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The bi-annual Run Wild 5k returning Spring 2021!
Welcome to the Run Wild 5k event at the Metro Richmond Zoo. This year we are celebrating the endangered African Penguin!
Experience the Zoo from a whole new perspective! Come out for some exercise and lots of FUN, on Saturday, May 8th! Grab your racing shoes and get ready to sprint around the perimeter of your favorite local zoo - the Metro Richmond Zoo (including their Cheetah Conservation Center!) Your morning run will consist of a 3.1 mile run or walk. This all-terrain course takes you around the perimeter of the Zoo as you dash by rhinos, zebras, cheetahs and more! After you cross the finish line, each runner can visit the Zoo for FREE! Any spectators that come with you will receive a 10% discount off their zoo admission tickets for race day.
This 1 mile fun run is designed for children age 4 - 11. But runners of all ages are welcome with a participating child. Parents must participate with a child age 4-7. This course goes through some of the pathways of the zoo and a few all-terrain portions as well. Parents can run with their children, but will also require a ticket. Children under 4 (stroller riders) do not need a ticket. *Strollers must be able to handle all-terrain (gravel 5%, grass 20%, dirt 5%, pavement 70%).
The endangered African Penguin
"The African penguin is native to the south and west coasts of Africa. The IUCN has listed African penguins as endangered. It’s estimated that the current population of African penguins consists of 70,000 breeding pairs; this is 10% of the population that existed in 1900. Their population decline is mainly attributed to oil spills, habitat destruction, and competition for food.
In the wild, their average lifespan is around 15-20 years, but in captivity they can live much longer. The Metro Richmond Zoo has the oldest penguin in the US at age 41.
Our African penguin conservation program is one of the most successful in the country. Since 1996, 258 African Penguins have been hatched at the Zoo. Currently, the Zoo is home to 33 penguins. The Metro Richmond Zoo participates with Zoological Association of America (ZAA) Animal Management Program (AMP) for penguins." - Metro Richmond Zoo website
100% of Run Wild's net proceeds from this race will benefit the African Penguin through these 3 reputable organizations. Click on their links to see how they are making important contributions to mitigate this species' extinction.
African Penguin Conservation Program - Metro Richmond Zoo
Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds - Namibia and South, Africa
Dyer Island Conservation Trust - South, Africa
Saturday, May 8th 2021
Mini - Start waves every few minutes from 8:00 am - 8:15 am
5k - Start waves every few minutes from 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Metro Richmond Zoo
Run Wild Mini
Run Wild 5k
Run Wild Mini
Run Wild 5k
Run Wild Mini
Run Wild 5k
If you are a current Zoo Member, follow the prompt at the end of registration to receive $5 off your entry.
Zoo Members must provide their membership card for validation on race day at the check-in; otherwise you will be charged the remaining $5 fee before race entry.
Parking is FREE. Please follow parking attendants as they will guide all runners/spectators into a designated parking lot.
This all-terrain 5k spans the perimeter of the Zoo including off-site facilities such as the Cheetah Conservation Center. Portions of the course route will be traveling in between the two perimeter fences that surround the entire Zoo. Look out for wild life! While running you'll be able to spot animals inside the Zoo separated from you by a fence like rhinos, zebras, cheetahs and much more! Ready to get a little closer? At two points during the course you will be running inside enclosures with farm animals such as goats, pigs, sheep, & donkey. The all-terrain course consists of mostly dirt, mulch, and grass trails with some gravel and asphalt pathways. The trail has winding turns, some rolling hills, crosses many creeks, beautiful views, a few steep hills, and sights of exotic wildlife.
This course follows paved zoo pathways including by the African Penguin exhibit and a few all-terrain trails as well. This is a 1 mile fun run for kids. Strollers are welcome and must be able to handle all-terrain (gravel 5%, grass 20%, dirt 5%, pavement 70%).
Please be respectful of the Metro Richmond Zoo property, animals, and exhibits. No climbing over fences, leaving the trail, smoking, shouting, taunting animals, or playing music from speakers. We reserve the right to remove you from the race without a refund if you fail to follow these guidelines.
Run Wild Mini: For the safety of the animals, some will remain indoors (off exhibit) while racers run by their exhibits. These animals will be back on exhibit for the normal walk-through zoo. The penguins will be out during the fun run.
There will be water available at the start and end of the race.
There will be water available at the start, middle, and end of the race.
Pre-race packet pickup: Friday, May 7, 2021 from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm at the Metro Richmond Zoo. (highly recommended)
Race-day packet pickup: Saturday, May 8, 2021 60 minutes before your start time. (expect long wait times)
**Skip lines by using packet pickup on May 7, 2021 at the zoo from 3:00pm - 6:00pm.**
For public safety concerns amidst the current Pandemic, we are designating certain spectator zones. Strict adherence is mandatory. There will be adequate space to social distance; please do so. Masks are required to be worn at the race site if you cannot distance yourselves by at least 6' of others.
Designated Spectator Zones
5k Runners will receive a free same day Zoo admission ticket with the purchase of Run Wild 5k race ticket. Mini runners can purchase an event t-shirt which includes same day zoo entry for $10.
The overall 1st place Male and 1st place Female winners will receive a free animal encounter with Melon the African Penguin. The penguin encounter will take place on race day. Winners will be contacted shortly after all race results are in.
Animal encounters are also available to any guests at the zoo during their visit. Exciting ambassador animals like this African penguin come with a zoo keeper to teach small groups about the Zoo's conservation efforts! No animal contact is allowed. (image above is with an MRZ employee) Animal encounters must be scheduled in advance. To schedule or learn more, visit www.metrorichmondzoo.com
COVID-19: We are constantly reviewing all of the Governor's safety guidelines and the CDC's to ensure that we operate in a safe manner amidst this pandemic. Here are some of the adjustments made:
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