Sunday, January 22, 2012

Two Miles and An Elk.

Last week, my friend and I ran the Samson Stomp & Romp two-mile race at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Growing up, my grandma took my sisters and I to the zoo frequently. Fond zoo memories include -  train rides, sea lion shows and air-conditioning breaks in the reptile house. I loved those plastic Mold-a-Rama animal molds and lunches of ham sandwiches and sodas wrapped in aluminum foil (natch).
Remember Me? 
I couldn't help but feel a twinge of nostalgia while walking through the front gates of the zoo.

Then came the kids.

I figured a race at the zoo meant kids would be in attendance (the Children's 1/4 Mile race was also a clue), but I didn't anticipate running next to nine-year-olds. Nine-year-olds can run six minute miles while discussing Justin Bieber. We made it a mile-and-a-half before we stopped to complain about our cold toes and pointed at elk. We ran by families with strollers and a pack of firefighters. We huffed by real runners who were lapping us - or running multiple races with their kids. When all was said and done, we ended up finishing in a reasonable amount of time and left with a race shirt, Caribou coffee and renewed sense of motivation.

Next year, I hope to make this an annual family tradition. The whole Atkinson clan will be bundle up and run (and/or walk) one of these races. Just because it's January, doesn't mean we can't enjoy looking at elk and mountain goats. And maybe if the mood strikes us, we'll splurge for a plastic mold of a crocodile. Any maybe, I'll be able to keep pace with a nine-year-old, who is too cool to zip her coat.


  1. I love this idea! Running a half marathon in the winter? Not so fun. Running two miles and looking at Elk AND drinking caribou coffee? Sounds delightful! Count me in for 2013.

    1. Fantastic. And, you can bring the babe!


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