Zoomed at the Zoo

Yesterday was my Zoo Zoom 5-miler.  This is the only race I have consistently done every year since I started.  It is a challenging course through the hills of Druid Hill Park followed by about a mile and a half of running through the Maryland Zoo.  Unfortunatley the organization of this year’s race fell short of the races in years past. 

The Zoo and Druid Hill park are undergoing face lifts at the moment. Apparently part of that face lift included removing the sign from the entry that we have used in years past to get into the zoo.  We missed our turn and had to turn around at one point to get back to the entrance to the zoo.  Even with our little bit of misdirection we still arrived at the race start 45 minutes early.  We walked over so I could use the facilities and Dad helped himself to a cup of coffee. 

At race packet pick-up we were given our numbers and a wrist band that say the Maryland Zoo on it.  I though the wrist band was our complimentary park entry, which normally is good for a year.  When we were getting Dad’s coffee I saw people putting their bands on.  I asked a volunteer if we were supposed to wear it that day and they said yes.  Never once did they ask us for our wrist band, so I have a feeling I pretty much threw away my complimentary park entry.  😛

We killed a little time sitting in the warm car and then I headed off to the start.  Dad waved as I ran on by and off we were down one of the few good downhills on the course.  Thus far the race was going as smoothly as usual.  At about the 1 mile mark there was a water stop.  I skipped it because I wasn’t thirsty yet.  Little did I know that this was the ONLY water stop on the course.  In the past there has been 2 or 3 and they were evenly distributed on the course.

Luckily most of my 5 mile runs I do without water, so I wasn’t as concerned as others might be with the lack of water stops.  Shortly I passed the half way point, which is near the parking lot that we parked in.  Dad was standing there with his cell phone and I could hear Mom’s voice from FL cheering me on via speaker phone.  The people running around me got a kick out of that.

Unfortunately the face lifts of Druid Hill Park would come back to bite us a little later in the course.  There was a large span of asphalt that had been dug up for repaving.  The rocks and uneven terrain were not very kind to my weak ankle.  I pushed through knowing that soon we would be in the zoo and the pavement would be in nicer condition.

When we entered the zoo it was through the back gate and then once in the zoo the race course changed several places because of new construction.  Unfortunately there were not enough volunteers on the course and it was causing some issues with people not knowing where they were going.  Eventually we all did find the finish line which was crowded with volunteers that didn’t appear to be doing the jobs I had heard some of them assigned at the start line of the race.  One of them being a water stop.

This year I only got to see a couple monkeys and the flamingos.  No penguins, no cheetah and no giraffes for Jeff. No official results yet, but I will post when they are available.

I finished, grabbed a water and a bagel and then we headed to the car to go home.  My plan was to get home, change into some dry clothes, and then head back out for 5 more miles.  I started out doing just that.  I got into my dry clothes and headed back out the door.  As I was coming up the first hill on my regular running route I started to become very aware of my weak ankle.  It was an internal struggle, but I decided to stop.  It wasn’t for lack of motivation, believe me.  I just decided I was better off foregoing the 5 miles to let my ankle rest than I was pushing through the 5 miles and risking a potential injury. 

In the end I only ended up doing an extra 1/2 mile.  I am very proud of myself for getting out there with the goal of running the extra 5 and rather disappointed that the rough terrain of the race was preventing me from completing it.  This weekend I have 17 miles on schedule for Sunday.  Wow…17 miles…who’d ever have thought I would say that.  o_O

2 Responses to “Zoomed at the Zoo”

  1. KingHade Says:

    Wow, sounds like a fun run… Goodluck on the 17 miles…

  2. Jeff Says:

    Sorry to hear the zoo is in such disarray. I haven’t been down there in 5 or 6 years. Seem’s like they’ve been doing some kind of work on it ever since!

    Thanks for checking on the giraffes for me! I’ll take a monkey instead.

    You should be proud of yourself for getting back out there. I give you a ton of credit for that!

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