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In an apocalyptic scene, we have a medium sized fortified town. Walls all around are good at keeping the zombie masses at bay.

In order to keep up the morale of the population, the somewhat alcohol-addled egomaniac "Mayor" has ordered sports to be held in the town square.

One of these spectacles is zombie chariot racing.

The equipment being used are American Harness Racing gigs, which look like this:

enter image description here

The riders will be human, and the horses replaced by zombies, who are chained into position.

The "arena" is the town square, which is roughly the size of a college football field (360 feet long by 160 feet wide) with fencing around the outside to protect the spectators. The track itself is about 30-40 feet wide with a fenced in in-field.

The rules are simple - the winner:

  • First to pass the post after 5 laps
  • Last human alive
  • Riders are allowed to customize their gigs in whatever way they want
  • No more than two zombies per gig

Assumption: Zombies are capable of running. Zombies are the kind that eat brains and seek to infect (Resident Evil style).

Question: How do the riders steer the zombies and incentivise them to move forwards in a competitive fashion?

I accept there might be fatalities among the riders and spectators.

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  • $\begingroup$ This really depends on the type of zombies but I figure a stick with bait on the end like bloody meat? How do the zombies sense their prey? $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Mar 22 '17 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ "Zombies" can be pretty open-ended. What attracts them? What drives them towards things? Are they attracted visually, or to scent, or to infrared? Before a suitable "dummy" can be built, the question needs to be answered about what drives them. Unless of course, you're making them run out of fear, or something like electrical shocks. $\endgroup$ – SpaceMouse Mar 22 '17 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ @SpaceMouse - Good point. Resident Evil kind of zombies - fast & evil SOBs. $\endgroup$ – user10945 Mar 22 '17 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ Brain-on-a-stick $\endgroup$ – Guran Mar 22 '17 at 14:32
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I was at the tavern over the weekend, and I just happened to see this advertisement hanging by the bar, near a couple of fairly burly guys.

As mayor, I'm proud to launch a new initiative aimed at improving the young, maturing sport of zombie racing. Members of the public have expressed concern that zombies turned loose on the track may be difficult to steer, which could lead to various safety concerns, as well as leading to some pretty boring races.

Therefore, I've set aside money in the municipal budget this year to pay the salaries of up to 10 reasonably fast people to act as zombie bait in the races. They'll be kind of like rabbits, runners in races who are paid to pace groups of elite runners by leading them at the head of the pack. The difference is that you won't be helping someone set a world record - you'll be zombie bait.

As this is a one-year contract as we test the viability of this system, I cannot promise long-term employment. However, the job does come with dental benefits and paid family leave. Also, there will be security forces stationed at various points of the track. That way, if you stumble and fall, you won't be eaten by the zombies.

Probably.

Pay is to be negotiated on an individual basis. The faster the runner, the better.

I'm inclined to take the job. After all, zombies can't be that fast, right?

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    $\begingroup$ I love how you took an extremely dangerous idea and made it even more dangerous. $\endgroup$ – PyRulez Mar 23 '17 at 2:57
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Put the zombies behind the chariot instead of ahead of it, and they'll try to eat the rider, propelling the chariot forwards.

Steering would be, well, steering, with Rear-Zombie-Drive that shouldn't be too hard.

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  • $\begingroup$ Don't forget to add blinkers so they can't see other riders. $\endgroup$ – chasly from UK Jan 20 '19 at 13:05

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