When you have special needs, navigating society and public systems can often be more than frustrating. It can feel as though you are living in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-infected world, running for your life to avoid having your brains eaten.

Special Z Games is a post-apocalyptic, zombie fun mud run in San Jose, and our goal is to bring attention and awareness to the issues faced within society, school systems and community agencies for children and adults with special needs. Getting an education and accessing community services with special needs means overcoming daily obstacles, public policies and laws to get what is needed to be successful and a contributor to society. Together we can make a positive impact and make positive change in these systems.

At the Special Z Games, our zombies are Zombieteers and our obstacles will be man-made. Participants can choose to complete the course as a human or a zombie. The 5K course is designed to be a challenge, but it is an untimed event and can be walked. The most important part of the event is gathering a huge hoard of people who are fed up with the post-apocalyptic treatment of children and adults with special needs to create positive change!

How Special Are You?

Everyone has special needs. But how special are you? Specially brave? Are you especially capable of beating zombies to the finish line? Specially designed to be a zombie-fighting machine?

Special Z Games is not for the weak or frail. It’s for unstoppable people determined to show the world what they can do, with or without special needs.

Approximately 12 to 15 obstacles will populate the course, along with upwards of 250 zombies. This is our first year bringing Special Z Games to life, so exact specifications on the obstacles will be announced as they are finalized. The more people that we can get excited about this and participate, the bigger it can be. So the sooner you purchase your ticket, the more money we can put into the course. Are you nervous about your ability to complete the obstacles? Just bring your game face and do the best that you can do.


The Special Z Games are organized by the Parental Advocacy for Children in Exceptional Situations, or PACES. Director Martina Sholiton was an educator who recognized the ways that our children, adults and their families can feel disenfranchised and need support to access programs and services within the public and private systems. She created PACES to help parents and children get educated and find the resources they need for success. Having worked as a special education administrator in Santa Clara and Monterey Counties for five years, Martina now helps families coordinate services within those systems and all other aspects of their lives.

Check out PACES today!