Get ready Charles County… it’s a zombie apocalypse! The living dead are returning to La Plata for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office’s (CCSO) third annual Zombie Invasion 5K fundraiser for Special Olympics Maryland. The CCSO, Charles County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 24 (FOP), and Charles County Correctional Officers Association (CCCOA) will host the 5K on Sun., October 18, at Laurel Springs Regional Park located at 5940 Radio Station Road in La Plata.

The Zombie Invasion 5K is a fun, family-friendly event in which participants “transition” into zombies before either running or walking the 3.1-mile trail. The event is not to be confused with a zombie chase, in which participants run from zombies. Last year, hundreds of zombie adults and children raised more than $14,000 for Special Olympics Maryland by participating in the event.

Zombies can pre-register for the 5K individually or in teams by visiting, and should do so by October 4 in order to be guaranteed a shirt on race day as supplies will be limited. The cost to register for adults over 18 years old is $25 for a cotton T-shirt or $30 for a performance fabric T-shirt. The cost for children between 11 and 17 years old is $20 for a cotton T-shirt or $25 for a performance fabric T-shirt. There is no registration fee for children 10 years old or younger.

Zombies may also choose to register the day of the event but only a limited supply of T-shirts will be available. Race-day registration and check-in will be open between 8 and 10 a.m. During this period, volunteer makeup artists from the Port Tobacco Theater and local high school drama clubs will help participants transition into zombies by applying zombie makeup. Zombies who need help transitioning are encouraged to arrive early, or participants may also “zombie-fy” themselves. The 5K begins at 10 a.m.

The zombie participants can choose to run the 5K as a race or to take a more leisurely, family-friendly, zombie-like pace. Strollers are welcome. The start times will be staggered to allow faster zombies to lead the way. The race portion for runners will be conducted using chipped timing. The runners may obtain their registration packets from the FOP Lodge #24 located at 10285 Rosewick Road in La Plata on Oct. 15 from 6-8 p.m. or Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A light lunch will be served when the zombies finish the 5K. Additionally, the CCSO, FOP and CCCOA will present awards for the 5K race to the top zombie finisher in each age category, the overall top female zombie finisher, the overall top male zombie finisher and the top fundraising zombie team. They will also hold a zombie beauty contest.

The infected area – the 5K route – can be viewed on the event website ( The right westbound lane of Rosewick Road will be closed to traffic during the race to protect the runners and walkers. It is not expected to significantly impact traffic. Zombie police officers will provide traffic direction.

Anyone with questions about the event may contact Sgt. Proctor at 240-299-5207 or Those who would like to make a monetary donation in lieu of participating in the 5K may mail it to Charles County Sheriff’s Office/Attention Sgt. Proctor/PO Box 189/La Plata MD 20646; checks should be made payable to Special Olympics Maryland. Local businesses interested in donating services may also contact Sgt. Proctor. For more information about Special Olympics Maryland, visit

Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS, texting CHARLES + the tip to CRIMES (274637) or submitting tips online at All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Learn more at the CCSO’s website.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency comprised of more than 600 police, corrections and civilian personnel responsible for protecting more than 150,000 residents. The CCSO was accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2001 and has been designated as a CALEA Gold Standard of Excellence agency since 2011. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit      

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Janelle Love