Everyone is welcome to gallop, scurry and trot alongside the animals at Brookfield Zoo’s Zoo Run Run for the Conservation Fund, a fundraiser that supports threatened species and their environments.
The 5K race takes place Sunday, Sept. 22, and registered participants may bring family and friends to cheer them on and enjoy the zoo afterwards at no additional charge.
Zoo Run Run features a choice between a 5K chip-timed run and a 5K fun run/walk. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Chicago Zoological Society’s Conservation Fund, which supports research and education efforts around the world and at Brookfield Zoo, including the Center for the Science of Animal Welfare and the Center for Conservation Leadership.
The chip-timed run begins at 8:30 a.m. in the zoo’s Discovery Center parking lot, with the fun run/walk starting at 8:50 a.m. The course will take participants under a forest canopy of 100-year-old oak trees and will continue past the Andean condors near The Living Coast; the bison at Great Bear Wilderness; the giraffes, zebras and camels along 31st Street; the kangaroos at Australia House; and the endangered black rhinos outside Pachyderm House. The final stretch of the run will take participants past the lions, sloth bears, tigers and snow leopards.
Runners can register as individuals or maximize their fun by forming a race team. The more funds that participants raise for the Conservation Fund, the more prizes they win:
• Those who raise $100 receive a long-sleeve commemorative Zoo Run Run shirt.
• Those who raise $250 receive a $25 Brookfield Zoo gift certificate plus the previous level’s prize.
• Those who raise $500 receive a $50 Brookfield Zoo gift certificate and a complimentary upgrade on his or her next zoo membership plus the previous levels’ prizes.
• Those who raise $750 receive two tickets to Nights in the Wild, the exotic dinner experience at Brookfield Zoo, plus the previous levels’ prizes.
• Those who raise $1,000 receive a voucher for a Backstage Adventures experience at Brookfield Zoo plus the previous levels’ prizes.
• The top fundraiser receives two American Airlines tickets and a special meeting with Brookfield Zoo Grevy’s zebras, plus the previous levels’ prizes.
In addition to individual fundraising prizes, teams are eligible to win prizes. Each team that raises $2,500 or more will receive a private reception for 20 that includes a unique animal experience at Brookfield Zoo. All members of teams are eligible to win the individual prizes listed above, as well.
The early registration fee for the chip-timed race is $35 or $30 for Brookfield Zoo members, and the fee for the fun run/walk is $30, or $25 for members. For participants who register on the event day, the fee is $40 for the chip-timed race and $35 for the fun run/walk, with no member discount on race day.
Zoo Run Run is sponsored by Walgreens, Aquafina, Gatorade and American Airlines.
Details of race packet pickup will be announced closer to the race date. For further information and to register as an individual or a team, go to www.czs.org/ZooRunRun.
The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. For more information, visit www.czs.org.