Philly Run Wild 5k

29 Apr

Yesterday I ran the Philly Run Wild 5k at the Philadelphia Zoo. I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was for this race. But I’ll have to try, since the whole point of blogging is to explain how excited you are about things. At least it is for me.

run wild 3

Don’t I look excited?

For starters, for those of you who don’t know, three years ago this blog could have been named WildlyRunning rather than MainlyRunning. That’s right, my last name was Wild, not like Oscar Wilde, like the word. W-I-L-D. My last name went from a four letter word (that people like to put “e” on the end of) to a four letter word (that people like to put “e” on the end of). So short of finding a race with “Main” in the title, this is about as excited about a race name as I could possibly get. I mean, seriously, Philly Run Wild, could it be cooler?

Next, I LOVE the Philadelphia Zoo. How could you not? It’s the oldest zoo in America. It’s well maintained. It has penguins. And peacocks that roam freely. I honestly cannot think of a cooler place to run a race.

For the $25 race fee you got the race (obviously), a t-shirt, snacks at the end, AND free admission to the zoo. Admission to the Philly zoo on its own is $20, so basically for $5 you get to run a 5k, you get a race t-shirt (that says Run Wild!), and end of race snacks.

Leading up to the race I had the perfect race experience built out in my mind. A 5k in the zoo, a t-shirt, being able to run the entire race without walking, soft pretzels as the post-race snacks, and then a trip to the zoo, complete with a ride in the Zoo Balloon. I’ve always wanted to go in the Zoo Balloon, but every time we’ve gone to the zoo the balloon was grounded.

So here is how race day actually went. Saturday afternoon Alex sprained his ankle, so the race became a solo adventure. He was bummed, I was bummed, and there were many sad faces to be had. The only bonus was that he was there to take pictures of me at the finish line, and he held on to the extra warm layers I didn’t need for the race. Other than Alex not running, and the race not having race numbers (seriously?! Is this a thing now? I’ve never seen a race without race numbers. What am I going to hang on my race wall to commemorate this amazing experience?), everything went according to plan.

I ran the entire race, without walking, even on the hills that I am not used to running. I made a deal with myself that if I ran the entire race; I could go in the Zoo Balloon. That might have been one of the best motivators I’ve come up with to date. I finished in 32:40, which is my new personal best(!!!!). The end of the race did not come with soft pretzels, but the Philly Pretzel Factory stand gave us the hookup (did you know their soft pretzel braid has MORE calories than their Philly cheesesteak pretzel? that just seems wrong). We saw penguins and pigeons and peacocks. And the Zoo Balloon was flying! We got to see our city from high above; the skyline, the art museum, Fairmount Park, the Schuylkill. It was beautiful.

So basically, in short: Best. Race. Ever.

For more race day photos, check out my Flickr account!

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