On Sept. 28, Fox Run Regional Park will be overrun by zombies. The undead. The creatures with glossed-over eyes, staggering gait and unkempt clothing.
But there's no need to hide the kids and haul out the blunt weapons. These zombies are taking over for a good cause.
El Paso County Parks is hosting its first annual "Be Prepared.Don't Be a Zombie," 5K and 3K Zombie Run. The purpose is to showcase the need for county residents to be prepared for emergencies, and develop preparedness plans for their home and workplace.
The Waldo Canyon fire, Black Forest fire and subsequent flash flooding off the burn scars have brought the need for emergency preparedness into the forefront, said El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton.
The "Don't be a Zombie" run is a "fun way to provide educational information to the public and showcase the value of being prepared," she said.
There are two events: a traditional 5K - though participants can modify their traditional running garb to dress as zombies - and a 3K Zombie Run, in which participants will be chased by zombies. The runners will wear "life flags," similar to flag football. The zombies will try to steal the flags. Runners who lose both flags will get a chance to answer an emergency preparedness question to get a life flag back.
"Even if people don't want to participate in the run or be a zombie, they are welcome to come out and visit the emergency preparedness vendors who will be at the park," Littleton said. "This is a great opportunity to purchase items for a 72-hour emergency kit."
You can meet a few of the zombies from El Paso County by going to www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN36euI-fr0.
And note the term "first annual." Like good zombies, the event will be back.