This is one of the races that’s been on my race bucket list for the last two or three years. I didn’t actually plan on running this year, but I got a discount code in the monthly membership newsletter (Yes, I’m a zoo member. It’s so I can go hang out at the zoo with all my friends and their kids. I’ve taken it as a sign I’m officially old. Also, I just love the zoo; judge me if you must.) so I figured why the hell not.
The morning of the race I thought I left in enough time to get there, grab my packet, drop it back at the car, and walk over to the starting area. Unfortunately I didn’t count on it taking me 20 minutes to make it the last mile into the zoo parking lot. I had just enough time to grab my bib and shirt, put the shirt on and hightail it to the starting line as the 12 minute mile corral was starting to move. (One day I’ll learn to give myself more time to get to races, but this was not that day.
As I headed to the starting area I was little concerned about the race itself. There were a lot of people there both runners and spectators, and since the course was through the zoo, I was worried about it being congested as well as people walking across the course. I certainly wasn’t trying to PR or anything, but I would have been irritated no matter what if someone stepped out in front of me while I was running. It turned out this wasn’t an issue at all. The course was wide enough that congestion was never an issue, and over all people were pretty respectful of the course and watching out for runners.
The race itself went well. The course was insanely curvy, but I’ve got to give them props because my RunKeeper tracked the distance as 3.16 which is pretty amazing considering all those turns could have easily made the course long. I did learn running in two shirts will make me uncomfortably warm.
I finished the race in 32:49 which is pretty respectable considering the amount of running I haven’t been doing lately. Every time I run a pretty decent race with minimal effort, I think about how much better I could have done if I’d actually trained. Maybe this time, I’ll find me motivation to get my ass back into gear and start prioritizing my workouts again.
I didn’t stick around too long after the race since I was by myself and we had plans to go on a pizza tour later that afternoon, but if I do this race again next year, I’ll definitely be dragging Nik along, and maybe some friends with their kids, for a day at the zoo.