Looking for a different way to raise funds, Pedro Claudio knew he needed to find something that would appeal to everyone. When he came across zombie themed 5K events, Claudio knew he found the perfect event to help raise funds for the United Way of Brown County.

“We have a strong affiliation with the United Way,” said Claudio, a product manager at 3M. “We wanted to create something that would be fun. I tried to do a golf tournament last year, but not everyone plays golf.”

Claudio presented the idea for the Zombie 5K Getaway during the last 3M United Way committee meeting and said the other members loved the idea. Unlike most 5Ks, participants for the Zombie 5K Getaway can choose how active they want to be in the race.

“The event will have three level of participants,” Claudio said. “Humans, running zombies and roaming zombies — this way we can expand the number of participants. We want to make sure that no one feels left out.”

The run is set for Oct. 26 and the entry fee for all participants — zombie or human — is $20. While the location of the 5K hasn’t been finalized, Claudio notes the event will gear up everyone for Halloween.

“With the run happening the Saturday before Halloween, we encourage everyone to dress up,” Claudio said. “Plus, we’re working on holding the run at dusk, early evening to play into the theme.”

For the event, the human runners will get a three-minute head start before the zombie runners will get to start. Each human runner will be wearing a belt similar to those worn during flag football. Both the zombie runners and roamers will attempt to retrieve the flags. The zombie roamers will be in contained in a certain area along the course.

“The roamers will serve as an obstacle the human runners will have to try to get through and ‘survive,’” Claudio said. “We will have some kind of recognition for the human runners who ‘survive’ the 5K.”

For the last few years, 3M has been the top fundraiser for the United Way of Brown County — a title the company is proud to hold, Claudio said.

Organizers estimate the event will cost around $2,000 for the first 100 participants and $1,000 for every 100 additional participants. The cost includes the timing service, T-shirts and race day supplies.

To help maximize the donation to the United Way, sponsorship opportunities will be available for area businesses and civic organizations to help offset the event’s cost. Sponsors will be recognized in the upcoming website, promotional materials and event T-shirts.

“We will have different levels of sponsorships that will start at $50,” Claudio said. “Individuals or businesses can also donate race day supplies like water and snacks for the runners — we’ll appreciate any help.”

Current sponsors include 3M, TexasBank and Cen-Tex Manufacturing Credit Union. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor are asked to email organizers at zombie5kgetaway@gmail.com.

Along with sponsors, organizers are also looking for community supporters to help promote the event and volunteer on race day. The Cowboy Capital Rollergirls was the first organization to enlist themselves as community supporters shortly after the Zombie 5K Getaway event was announced.

Claudio hopes the Zombie 5K Getaway grows to become the zombie run event in the Central Texas area and encourages residents to take part in the unique 5K event.

“We want people to be aware that the zombies are coming,” Claudio said. “But the ultimate winner will be the United Way of Brown County.”

For updates on the Zombie 5K Getaway, follow the Facebook Fan Page at facebook.com/zombie5kgetaway.