• Chicago,
    United States
  • June
  • 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, Virtual Race
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

See more of our race!

41st Annual Run for the Zoo
June 2, 2019

Thank you for visiting our BibRave page. Run for the Zoo is an annual highlight on the Chicago running calendar. This year, we are excited to roll out NEW USATF-certified chip-timed courses. We are celebrating the 41st annual Run for the Zoo in a big way. Make sure you register soon to get in on this historic event! Run for the Zoo has sold out the last five years.

The 2019 10K and 5K courses will take place in and around the beautiful grounds of Lincoln Park Zoo. They will take racers on a journey winding past winged creatures and racing next to rhinos. After the race, all participants are invited for a post-race celebration on the zoo’s Main Mall.

The 41st annual Run for the Zoo benefits Lincoln Park Zoo and helps to keep it free and open 365 days a year. Your registration helps to provide state-of-the-art animal care, worldwide conservation, and wide-ranging education programs.

• 41st anniversary of one of Chicago’s favorite races.
• USATF-certified, chip-timed courses
• Beautiful route winding through Lincoln Park Zoo’s historic grounds
• TEAM CHALLENGE: Largest team, fastest team, and biggest fundraiser win fun prizes!
• NEW THIS YEAR Participants who donate a minimum of $25 will earn a commemorative medal!
• Limited-edition tech shirt
• Post-race celebration on the zoo’s Main Mall with DJ tunes
• Beer for participants ages 21+

The Safari Stampede is a mini obstacle course for kids to express their inner animal! Recommended for children ages 3-8 years old can participate in the Safari Stampede, located on the South Lawn near Park Place Cafe. Registration fee required; includes a special event participation shirt!

Back by popular demand, we are having a second wave of Safari Stampede! The first will start at 9 a.m., and the second will start 9:45 a.m.

At checkout, code BIBRAVE will get you a 10% discount!

Come join us as we celebrate 41 years of Run for the Zoo!

Ben Lamers

Shorewood, Wisconsin, United States
25 79
"Run For The Zoo 2018"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Ben Lamers's thoughts:

It was a double race weekend for me for June 2 and 3 with the Run For The Zoo being the second run for me.

Runners had three options for Packet Pickup: Friday or Saturday at Lincoln Park Zoo, or the morning of the race. I went down to the zoo on Saturday and the packet pickup was super quick, maybe one of the quickest I’ve ever done. There’s really no expo for this race, just your bib and race shirt. But since the location is the Zoo, you can mosey around there for a while.

On race morning, the 5k started at 7:30 and the 10k at 8:15. Parking is available at the Zoo, but you’ll need to get there super early to snag it. There’s also street parking, but that fills up super quick. I ended up parking in Lakeview and walking back to Lincoln Park for the race. Basically, if you want to park close, get there early. Roads begin closing at 4:00am and will completely close around the race at 7.

Packet pickup was super busy on race morning, enough so that some runners needed to scramble a bit to get to the start. The rest of the start area was very easy to navigate. Plenty of bathrooms, and an extremely quick and efficient gear check.

The 5k operates on a wave start, and I think the 10k did as well (but I’m not sure). Either way, the start was all very smooth.

Looking at the map, I thought the 10k looked incredibly confusing. It was filled with two out and backs, and crossing over one corner at least twice. We also passed the start line 3 times. And while it was a confusing course design, there were more than enough course marking and volunteers to make this a non issue. Major kudos to the race in this regard.

A majority of the race is run along the lakeshore path and other trails in the area. I would say the course is about 60-40 pavement and crushed gravel. We didn’t really run through the Zoo itself except for the last mile or so. This was a fun weaving area. The only negative was running over the boardwalk (which I love) but due to some rain the light before, it was VERY slick and with a lot of corners we had to be careful to not biff it.

The post race area was in the Zoo itself with plenty of food and water available. Runners did have the option of grabbing a free beer. But I needed to get on the road, so I passed this up. We did get a coupon for a free coffee at Peet’s though!

All in all I was thrilled with this race. Very well organized, and really nothing I would change. I did notice that it would be possible, with the start times, to double the 5k and 10k. This could be a fun challenge that the race could officially have in the future.

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