Run for the Cheetah 2008

A few Saturdays ago I attended the Run for the Cheetah, a 5k at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The zoo is a fine place for a run; the entrance and savannah (and race start) are about 100′ lower in elevation than the primate building and aquarium. The route, as we found out a few minutes before the starting whistle, would encompass two laps of the hill.

My memory of the race: beep, escape crowd, gradual uphill; monkeys! Left turn, winding path, giraffes! Past the flamingos, hang a right, big uphill. Tortoises, cheetahs, big downhill. Kangaroos lined up along a fence, snouts flopping side-to-side like tennis spectators. Lap; repeat. The attentive kangaroos made my day, and I enjoyed walking around the zoo afterward seeing the unusually attentive critters pre-opening-time.

Unless I’m mistaken, this is my first 5k running race. 23:07, a 7:27/mi pace averaged over this elevation profile.
Given the coincident start of the fall semester, this concludes the bulk of my 2008 training as well, for a total of about 700 miles of cycling, 600 miles on foot and 10 miles in the water. Time (no time?) for some mild strength training and occasional anti-stress running before rebuilding a winter base.

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