The Zoo Run

The Saskatoon Zoo Society is a group who conducts environmental education programs year-round. Programs are geared towards various young age groups, and include everything from summer camps to crocus hikes and many zoo education opportunities.

On April 13 the Zoo Society hosted their annual Zoo Run 5K fundraiser. This has always sounded like a fun and worthwhile event, but I’ve been unable to run it in the past due to scheduling conflicts. I was looking forward to finally giving it a go in 2014.

My friend Glenda was running as well, and we met before the start. The morning was sunny but cool, and we were thankful to have the Forestry Farm Hall as the staging area for runners: flush toilets and heat! A co-worker of Glenda’s, here from the U.S. on a work internship was running as well. Despite arriving in Saskatchewan in January and surviving many -40C days, he was still pretty bundled up (“I actually got too warm!” he said afterwards).

We set off on a loop around the Forestry Farm park then through the zoo, passing most of the animal exhibits. The big white wolf was quite intrigued by runners passing him by and was running laps in his large enclosure.

The Red Panda was this year’s Zoo Run feature creature, but he was hiding in his enclosure and we didn’t get to see him on our run. We’ll have to go back to the zoo this summer to check him out!

Zoo Run t-shirt

Zoo Run t-shirt

Glenda and I ran at a comfortable pace. We’re both getting ready for the Saskatchewan Marathon’s half marathon at the end of May, so our training hasn’t been geared towards the speed of a fast 5K. In the end I finished in 24:00, though my watch read just 4.28 km. Glenda’s said 4.4 km, so obviously there is some margin of error in GPS! We met Glenda’s husband and two kids at the finish line and went inside for Tim Horton’s cookies, coffee and David’s Tea.

Photo courtesy of Ed Tomlinson

Photo courtesy of Ed Tomlinson

The door prizes were plentiful, but neither of us won anything this year. From Zoo Society memberships (free zoo admission for a year is included in a membership!) to a large bird feeder, there were some lucky door prize winning runners! Overall, this was a really fun run, and a great kick-off to the spring running season in Saskatoon.

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