After running cross country in high school, I have continued to run because I enjoy it and while I am now looking to take part in some longer distance races (Broad Street Run next Sunday!), I still love participating in 5K races, especially when they’re to raise money for a good cause, and even more importantly, when they’re in a fun place or have a unique quality (like The Color Run).
Yesterday I ran a 5K at the Philadelphia Zoo to “save the orangutans”! A couple of my friends and I registered for the race a few weeks ago and I had been looking forward to it since then. After the race, race participants were given entry to the zoo that was included in the registration fee. Before yesterday, I hadn’t been to the Philadelphia Zoo in over five years, so I was beyond excited to see the giraffes, elephants, hippos, zebras and lions!
The race started at 8:30 a.m., before the zoo opened, so we had to leave pretty early to make sure we had enough time to get there, park, pick up our shirts and figure out where we needed to go. The race began in the zoo with a mile loop inside, a mile around the perimeter of the zoo, and another mile inside the zoo, which was a backtrack of the first mile.
I started the race in the middle of the pack and it took a minute or two for everyone to find their pace and for me to be able to break away from the crowd. I started the race pretty slowly with the intent of taking it easy and looking back, I wish I had pushed myself a little harder. I didn’t actually see any animals while I was running through the zoo, but apparently they were out! I usually zone out a lot when I run. I did, however, have a peacock cross my path! He just walked to the path and stood their while all the runners ran past!
The race itself flew by, and after meeting back up with my friends and grabbing some of the post-race goodies, we headed to the car to change so that we could go see all the animals!
Then found our way to the petting zoo and this huge, winding slide that is new to the zoo! I think the whole area is geared towards small children, but we wanted to do it, anyway 🙂
One of the zoo employees said that the animals that are in the petting zoo are rotated so that they can escape all the grabby children and all the stimulation for some time, but most of them enjoy the attention!
We walked around for a little over three hours, at which point our hunger was getting to us and we decided to head back to school. It was such a fun day, with perfect, sunny weather and fun people!