Sunday, May 11, 2008

Running Wild

Yesterday, Kristin and I ran the Run Wild for a Cure 5k at the Cleveland Zoo. If anyone has been to that zoo, then you know it is very hilly. If you look towards the left of the map and see the Koala symbol, from there to the Gorilla exhibit is about an 80 foot elevation change -- which means a steep hill.

This was the most challenging 5k run I have ever done. Almost none of it was flat. And it was the first time I've done much steep downhill running. It is more challenging than I would have thought.

The map doesn't do the course justice. Basically start by the front gate. Run to the top right of the map -- through the inner and outer loops. Then cross the zoo and run up the big, steep hill to the gorilla area (the hill started just past the one-mile mark). Then immediately downhill on the opposite side of the gorillas. Around the elephants, then back to that top-right corner and around just the outer loop. Then back to the entrance area.

This was the first race I have done where I was not near the start line when the gun sounded. It was a big pain in the butt running around people. We were at least a quarter of a mile in before I could get any sort of rhythm going. I'm sure the Disney race will be much worse than this, though.

It was fun running through the zoo and seeing the animals. It was a nice distraction during the run. Although, the tigers saw all the people running by and they were eying us like they wanted to chase us down and eat us. They reminded me of house cats when they you can wave a string in front of them and they'll act disinterested...but they're really following the toy with their eyes until they finally pounce. That's exactly what the tigers were doing, right up at the front of their enclosure.

I was a bit worried going into the race because I was having a fairly decent amount of knee pain on Friday. It wasn't bad during the race, but was acting up a bit after. I feel I did pretty well considering the difficulty and the crowds at the beginning. I plan to rest a few days now so I don't get me knee acting up again.

We walked around the zoo for a few hours after the race. Then we met up with some friends for dinner and went to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This was a funny show. I'm not quite sure how to describe it, or what the creative team really wanted the audience to get from it. But the actors did well and overall it was a good show.

And, sadly, the "Grin & Bear Eats" eatery was closed at the we couldn't stop for lunch. Gotta love that name!


Rae! said...

Great job.
At the half. The will be letting the runners go in waves. It will be crowded. It took us 3 minutes before we crossed the start line at the 15k. And everyone took off strong and in the middle of the race we were passing people who tired them self out, from taking off so fast. It will thin out and the slower people know that they are suppose to stay to the right.

Great job!!! what was your times??

caballerofan said...

This sounds like a challenging yet fun course. Any special prizes? ie zoo shirts or something that went along with doing this run?