It’s the zombie apocalypse, and you’re under attack from a moaning, menacing horde of the undead. What do you do? 


That’s the premise behind Zombies, Run!, an immersive fitness app created by London-based entertainment company Six to Start and writer Naomi Alderman.

It’s a surprise to learn that one of the creators of Zombies, Run!, Adrian Hon, is not a zombie enthusiast. He doesn’t even like horror movies. It was his dislike of running as a teenager that inspired him to build an app that makes running fun.

“I've always wanted to make a real running game that motivates you to go further and faster,” he said.

The zombie idea came when a woman in Naomi’s running for beginners class quipped that she wanted to learn how to run to escape the zombie horde.

“So when I said ‘running app’, Naomi said, ‘something where you run from the zombie horde!’, and it all came from there,” Adrian said.

Joggers put their headphones in and the Zombie, Run! app immerses them in a zombie apocalypse. Not only do they collect medicine, ammunition, batteries and spare parts to rebuild civilisation, they follow orders and solve puzzles as they run.

It’s a practical app that records distance, time, pace, and calories burned during each run. Despite the elaborate zombie narrative, simplicity is what Adrian likes most about the app.

“I like the fact that it just works without making players press a lot of buttons or figure out all the settings,” he said. “We're here to make running more fun – that's it.”

Crowdfunding for the app was an exhilarating process, said Adrian. “It was just amazing to see the level of interest and to see people back up that interest with cash.”

More than 3400 generous people donated a total of $72,627, far exceeding the initial fundraising goal of $12,500.

A devoted community of fans soon embraced Zombies, Run! “There's literally thousands of fan-fic stories and artworks out there,” said Adrian, a little incredulously. “You can't say that about any other fitness app.”