I ran this 5k at the Dallas Zoo in the fall of 2011. My sister actually organized this entire event. It’s called Running for Rhinos ’cause it coincidentally helps raise funds to support Rhinos who need help. As a runner and zookeeper, this was a combo of her passions. Seeing someone put on a race from behind the scenes really showed me how much crap goes into doing so. It took a couple years to make it happen, and she did a great job.
The race started off with a ceremonial start by a bunch of penguins wearing race bibs. That was actually kind of cute and funny. Then the course took us through a neighboring neighborhood before finishing back at the zoo.
As you can see in the photo, the course was a little hilly. It was a challenging course, but I wanted to represent and do well since it was my sister’s race. And I did so, as I was lucky enough to finish 2nd in my age group!
After I finished the race, I turned around and kept running backwards to find friends and family to help them finish.
The Dallas mayor was there, as was runner/mc/sports radio host Corby Davidson. There were also lots of people in animal costumes. So it was a fun event!
One of the cool things about this race is that it included free entry to the Zoo afterwards. I wish Disney would offer a similar incentive for their races!!!
After my sis gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the exhibits, it was time to get some brunch in our bellies. We had a nice group because several of my sister’s friends had flown in from around the country to participate. They did so partly to support her and partly because the race also helped support the Stephanie James Foundation. She was a friend of my sis who was accidentally killed by an elephant while working in a zoo. These people also knew her.
This was the first year for the race and everyone involved did a great job! Unfortunately my sister took a job at another zoo shortly after this so she wasn’t able to help organize the 2nd year. The zoo still put on the race, but I wasn’t able to make it. Hopefully they can make it an annual success! Running for a good cause in a fun place is fun. Fo’ real tho.
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