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Since I haven't posted on DA since the news... I had to rush back to China last week for a death in my family. Only today did I manage to get fairly regular internet access, and I can't reach Facebook or Twitter at all, and of course my phone's Data is turned off. Being so cut off from my usual communication methods is making this difficult situation feel even more heavy on my heart, and even though I'm with my entire family, I feel lonely and lost. I don't know how to really talk about this. The only way I can post besides DA is on Instagram For the next week or two, I'll mostly be posting there.

instagram.com/yayahan

Here is my New Orleans costume line up!

I'll  be at my booth #227 all weekend signing calendars and prints, or look  for me in the Cosplay Lounge right next door!
Here is a map link to my exact location: yayahan.com/images/events/nola…  
New costume debut on Saturday - DC Comics' Powergirl - Kotobukiya  style! I'm working on the last bits of her right now! I will be speaking  at the Cosplay panel on Saturday at 11am, and judging the costume  contest at 8pm.

SO WILL I SEE YOU IN NOLA OR WHAT?!?!?!

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Another convention appearance announcement! I'll be a  Guest at Anime Matsuri 2013, to support the World Cosplay Summit and the  Marvel costume contest! I'll be involved in both contests as well as  the AM Cosplay contest with cash prizes, and hosting
 panels throughout the weekend. I'll also have a dealer hall booth, so  that's where I'll be when I'm not doing programming for the con. Let me  know if you're going to AM!

(That does mean I will again not be  at Sakuracon as they are on the same weekend. But I will have an  exhibitor booth at Sakuracon with my full line of cospay products ^_^)

 

My Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale was extended to tonight, Midnight EST! Take 15% off your entire purchase when you use the code "FOODCOMA2012" at Checkout!

Store link: yayahan.bigcartel.com

Etsy store link: (discount also applied) etsy.com/shop/yayahan

I added a few new prints and a 3 photo set of my Yakuza Bodypaint with extra savings! Thank you all so much for the orders so far and enjoy the discounts!



This weekend I will see many of you at New Orleans Comic Con, I hope! November 30th - December 2nd in NOLA! I will be judging the costume contest at 7pm on Saturday, running panels and you can meet me at my booth 227!
Here is a map of the New Orleans Comic Con layout and where I am.

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION

Cosplay line up will be announced this week!
I didn't get a chance to post this sooner, but there is an after Thanksgiving Sale happening right now in my cosplay store! 15% off your entire purchase when you use the code "FOODCOMA2012" at Checkout! Sales goes on until noon Monday the 26th.

Store link: yayahan.bigcartel.com

Etsy store link: (discount also applied) etsy.com/shop/yayahan

Thank you all for your support and happy shopping!

Hi everyone! As a result of all of you rad people logging onto my Shindig online chat event last night, we crashed their server!!! I wanted to make it up to you guys so I recorded a video answering 15 questions you sent in and made a new YouTube Channel!
Watch the video here!



Subscribe to my Channel here - I'll be uploading a new video tomorrow and regularly from here on!

Send in your cosplay questions to my Facebook via Message! I will answer them in future videos!

Thank you guys so much for your support! Love you all!
EDIT: Ok so the Shindig online chat lasted for about 15 minutes before we crashed their server!!! So many people logged on that the Shindig server couldn't handle our awesomeness anymore. I'm so sorry to everyone who tried to chat with me but weren't able to. I recorded a video for you guys, answering some of the questions you had prepared for the Shindig chat.
I will upload it tomorrow, so watch out! Love you all and thank you for taking the time to log on to the chat <33333

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Have you RSVP's to my 1-hour video chat tonight? I'm using the sophisticated Shindig platform which makes a simple video chat into an event where you can mingle with people and hang out with me! Here is the link to join the fun!

Tonight, 9pm Eastern Time - just log on, I will be in costuuuuume! www.shindig.com/event/yayahan

I also have a convention appearance announcement! I will be the Cosplay Guest for New Orleans Comic Con on November 30th - December 2nd! I will be judging the costume contest at 7pm on Saturday, running panels and you can meet me at my booth 227!
Here is a map of the New Orleans Comic Con layout and where I am.

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR LARGER VERSION

Hope to see you at both events!
Super exciting news, everyone! I am holding an interactive 1-hour online chat on Monday November 19th, from 9pmEST - 10pmEST!

www.shindig.com/event/yayahan

That means you guys can come hang out with me via webcam and talk cosplay, comics, anime, conventions and more! I'm using this awesome website called Shindig so all you have to do is RSVP in the link and come Monday the 19th JOIN the chat!
www.shindig.com/event/yayahan
The best part? Send in your questions for me via yayashindig@gmail.com and Shindig will pick the most interesting ones for their streaming interview with me during the chat!
The 2nd best part? I will be in costume for the event! But you won't find out which costume until the 19th!

Please don't send questions via comments below, these WILL NOT COUNT! Only questions emailed to yayashindig@gmail.com will be chosen for the chat event!

Looking forward to hanging out with everyone!!
Posting this at 3am because I am jetlagged from Germany trip and not bothering to correct my sleep schedule. Afterall, I'm heading back out on Monday morning again, for a week in Japan.

Germany happened right on the tail of Dragoncon, I fly to Frankfurt then drove to Kassel to partake in Connichi, the largest anime convention in Germany. And it was an amazing event, filled with cosplayers from various European countries in gorgeous meticulously crafted costumes. For a craftsmanship lover such as myself, it was a breath of fresh air to be surrounded by all this wonderful handiwork. For the first time in a long time at a convention, I could wear a costume made by me (Granado Espada Wizard) and know that the people who saw it believed that I indeed made it myself.
In the US, I used to never be challenged on whether or not I made my own costumes, but in the last few years it seems like people only want to know where I bought them. Indeed, it is far too easy to have a full costume made for you, or order one off ebay. The percentage of craftsmanship driven cosplayers is shrinking, while the overall cosplay community is growing. In Germany, the mentality in Cosplay is still that everyone makes their own costumes, or work on them together with friends, and what is valued the most is craftsmanship and detail.
I definitely want to return to Connichi next year if possible, and make a new costume for it!!

After the convention I got to visit my parents for a few days and tour around parts of Germany I hadn't been to before, such as the beautiful medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Taube. I also got to visit cosplayer and armor master KamuiCosplay, which was inspirational and motivating at the same time. She gave me the confidence to look at full armor projects for my future costumes.

Now I'm back in my home for all of 2 days before it's time to fly again, to Tokyo for a few days of eating, toy collecting, Ghibli museum, and then Tokyo Game Show! Riddle and I were invited to cosplay on the Cure stage, so look for us on Saturday there!

At the end of the month I will be at Anime Weekend Atlanta doing panels, hosting the costume contest, and signing calendars at my dealer hall booth #218!


Busy September....
Gaah it's a mad weekend, I'm just gonna bring a bunch of fruit & food and survive off of that in my room because there isn't enough time to go eat! All Dragoncon, all weekend!



Thursday - Booth set up. the YayaHan.com booth is G13, in the Dealer Hall in the lowest level of the Marriott hotel. You have to walk to the back of the hotel then take the escalator down 1 floor. It is the level BELOW the 2 exhibitor halls on either side of the Mariott.

I will be signing at the booth every day, where you can choose from a variety of prints and posters, and my limited edition 2013 calendar! I also will have my full line of cosplay accessories at the booth.

My signing schedule:

Friday - Signing at booth G13 from 1pm - 4pm 9 (wearing Rarity from My Little Pony)

Saturday - Signing at booth G13 from 4pm - 7pm

Sunday - Signing at booth G13 from 3pm - 6pm

Monday - Signing at booth G13 from 11am - 2pm

I will also be signing for the Aurora Rises Charity on Friday and Monday - signing times and location to be announced.

My cosplay schedule is as follows:

Friday morning: Rarity - MLP

Friday 6pm: Jessica Rabbit (new!!) I will be hanging out with a bunch of Disney costumers in the Marriott!

Saturday 11am: Psylocke with Marvel X-Men group

Saturday 2:30pm: Granado Espada Wizard with Uxi's Elementalist

Saturday 8:30pm: Archer (tv series) group - I will be the Asian Assassin from Season 2, Episode 6!

Sunday 10:30am: NEW costume! Can you guess what?! I've been working like mad on this for the past 3 weeks.

Sunday in the afternoon: Chesthugger corset by Rage Customs

Sunday 8pm: Arkham City Catwoman with Jonathan Carroll as Batman! Looking for brave photographers with lighting set ups for night photos in Atlanta lol

Monday I indulge in casual civvies as I am co-hosting a panel! "Costuming Biz & Shop Organization" at 10:00 am Location: M103 - M105 - Marriott



I'll mainly be hanging out in the Marriott walking around in costume, or at my booth G13. The best way to find me is to go to my booth at the signing times above. I hope to see many many many of you this weekend!

CALL FOR ENTRIES

We are seeking submissions for possible publication in 1000 Incredible Cosplay and Costume Ideas, an upcoming book by Dr. Grymm (Joey Marsocci), Allison DeBlasio and Yaya Han.

Publication date: April 2013

Comic  book, Sci-Fi, and Anime conventions have been around since the 1930's.  With those conventions come the ultimate fans, those who Cosplay. Joey  Marsocci and Allison DeBlasio of Dr. Grymm Laboratories, authors of the  immensely popular 1000 Steampunk Creations (Quarry Books,  2011), in collaboration with Internationally acclaimed cosplayer Yaya Han, are putting out a call to artists to submit their most amazing  cosplay photographs for compilation into exciting upcoming book.

We are seeking submissions for the following categories:
Anime & Manga
Video Games
Comic books
Television
Movies
Cartoons
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Original Characters
Props
Burlesque
Historical

We are not just looking for the best in each category, but for unique, dynamic, and high quality photography of characters and props.

All  costume and props must belong to the contributor and be their unique work. Photos submitted by the  photographer must be submitted along with a model release and the name  and country of origin of all subjects. We are looking for sophisticated  images to help us elevate the world of cosplay. If you would like to  submit photos taken at conventions, please make sure the backgrounds are  free of clutter, crowds, and other patrons. We will accept Photoshop  effects when appropriate.

TO SUBMIT:

1. Email 1000@DrGrymmLaboratories.net or 1000@yayahan.com, and either include a link to your  website/online portfolio for our review, or attach no more than 4  low-res JPEG images of your work (each file should be under 1 MB). Name  each attachment with your last name, and the numbers 1-4.

2.  If your low-resolution images are provisionally accepted, you will follow the below instructions on how to upload the corresponding high resolution  files, and you will be required to fill out a Grant of Rights form  allowing the publisher the permission to print your images. At this  time, we may invite you to submit an additional 6 high-res images, for a  total of no more than 10 photos/costumes entered into the final jurying round.

High Res photo submission guidelines:

1. Any type of costume is welcome!!
2. Submit 1 - 2 photos per costume, up to 10 costume total. It's better to submit too many costumes than not enough..
3. All images must be at least 4.5 x 5.75 inches at 300 dpi (or 1400 x 1750 pixels) - jpeg, tiff files etc.
4. Submit the high res images through the 1000 Incredible Cosplay Ideas Dropbox: dropbox.yousendit.com/1000Cosp…
5. Email 1000@DrGrymmLaboratories.net your image list (keep it simple, list of each file and what the character name and source materials are)
6. Sign/scan/email 1000@DrGrymmLaboratories.net your Grant of rights and Model relase when applicable.THESE WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU VIA EMAIL ALONG WITH YOUR ACCEPTED SUBMISSIONS

3.  1000 images will be selected for publication. If selected, you will not  be required to provide any how-to instructions, but you will need to  briefly describe your costume.

Published contributors will be  credited on the pages where their image(s) appear, as well as in the  artist directory. Contributors will also have the opportunity to  purchase copies of the book at a 50% discount.

Deadline: AUGUST 31st, 2012. Acceptance begins immediately: early submissions are encouraged.

Personal Statement from Yaya:

Hi everyone! I just would like to re-iterate what a great project this is. Even though there is no monetary  compensation, I believe this book is worth being a part of. Why? Because the cosplay scene is growing fast and shifting toward the mainstream. But right now the public media still has huge misconceptions about  cosplayers as fetishists, booth babes, and faux geeks.

We need to set  the record straight, by giving the mainstream media a collection of incredible  costumes that are hand/home made, with passion and creativity. I want to be a part of "1000 Incredible Cosplay and  Costume Ideas" because I know it can help non-geeks and mass media  understand what WE are all about, and what is means to be a cosplayer. I believe this book can serve as a guideline to Cosplay for many years to come. So please read the guidelines and SUBMIT! Be a part of Cosplay History!"



Any questions, comment below! I'll answer to the best of my abilities!
Cosplaying Baroness - G.I. Joe on Friday with BRAND NEW set of armor by Pitviper Studios, Chun Li on Saturday (only by popular demand, I'm outwearing this costume!!) and Psylocke on Sunday! I will be SIGNING CALENDARS & PRINTS at my Exhibit Hall booth X15 all weekend, from 12:30pm on each day. My entire cosplay accessories line will also be available there! The booth is against the wall on the left side of the room - hope to see many of you there!!!

Here it is! My SDCC schedule! Come next week, I'll never stop running lol.



Thursday:
Hosting Sociology of Cosplay panel for DA at noon, room 2. Wearing Ame-Comi Wonder Woman
Gentle Giant Booth #3513 signing: 2pm - 4pm LIMITED CALENDARS AVAILABLE!! Wearing Amber - Sucker Punch

Friday:
Off site shoot during the day (sorry can't say more)
Anovos booth appearance #832 in the afternoon, around 5pm I hope, wearing Anovos licensed Star Trek TOS dress!

Saturday:
Arkham City Catwoman in the morning - I am open for photoshoots!!
Gentle Giant Booth #3513 signing: 2pm - 4pm LIMITED CALENDARS AVAILABLE. Wearing Psylocke - X Men
I will also be hanging out at the MARVEL booth as Psylocke, time to be announced

Sunday:
I will re-wear Arkham City Catwoman FOR FUN! Might be signing for :iconnicolepinup:!

Can't wait to see everyone! It's going to be an insane week. INSANE!! Please respond if you'd like to shoot with me, a link to your portfolio would be great! Thank you!!!
With a week to go, the Mecca for Nerds is almost upon us. I am super excited to return to SDCC, and this year, for the first time, I will be hosting a panel presentation for deviantART on Thursday. It is a huge honor and I can't wait.

Panel: How to better understand the Sociology behind Cosplay (1 of the 5 official deviantART panel presentations at SDCC 2012)
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Room 2
<a href=:"www.comic-con.org/cci/cci12_pr…">Comic Con's Thursday programming schedule link

I will post my costume schedule and where to find me the rest of SDCC in the next couple of days!!

I can't believe it is that time of year again. July is about to hit me upside the head with Anime Expo, San Diego Comic Con and Otakon. Yes I will be at all three.

Anime Expo is first, and I am on a plane to Los Angeles right now to meet a horde of 40,000+ anime/video game/sci-fi/comic hungry people at a cavernous convention center. Do I feel prepared? .....Somewhat. I always feel overwhelmed at the thought of AX, but then I remember, I have been going to this con since 1999! And I've done just about everything you can do there, from competing in the Masquerade (costume contest), displaying at the Art Show, selling prints in the Artist Alley, doing photoshoots, giving panels, and exhibiting in the MASSIVE dealer hall. That thought usually makes me excited to get out to AX, which is what I'm feeling now.

So come Friday, you can find me at the YayaHan.com Exhibit Booth #815 at the convention's South Hall. Here is a map of where I'll be - click for larger:

I will be doing a panel presentation on Friday, the 29th June: Sociology of Cosplay, 1pm, room #411. If you have always been curious about the unique social structure in Cosplay, stop by and give it a listen, maybe share your experiences too!

Not only will my 2013 calendar be available for perusing, sale and signing, but I have been working my tail off to produce a full stock of my cosplay accessories! I will also have prints, t-shirts and other merch at the table, and of course I will be cosplaying all weekend, so come by and say hi!

Pre-order now! The Yaya Han 2013 Cosplay Calendar - Limited Edition




For the past few months I have been hard at work with designer David Terres and photographers such as Anna Fisher and Paul Tien, to produce this 12 month collection of my favorite and best costumes. Here is the 1st teaser image, featuring my brand new Art Nouveau Chun Li cosplay (designed by :iconrazvan-sedekiah:), shot by Paul Tien. I'll be releasing more teasers this month so check back for more! At the end of the month I will release the back cover image, with even more teasers of each of the month images.
New Chun Li cosplay - Calendar Pre-order by yayacosplay
Calendar info: For the first time ever, Yaya's best costuming and cosplay photos are collected in this Exlcusive 2013 Limited Edition Calendar.
Printed on high quality glossy paper, you will receive a collection  of 12 mostly new and never before seen images of Yaya's favorite cosplays at 11x17 display, with a personal quote accompanying each  month. The full calendar opens to 11x12 inches.
Each purchase will receive an autographed and personalized calendar by Yaya. Just note the name to be signed to in the payment.
This is a pre-order for the calendar, which will ship mid July 2012. Domestic USA orders will receive FREE SHIPPING! International order only pay $10USD shipping.
Click to order!

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EDIT: GAAAAAAH! At some point yesterday or today I reached 1 million pageviews on my Deviantart profile and totally spaced on it!!

I meant to make a contest for screen-capping the millionth pageview and give away a poster, but between the calendar release, 3 con tour and working to prep for Anime Expo, I totally forgot to keep an eye on the counter. >_<
Usually comment counts and view counts do not matter to me but Deviantart has become a place where I showcase only my best and favorite work - a Best Of collection so to speak. It means A LOT to me to know that so many people have been interested in seeing my cosplay photos on DA, including artists and creators who I respect greatly.
So at least I will say THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who watches me on Deviantart. I really really appreciate it. I will continue creating and posting! <3

I survived Fanime and A-kon! Arguably the most stressful 2 weeks of the year, based on past years, I've been working non-stop to prepare for them. I am happy to report that both events were a success, albeit with small mishaps such as a shoe breaking right in the middle of a photoshoot of me wearing a very elaborate hard to move in costume.

I did debut a new costume at Fanime and wore it to A-kon as well. Here is the first pro shot of me as Chun Li (Art Nouveau style, designed by  Razvan-Sedekiah on Deviantart, costume made by me) - by Yosi  Photography.

 

More photos coming soon, as I get them.


This weekend is Albuquerque Comic Expo, which is shaping up to be a huge event. I am appearing as their Cosplay Guest and look forward to meeting everyone at my Artist Alley table #D14.

Here is a map of the hall and where I will be! (click to see larger version)


I will be signing posters, prints, t-shirts and other merchandise all weekend long and also have a selection of my cosplay accessories available.  

See the panel schedule for my 2 panels over the weekend, on Friday at 5pm and Saturday at 1pm, both in Panel Room C. I will also be hosting the Children's Costume contest on Sunday! Hoping to see a few mini Avengers :)


I will be cosplaying all weekend, including the debut of a new costume on Saturday! Here is my finalized costume list:





Flying out in a few hours, see you soon in New Mexico!
Long time no update, sorry guys! I have been hard at work on products and costumes. May has flown by and I haven't stopped to smell the roses. I think the only indulgence I allowed myself in May was seeing Avengers twice on Opening weekend.

But hard work pays off and I am guns blazing ready for Fanime this weekend, as well as A-kon next weekend.

I'm flying out to San Jose tomorrow morning, and it will be a long and BUSY day. First I will drop off luggage at the hotel, then race to the Winchester Mystery House for a long awaited tour, then off to the Crunchyroll Headquarter for my Guest appearance on The Live Show at 7pm PDT! I have a surprise announcement that not even the Crunchyroll crew knows about! Feel free to log on at Crunchyroll.com at 7pm PST tomorrow to watch the episode. You can also ask questions through the website!

Fanime costume schedule is as follows:

Friday - Rarity from My Little Pony
Saturday - new cosplay debut! A little sneak peek for you!
Sunday - Granado Espada Wizard
Monday I will be in plain clothes modeling my products (unless I feel like throwing Rarity on again). I'll be at my booth in the exhibitor hall all weekend except a couple of hours a day when I'll be doing photoshoots. I will have a fully stocked booth with cosplay accessories, prints, posters and t-shirts. Come and visit meeeeeeee! ♥

I'll make a post about A-kon when I come home (for all of 2 days lol) with my cosplay schedule, panel schedule etc. as well as post about Albuquerque Comic Expo the weekend following. A lot happening in June!
Those of you at Anime Central in Chicago know that I am absent from the event this weekend, for I am in Germany visiting my mom! I've been here since Tuesday and it's really really nice to be with family and in the country where I grew up. The daily lifestyle in Europe truly is so different from the USA. I don't understand how everyone can be so stressed and work their bums off in the States (myself included) and not get to ENJOY things as much as people do here in Germany on an everyday-basis.
Today I visited Heidelberg and the castle ruins there, it was beautiful and I took some photos on my phone (for mobility's sake) here:

www.facebook.com/media/set/?se…
Needless to say, I am enjoying my week away from the hustle & bustle of the USA very much. But after returning to Atlanta next week I will be back to work on costumes, products and other exciting things. I do love my work after all, so no worries, new content coming soon lol.

I'm also happy to announce that I will have a Popup Shop at the My Little Pony Night Out at Japan LA on Saturday, May 5th! It's the kick off to the MLP 2012 Project Los Angeles! My line of fun cosplay products will be available at the Japan LA store from 5pm on that day and I'll be cosplaying Rarity as well! Here is the FB events page for the Night Out:

And here is the FB event page for the MLP Project! www.facebook.com/events/270281…
Hope to see you there! ♥ Cosplay is encouraged as I will give a discount off my products to anyone to comes in costume!

Last but not least, I am also pleased to add logo t-shirts to my website store - in men's and women's sizes! This is my first foray into t-shirts so I hope you guys like them. Logo designed by Mark Wasyl, shirts printed through Jinyo's help. My gorgeous models are Jessica Nigri and Vann, with images shot by the talented 12North Photography! I am incredibly grateful to my friends for helping me make these shirts happen!

You can purchase them here!

yayahan.bigcartel.com/product/…
yayahan.bigcartel.com/product/…
yayahan.bigcartel.com/product/…
I have finally caved... All this peer pressure and people threatening to make this page for me... I thought, if there must be a fanpage dedicated to my breasts, shouldn't at least I be in control of it?

So here it is: The Yaya Han's Boobs page - please go ahead and Hit LIKE if you appreciate my chestal region, in or out of costume.

www.facebook.com/YayaHansBoobs
www.facebook.com/YayaHansBoobs
www.facebook.com/YayaHansBoobs

................................................................. If any of you think I'm serious even for a second, I'm gonna smack you. Happy April Fool's Day. Please do feel free to LIKE the page if you got a laugh out of it. I'm deleting it at midnight and am curious just how many LIKES my boobs could garner in under 24 hours... Thanks for laughing with me!!
I don't even know how I heard about the Run For Your Lives zombie 5K obstacle courses a couple of months ago.
All I knew was - there is an event where you have to run from zombies! That literally sounded like the coolest thing on earth to me. I checked out the website and was super intrigued, even though the $70+USD entry fee seemed outrageous to me. I was also apprehensive of the fact that there was no large Charity attachment to these runs, and only a link to the Red Cross at the bottom of the page, next to the sponsors. No mention of actual contribution amount or any charitable efforts. I feel like if you're gonna charge this much money for an entry fee, some of it should be for a good cause, right?  </p>

But I had just started training with Personal Trainer Nick and the March 3rd 2012 Atlanta run was a perfect benchmark goal to work toward. It was before the busy convention season, when every weekend would mean traveling to another city for me, and truly, I adore zombies.  

So I signed up for the run, and after fees and taxes my transaction total was $92.

Insert "Rocky"-esque montage of me running, hiking in the mountains and weight lifting. LOL.

This morning I made the trek out to the Atlanta run. Ok, they call it the "Atlanta" event, but it was actually held in Union Point, GA, a tiny town 2 and a half HOURS drive from Atlanta!! Last night we had Thunderstorms (and a tornado) in GA and it rained through the night and for most of the day today. We got up at 5am, left ATL at 6:15 and finally made it to the event lot at 8:45 where we were greeted with smart-ass signs demanding $10 for parking. By the time we walked to the Registration area and signed in, our sneakers and legs were already covered in mud. It would be one of those messy days but we were ready to take on the MUD!!!
  

    

Upon walking into the main Safe Zone compound, we noticed immediately that there wasno set up for runners to stretch (it was so muddy you couldn't stretch), no central water stations, and in fact the Staff made us throw out our drinks when we arrived! It was disappointing to see that this event is not focused on athleticism at all.

Also, Brian was awesome and came along to drive us to the event, and to take photos of us. He had to pay $35 just to get a wristband and to be a Spectator. On a miserable rainy day, that was no fun for him.

So our team - TrainerNick, Tanner and I, filed into this tunnel with about 100 (?) runners and waited for them to open the gate to our Wave at 10am. As we shot out of the gate, it was cold and raining. The mud was ankle deep and slippery as heck, and the suction each step made so strong that it could pull off your shoe. Fitness wise, I loved the challenge and enjoyed the jog, having to balance myself, trying not to slide and working against the suction. Definitely a great work out.

Until the zombies tried to take your flags lol.

See, each runner got 3 flags on a waist band, and the zombies tried to rip those off. They are not allowed to touch you, just rip the flags. If you lost all your flags, you didn't "survive" and wouldn't get a time award at the end. The rule is, runners can't touch the zombies, and zombies can't touch runners. Think - Haunted House scare rules.
First off, it is hard to evade a zombie in the mud. I originally imagined that the undead would come up BEHIND you at certain stations and make you run faster.. that seems to make sense when the advertisement is "Run From Undead". But this morning, at various points there would be 5 - 8 zombies blocking the path, and runners had to dart PAST them. In the slippery mud, that is frigging hard. I managed to lose the first flag at the first obstacle: Climbing several large bales of hay.

After that I saved my energy by walking or lightly jogging between obstacles and sprinting past the zombies. Other bootcamp type obstacles included: water filled mud pond with logs that you hard to hurdle, large tires to climb/jump on, hurdles, mud pool up to your waist to wade through, climbing a net, climbing a wall then sliding down the other side etc. AND A LAKE TO SWIM THROUGH. I do not have any photos of the main portion of the course since Brian had to stay behind in the camp and was awaiting us at the Finish Line for photos. But let me say, these obstacles were legit, a lot of fun, and sometimes a bit scary. I cursed a lot when we came to the lake lol. They had a guide rope but the water was deep enough that you truly had to swim, and it was ICE cold and brown from mud. I think most everyone regretted getting into the lake instead of using the optional walking path, but I felt like I paid a lot of money for this experience so I wanted all of it. One nice thing about the lake was it did wash off a lot of the mud accumulation on my body and shoes lol.

But I do want to talk about the unpleasant portion of the race, which was asshole zombies. See, instead of hiring a horde of zombies, Run For Your Lives simply allows anyone to register as a zombie, for an entry fee of $25, You heard me - even the zombies had to PAY to be part of the event. And anyone off the street could do it - they throw you in a barn, go over some rules quickly, give you 5 minutes (!) for makeup and send you out to chase runners. Of course, 90% of all the zombies were great sports and played their part well. Some were slower and creepy, and some were aggressive and sprinted after you. If you think about it, the zombies have time to rest between sprints and grabs while the runners are exhausted from dealing with the obstacles and conditions. I realized halfway through the run that it would be very very hard to keep even 1 flag, due to the sheer number of zombies (350) and length/difficulty of the course. I don't think ANYONE in our Wave made it to the Finish Line with a flag. What ruined the fun for me was the zombie in a dark suit in the grassy field who broke character to yell taunts at the runners (such as "I'm gonna get that tough one! That one's mine!"), and TACKLE people to the ground. He came after me and shoved me down into the brush, and while I'm still on the ground, this guy kneeling OVER ME said "Oh no big deal, I bit it a couple of times.", then before I could even stand up, he ripped my flag off with a condescending "Thanks!"
His behavior was rude and uncalled for, and against the rules. This guy clearly was there just to bully people and he had a skirt of flags to prove it. People like this asshole take the fun out of the run and I didn't pay $93 plus $10 parking and drove over 2 hours to be tackled down and taunted. And I was not the only one. My team and I witnessed other runners getting tackled, pushed and run down. I think when the organization planned this run, they did not establish enough rules for runner-zombie interaction. Yes, in a real zombie apocalypse, the undead would sprint after you relentlessly (if you go by Dawn of the Dead or Zombieland), BUT the Living would also not just be running away, careful not to touch the zombies.... they would have an arsenal of WEAPONS to KILL the zombies with!!! That is where I think the organizers failed to take into account. If we can't defend ourselves against zombies in this game, they should not be able to full on run after us, especially when the obstacles already tire out the runners. I really would have loved to have seen zombie ambushes or sneak attacks, like hiding behind bushes, trees, camouflaged areas, instead of simply having zombies block your way.

Aside from that, I enjoyed the physical aspect of this course a lot. Brian caught some truly great shots of the final hill slide and mud pond before the Finish line. Here is my end of run:



Brian also got these awesome shots of TrainerNick, Tanner and these other guys coming down for the last part:



The mud turned me orange after the run:

To sum up this event, the best thing I got out of it is a genuine interest to do more obstacle course races and mud runs. The fitness aspect of these things is off the chain! I loved every minute of being outdoors, running and climbing and swimming and getting muddy all the while lol.

I also loved the idea of a zombie themed run. In the case of Run For Your Lives though, they failed at providing an event worth the ticket price. I ended up enjoying the obstacles and the run itself a lot more than dealing with the "zombies". They didn't scare me (and I am easily scared!!!) -  once I lost the flags there was no incentive to run from them, and they didn't bother to come after you anymore. The exhilaration of running from zombies only lasted for the first few minutes, then it became dealing with humans in bad special effects makeup acting like bullies.
The absolute WORST part about Run For Your Lives is the overpriced entry fees for runners, zombies AND watchers, and the fact that none of it is supporting a Charity. I spoke to one of the main organizers, Megan, after the race, and she swore they donate to the Red Cross. But she also admitted that the Red Cross didn't show up to the race. That to me translated into the Red Cross not being supported enough to warrant an excursion to this zombie race. Neither on the Run For Your Lives website nor at the race are any tangible information on the Red Cross or HOW it is supported. There is also no sense of rallying the participants to be charitable, no booths or advertisements to raise awareness or allow for donations.

Run For Your Lives is a pure For Profit event organized by Reed Street Productions, who pocket the tremendous monetary intake without giving back to the community. The set up of the Safe Zone was sloppy, with no thought or care provided to the athletes. It's just an overpriced party disguised as an athletic event.

For most people, that is enough. But for me, I definitely didn't get $145 worth of zombie themed entertainment out of it. I am proud of myself and my team for having completed the obstacle course despite the miserable conditions, and I got a great work out. But I will not support Run For Your Lives or Reed Productions anymore. I will not participate in this race again. I would rather sign up for a charity driven race for $45 and donate $100 to another cause.

There are many charity races out there, for those who are interested. if you have to pay and you have to run, why not do it to help others and raise awareness? For example, coming up is the Turtle Trot at Tybee Island, a 5K Beach run Fundraiser benefiting the Sea Turtle Project. There is also the Dirty Girl Mud Run, which raises awareness for breast cancer and a portion of the sign up fee is donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. For Georgians, there is the Run Georgia website which lists all the races in the State and if they support a charity. I definitely will be signing up for more runs in the future. And I think there are a lot of better options for less money benefiting a greater cause than Run For Your Lives.