The Berks-Mont News (

Adventures with Rodeo Fleetwood 7-year-old girl becomes Honorary Zombie

By David Daniels

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rodeo Marie Hanson, a 7-year-old girl from Fleetwood, made an appearance as “Honorary Zombie” at The Zombie Mud Run at Shocktoberfest in Reading recently.
The run, held Sept. 21, is a fantasy-themed 5K obstacle course set against a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape, and it kicked off the Halloween season for Shocktoberfest.
Rodeo likes scary stuff, especially zombies...and when she found out about the Zombie Mud Run, she was interested in what it was, when and where it takes place, and how can she be part of it. Rodeo’s favorite part about becoming a zombie was the makeup, and the scary clothes. Rodeo’s favorite part about the Mud Run, was running around and grabbing the flags. What made this fun for Rodeo as “Honorary Zombie, she was able to see the whole mud run course and got to meet new people who (like her) also like scary stuff.
There was nothing that scared Rodeo, during the Mud Run because she understands that it’s all pretend. Rodeo’s favorite holiday is Halloween because she likes haunted hayrides, witches, getting dressed up as someone else, and of course...candy.
Rodeo looks forward to doing this again, possibly getting made up as a zombie for a t.v. show and/or movie.
Hanson was introduced by Pat Konopelski the owner of the haunted attraction, and she counted off the first race. Runners competed against one another while dodging “zombies”, who try to remove flags (worn by the runners) which represent vital organs . “Human” participants in the event try to finish the course with as many flags as possible. If the “human” runners lose all of their flags, they are considered to be “infected”, with the zombie virus. Added to this “Walking Dead” experience are some scary surprises, Hollywood quality special effects, plenty of mud, and an all-day party to celebrate “human salvation”.
Hanson joins the list of celebrities who have made personal appearances at Shocktoberfest in the past, including: Butch Patrick (TVs “ Eddie Munster”) and Richard Christy of the Howard Stern Show. Rodeo was treated to the complete V.I.P. experience by the entire staff, which included: being transformed into a zombie with the help of talented make-up artist Connor Steudel, a behind-the-scenes tour of the entire course from Shocktoberfest manager Robby Reichert, and a souvenir t-shirt from Shocktoberfest staffer Heather Mateuszow. Rodeo met a lot of new people at the event, who taught her how to be zombie-like and she even managed to grab some flags (“vital organs”) from the runners ! More information on Shocktoberfest and/or “The Zombie Mud Run”, can be found at: and