted at 18:17h, 03 November Reply

    So you admit to being prejudiced? There’s some jobs going at news international, i think you’d fit right in….

    Bonner 3:16

    • Amy
      Posted at 18:19h, 03 November Reply

      Ohhh – you better not come near me at the fireworks tonight – wouldn’t want your priestly robes to catch on my sparkler, hey?!

  • Andrew
    Posted at 18:23h, 03 November Reply

    So when Jo goes it alone she’s a “brave lone wolf”, but when I leave your side for a second I’m leaving my girlfriend for dead!

    Charming!

    • Amy
      Posted at 18:56h, 03 November Reply

      I expected more from u aj!

    • Jo
      Posted at 22:43h, 05 November Reply

      Tut, Andrew. I was calling out to Amy in the park so we could run together for protection. Unfortunately, this announced my presence to the zombies who turned on me like wasps! This left me no alternative than to do the right thing and get them to chase me across the park, thus freeing Amy from their clutches…not that this helped very much!

      • Andrew
        Posted at 23:04h, 05 November Reply

        Wow, not just a lone wolf but valiant too! Clearly I need to take a leaf out of your book!

      • Amy
        Posted at 23:07h, 05 November Reply

        Thanks for sacrificing yourself to save me Jo! It’s more than my beastly bf did! I must acknowldge that once he finally realised I’d been knocked over he reappeared to help me (without somehow getting infected even once?!). I want you on my team Jo if there’s a real apocalypse!

        • Jo
          Posted at 21:07h, 06 November Reply

          Will definitely team up with you guys. Andrew-no-bites, and you seem to have it all sussed, meanwhile, Bonner would be good at knocking down the undead!

          • Amy
            Posted at 09:45h, 07 November

            ‘Andrew-no-bites’ – love it! We could definitely use a bit of Bonner Barging to foil the zombies too!

  • Carl
    Posted at 18:32h, 03 November Reply

    So… you all died of zombie flu then? Looks good. I’m going to look into the Bristol one when it’s next on!

    Carl

    • Andrew
      Posted at 18:53h, 03 November Reply

      It was awesome, I’d definitely recommend it, try it with your water polo team, I hung on till the very end tho, it was tough.
      Arghhh!!

  • Beast
    Posted at 18:32h, 03 November Reply

    Looks like it was a brilliant evening, you make great zombies! Beast

    • Amy
      Posted at 18:49h, 03 November Reply

      Thanks beast – it was epic! Andrew was the scariest zombie!

  • Chris
    Posted at 18:48h, 04 November Reply

    It’s weird, I was there on Friday night too, but found it hugely disappointing (as did the rest of my eight-strong group, and just about everyone else I spoke to at the disco – I was hearing the term “a bit shit” an awful lot). It was just lots and lots of walking, with no threat of any zombies at all (so no tension/excitement between zones), then a handful of set pieces. I will concede that the park was fantastic, and the car park was pretty good fun too, but that was kind of it. Everyone I know who did last year said that this year didn’t even come close to it, which made it all the more frustrating (I’d been looking forward to it so much!) Certainly not worth the £30+ that we paid for the tickets.

    Oh well, maybe I’ll volunteer as a zombie in 2013.

    • Amy
      Posted at 19:12h, 04 November Reply

      Hi Chris, yes, we heard similar criticisms, especially from people who’d been last year. We agree that in between zombie zones there wasn’t much threat; we would have liked to have seen a few more zombies lurking around there to keep us on our toes but overall we loved it – I think the experience is what you make it. Perhaps some of the disappointment might stem from the fact that expectations were so high after the amazing reviews from last year. Also, because the first night of this year’s game got some bad reviews people who played over the next few nights may have been looking for faults. Interestingly, we walked through the zombie park again last night on the way back from the fireworks and got chatting to a couple of the marshals; they said that particularly on the first night it was so slippery in the park that they had to use category 1 zombies (the slowest kind) because it was so dangerous, so it’s no wonder it wasn’t quite so much fun. As it was, they said one guy had broken his shoulder in the park! We’re also thinking of volunteering next weekend if there are any spaces to experience what’s it like to be a zombie.

  • Shane
    Posted at 23:40h, 08 November Reply

    Undead attracting screaming, shoving each other over and running off – come the zombie apocalypse I’m afraid I would have to think twice before I let any of you through the gates of my castle refuge.

    • Amy
      Posted at 09:46h, 09 November Reply

      Ha! I don’t blame you at all Shane, however, you might want to consider having Jo on your team – she was pretty awesome!

  • Scarlett
    Posted at 09:19h, 10 November Reply

    I’ve heard sooo much about these things, it sounds so much fun and terrifying at the same time. I think I’ll need to get a few workouts under my belt first though lol x

    • Amy
      Posted at 12:33h, 10 November Reply

      Yes, it is really scary but so much fun! Oddly, you don’t really notice all the running because the adrenalin is flowing so much and you’re just eager to get away. It’s only the next day that you feel the aches. We are volunteering as zombies tonight which will be the real test – four hours of chasing and scaring people! I took a look at your website by the way – looks great!

  • The Guy
    Posted at 22:09h, 12 November Reply

    That looks like a lot of fun, it must of been great to do. Did you finish the night by blaring out Michael Jackson and dancing to “Thriller”?

    • Amy
      Posted at 23:01h, 12 November Reply

      Ha! As a matter of fact we did dance to that at the zombie disco – it was great! Check out part 2 where we got to go to zombie school and then go out and scare people on Sat night!

  • Pingback:Visiting Bristol | Our Nostalgic Weekend in Bristol
    Posted at 21:28h, 18 January Reply

    […] be mental asylums. This is the city that hosts annual hot air balloon fiestas, held the first ever zombie chase game and furiously protested over the supermarket chain Tesco opening yet another store in the city. To […]

  • Pingback:Halloween in America | Salem, Stephen King Tour, Ghostport
    Posted at 09:56h, 05 October Reply

    […] a group of zombies perform the Thriller dance in Monument Square, which brought back memories of the 2.8 Hours Later zombie chase game we played in London, we even went to zombie school so we could become volunteer […]

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