BY LEIGH MCDONALD — Zombies will be hitting the streets for the Hyattsville Elementary School PTA themed run on Saturday, Oct. 1.

The PTA has organized three themed races: a USA Track & Field (USATF) certified 5K, a 1 mile Kids’ Challenge and a 1K Family Fun Run. Each race will start and end at Magruder Park Recreation Center.

Race-day registration and packet and timing device pick up will be 7:30–9 a.m.; the Family Fun Run will start at 8 a.m.; the Kids’ Challenge will be at 8:45 a.m.; and the 5k will begin at 9:30 a.m. The awards ceremony will follow at 10:30 a.m. The event will also feature live bands beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing until 4 p.m. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

“It’ll be a fun run for anybody — for those who are just recreational runners and then also for those who are … really serious about running,” said Kevin Blackerby, race director.

The PTA encourages participants, volunteers and friends to dress in “happy, friendly zombie” costumes, said Blackerby. “We’re going to make it fun and enjoyable for all ages.”

Why zombies? “It’s the month of Halloween … the idea of a group of happy zombies running a road race cracks us up,” Blackerby said. “So it’s all in fun around a Halloween theme. We will have a cardboard cutout of a zombie you can take your picture with and we will be handing out zombie tattoos.”

The organization will give awards to the best dressed. They will also give gift baskets to the most spirited houses along the route.

Mayor Candace Hollingsworth is holding train-ups for the race on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. at Northwestern High School and Saturday mornings at 7 a.m. at Magruder Park.

“The mayor has been behind it hugely,” said Blackerby.

Blackerby said he got the idea for the race from A Midsummer Night’s Dream themed run in his hometown of Lexington, Kentucky, and from the Azalea Classic, which is hosted annually by the University Park Elementary School PTA.

Those who don’t want to run but would still like to give their support can sponsor a student runner.

For more details about the race and how to sponsor a participant visit the Hyattsville Zombie Run website.