Dan - tapering is pretty interconnected with and relative to the intensity of your overall training and racing schedule, and also a function of whether or not the event is a "goal" event or a training event.
I've never taken more than one zero day in a row leading up to a race, usually the day before.
IF I've been training hard I might do alternate days the last week :
8mi, 0, 5mi, 0, 4mi, 0, race day
if my training has been normal, I might do :
8mi, 0, 5mi, 4mi, 3mi, 0, race day
I back off the long runs first, then the hill work, then just do casual easy runs.
my taper specifics sort of depend on the training schedule leading up to it.