The Zoo Run Run

Ever since The Mud Run back in September, Husband, our friend Bella and myself have done a run every month. We aren’t great runners because we mainly focus on our Beachbody (ie. Shaun T) workouts, but singing up for a run every month keeps us motivated and mixes it up a bit. Also, we have created a serious themed costume problem… Anyways, this month we signed up for the very popular annual Zoo Run in Nashville.

I’d like to start this run review (unofficial review) by saying we had fun. We did well. We looked awesome. Also, I love the Nashville Zoo. Having said all of that, I was not impressed with the run. Having run a handful of races now, I am able to gauge who is organized, prepared and able to create an exciting environment. The Zoo Run held about 2,000 runners and a myriad of onlookers. The first problem with the event was the fact that they had about 8 port-a-potties set up for everyone, and that’s it. Needless to say the line stretched about a mile and we went searching for a place to squat…which we never found BTW.

Before the race began they asked people to line up accordingly: timed runners in the front, walkers and strollers in the back and everyone in between should try to line up somewhat by speed. Simple enough. We went to the middle of the crowd. We were not timed because you had to pay extra for a time chip, which we have never done in a previous race. We aren’t very fast, so the middle seemed like a safe spot. As the race began, we slowly made our way to the start with the rest of the crowd. Once we began to pick up the pace we began passing people…a lot of people. There were dozens, maybe hundreds, of walkers, young children and strollers in front of us. I guess this may not be the zoo’s fault, but WHY were these people at the front of the line? It slowed us down a lot, but at least I felt good passing a lot of people.

The Zoo Run site advertises that the race is a “5K adventure throughout the Zoo’s property, including areas not available to the public”. Sounds pretty awesome, right? It’s not. We ran behind some storage facilities and through some fields that said “Future home of [insert wild animal here]”. Even though the run wasn’t as unique as I thought it might be, I have to admit that it was really nice to run through the zoo!

We ran past lots of animals, over different terrains, passed the biggest exhibits and it went by really fast. The best part was that the elephants were waving flags to cheer for us! OMG. The elephants are my absolute favorite animals. If I had run with my phone I would have stopped to take a picture.

The worst part of the race was by far the so-called costume contest. Contest or no contest, we were planning on dressing up. We have now made running in costume part of our monthly running tradition. However, we did bump it up to the next level when we read this in the email…

Costume Contest! Register with our event announcer prior to the race to enter the costume contest. Winners and prizes will be announced during the Awards Ceremony.




We decided to go as a group of leopards with Husband as the Zoo keeper. After getting ready for an hour, we were honestly worried that we weren’t creative enough. Since we weren’t even being timed, we knew our only chance of winning anything would be the costume contest. As we pulled into the Zoo parking lot I was shocked by the number of runners not in costume. After driving past about 800 runners and seeing literally no one in costume, Husband had me reread the email that had the “costume contest” info. At least we have a good chance of winning.



We attempted to register with the “event announcer”, but he looked at us like he had never heard of a costume and sent us to the “event manager”. She assured us there was no place to “register” and that they would pick winners after the run. By the time the race started, we did actually see a few people in costumes, not as good as ours, obviously.


After the race, the sun was setting and we were feeling pretty chilly. I was about to put Luna in the car, but decided to ask when the award ceremony would be just so I’d have some sort of time frame. The first person we asked informed us that we needed to sing up for the costume contest ahead of time… You have got to be kidding me.

The second person we spoke to (the event manager), informed us that she would be giving out the “best costume” awards immediately. She then grabbed a mic, and asked for anyone wanting to be in the costume contest to come forward. After maybe 10 seconds, she looked at us and said “Looks like yall win”. We were then awkwardly given some picture frames while absolutely no one paid attention or knew what was going on.

Grant it, we would have dressed up whether there was a costume contest or not, it was pretty lame and we were annoyed. In any case, next month we are signed up for the Hot Chocolate run and I am certain that this race will be AMAZING! Anyone wanting to join us? You can look forward to lots of red, pink and glitter!


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