The Run for the Zoo is arguably my favorite running event in Albuquerque. I haven’t run it every year that I’ve lived here, but this year the stars aligned favorably and I found myself at the 5k starting line (they also offer a 10k and half-marathon) on Sunday morning.
I was a little out of breath due to life with a 17-month-old, and relished the opportunity to simply be still and breathe in the starting area. I was where I needed to be, with a whole four minutes to spare, with hubby and baby comfortably ensconced on the sidelines. I never thought I’d call a race starting area a calming atmosphere, but it was that morning.
By the time they sounded the horn, my head was in a good place to let me enjoy the experience. And I did! It was a tad warm out there, but I tried to run smart (i.e. do a little racing without setting myself up for dehydration city) and I think I did okay. And maybe it’s an age thing, but I have become a huge fan of spectators with hoses/misters/anything of the sort.
The course was, as always, pleasant, looping behind the zoo and through the surrounding neighborhoods. The sound of cheering spectators mixed with the shriek of the zoo’s peacocks, and I’d like to think they were cheering, too. Either that or it was a good thing we were running.
After I finished and recovered a bit, we made sure Caroline had ample snacks and headed into the zoo (free admission for race participants!), where we ambled around, happy if a little toasty. That springtime sun gets hot quick! How it always surprises me, I don’t know.
When we’d had our fill — do babies know how lucky they are, being able to just pass out in strollers? — we headed home. It was a lovely day and a terrific event. I highly, highly recommend it. We may just make it a tradition.