Students admitted to TCU will now have another chance to get familiar with campus before the 2009 academic year begins, a university official said.

Lauren Nixon, an admissions counselor, said Horned Frog Friday will begin Feb. 6 and will provide admitted students and their families with another opportunity to take a campus tour, participate in an information session and have lunch with a student ambassador.

Participants in the Zoo Run will get a peek at how the Fort Worth Zoo wakes up and have a chance to support local and international conservation efforts.

The event on March 28 includes a 1K “Fun Run,” a timed 5K and a 5K “Fun Run.” All runs circle through and around the zoo.

Map of this year 5K run through the zoo.
Map of this year 5K run through the zoo.

“Even for those who have been to the Fort Worth Zoo before, this race provides a whole new experience,” said Avery Elander, the zoo’s public relations manager. “You are running by animals eating breakfast, you can high-five a zookeeper and when else can you jog by a 1,500 pound saltwater crocodile or herd of giraffes?”

Between 6,000 and 7,000 runners, walkers and stroller riders are expected to participate, said Elander.

This will be the first run for TCU sophomore Catherine Babin. She said she plans to finish the 5K race in 24 minutes.

“Since coming to college I have not been able to participate in races as often as I would like to,” Babin said. “The Zoo Run is unique because the route passes animal exhibits, which is different from a typical road race.”

Race day registration begins at 6:30 a.m., the 1K Fun Run starts at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K begins at 8 a.m. after an aerobic warm up.

Following the race, participants can enjoy an animal outreach presentation. Elander said they will also be handing out a free zoo admission ticket to either be used that day or any day in 2015.

“The presentation will include close encounters with birds, reptiles and small mammals in the zoo’s outreach collection,” she said. “In the presentation, participants will learn interesting animal’s facts and can see these animals up close and personal.”

Along with the presentation, the award ceremony will recognize top male and female finishers, top finishers in each age group, as well as the largest teams and school groups. The fastest time from last year was set by Fort Worth resident Jose Mejorada who ran the 5K in 16:36.

Team and school group registration is now closed, but individual participants can sign up online for $28 or register at the race for $33. It is $3 extra to run with a timing device.

“It’s always fun to see families and groups of friends running together – some dressed up or have their faces painted like animals – supporting the zoo and kicking off their Saturday in a healthy, active way,” Elander said.

For more information about the race and how to register visit the Fort Worth Zoo website.

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