BY KATE MILEWSKI
---- — Traverse City — Blood, brains and beer are on tap for Saturday morning when decked-out zombies shuffle, walk and run around the fourth annual Traverse City Zombie Run 5K course — all for a good cause.
Zombies from all walks of death will gather at Right Brain Brewery to participate and raise money for the TART Trail, a cause close to the heart of Zombie Run founders Matthew Ross and Melinda Webster.
"We both enjoy the TART Trails," said Matthew Ross. "We think it's great for the community."
The stepfather-stepdaughter pair came up with the unique way to get involved back in 2009 after they began running together.
"It kind of started out of the blue," he said. "We were having a beer at Right Brain and thinking about doing a zombie walk. It was (Melinda's) idea to do a zombie run, a 5K. We asked the owner at Right Brain if he'd be willing to be a venue, so we just started putting it together."
It was a hit right from the start. There were more than 500 participants in the inaugural year; 700 the next.
This year's numbers are expected to top 2011's group of more than 1,000 walkers, runners and amblers.
"It was very well received," Ross said. "It seemed like everybody enjoyed it."
The en-vogue status of zombies has certainly done nothing to hurt the popularity of the zombie walk.
"It's not taken very seriously," he said. "The majority of the people that come out are there for the experience, to see the costumes.
"It's just something fun to do during the Halloween season."
The Zombie Run starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, beginning at Right Brain Brewery's new location at 225 East 16th St.
Preregistration runs through Oct. 25 and costs $30 for adults, $20 for teens and $15 for 12 and younger.
Late registration will be available today from 4-7 p.m. and on Saturday from 7-8:30 a.m. at $35 adults, $25 teens and $20 children.