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When 259 park joggers went down to the woods yesterday, they were sure of a big surprise.

A leisurely run in Beaumont Park turned into a race for their lives from mutant zombies that had invaded the area.

Fortunately it was all part of hair-raising staged event ‘State of Decay’, that helped raise over £400 for Huddersfield’s Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.

Organised by Huddersfield Pendragon Round Table, the first Huddersfield park run with a difference tested runners wits as they traversed a five kilometre track through wooded areas and open land without being caught by marauding undead students, the unfortunate victims of a chemical leak.

Each jogger’s aim was to complete the course, which started by the visitors’ centre and followed the steep paths and back to the bandstand, without losing their three ‘lives’ tags.

Extra points were given to those who found the hidden bonus points hearts and brains.

Pendragon member John Green said that they decided to host the event to increase their number of large scale charity fund raisers for local causes.

He said: “It’s been a lot of hard work but we think that it’s worked really well to say it was our first year.

“Everyone has got into the spirit by dressing up and we will hold it annually along with our other major fund raisers, on top of the duck race and Crosland Moor bonfire.”

Gutsy runner Jack Edwards, 34, tried to flee zombies whilst wearing six stone of body armour, as part of a mammoth charity bid of his own for Huddersfield’s Welcome Centre.

Jack, of Halifax Old Road, said: “I wanted a challenge and thought that running against zombies whilst weighed down so much definitely counted as that.

“It was very hard going but it’s all for a great local cause.”

Town crier, Vic Watson, led participants to their fate by starting each staggered race, said: “It was a fabulous day and I was very impressed with the runners-I certainly don’t think I would have made it without being caught had I been one of them.”

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