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Archive for July, 2011

Photo by Grayce Scott

Have you noticed the amount of 5K runs, bike races and charity walks that take place each year? Rochester has an active, progressive sports community that caters to both spectators and competitors. The Zoo has offered its Jungle Jog for more than two decades now and wanted to find a new and innovative fundraising sports event that would be just as exciting and unique to the Zoo. With help from the Downtown Fitness Club, the Zoo Fitness Challenge was created as a boot-camp style obstacle course. Everyone that competed in the first and second years walked away (a little slower after the competition!) having shared a fun, high-energy and productive physical experience.

Photo by Grayce Scott

Now in our third year, we’ve added the expertise of the Wolf Brigade Gym’s Greg Walsh to incorporate a Team Event into the Zoo Fitness Challenge. Beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 4, teams of six (maximum of four men) will compete in three well-structured, high-intensity stations that will call on all of their fitness resources. Each station will require great effort, teamwork and physical prowess and will be just as exciting to watch as to accomplish! A $300 per team registration fee is required in advance – the cut-off for pre-registration is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2.

As in years past, individuals can also compete in a stand-alone obstacle course coordinated by the Downtown Fitness Club. Any participants in the team competition can compete for FREE! Individuals not participating in the team event will pay a $15 fee on the night of the event.

The popularity of events like the “Warrior Dash” and the “Tough Mudder” continues to grow every year and our Zoo Fitness Challenge will give the Rochester athletic community a yearly taste of that style of physical fun!

If you aren’t feeling quite ready to compete, for a $5 fee you can stop by the Zoo and cheer others on (and get ready for next year!) Watch people climb ropes next to penguins, push weights by a cougar, jump on tables near alligators and sprint by the emus. Where else could you get this kind of experience while helping to raise money for your Zoo?

All those who attend the Zoo Fitness Challenge are invited to the event after-party at Salena’s Mexican Restaurant in the Village Gate, featuring an open Taco Bar and cash beverage bar for those attendees!

The Top 3 teams in the Team Event and the Top Male and Top Female in the Individual Event will take home fabulous prizes. Prize sponsors include: Rochester Red Wings, Rock Ventures, Eastern Mountain Sports, MedVed Running and Walking Outfitters, Vital Energy, Freetime Magazine, Seneca Park Zoo, Downtown Fitness Club, Wolf Brigade and more!

Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics!

— Michelle Picardo, Zoo Fitness Challenge Coordinator & Greg Walsh, Owner/Training Director, Wolf Brigade Gym

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It’s been almost a week since Jungle Jog and we can’t thank our sponsors, runners and volunteers enough for their support of one of the longest-running Zoo fundraisers!

Despite the heat, we had 922 runners, a record number, between the 5K and Seneca Park Mile races. We also had a handful of younger kids compete against one another in our Kid’s Fun Run, too! Jeff Beck of Fairport took the men’s 5K race in a time of 15:35, while Seattle, Washington resident Jennifer Bigham claimed first in the women’s race in a course-record time of 17:38!

The event was a huge success and everyone who participated in either the 5K, Seneca Park Mile or the Kids’ Fun Run seemed to truly enjoy themselves. Check out some of the pictures below from Sunday’s event by photographer Vasiliy Baziuk.

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Party Madagascar, our docent fundraiser celebration for adults 21 and older, has been supporting conservation and education programs in Madagascar since 2004. From 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, enjoy animal encounters, delectable grazing stations, a cash bar, games, raffles, music and the African drum and dance troupe, Akoma Ntoaso. And don’t forget the International Marketplace for one-of-a-kind items and unusual crafts!

Party Madagascar guests will also get the chance to meet one-on-one with some researchers working in Madagascar. Ingrid Porton, vice chair of the Madagascar Fauna Group and Dr. Patricia Wright, founder and executive director of the Institute for Conservation of Tropical Environments, are the largest beneficiaries of funds raised during this event and will talk about the latest updates in their work.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at the ZooShop or online at http://www.senecaparkzoo.org. See you there!

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