May 18 marks the 11th year for Cheyenne Mountain Zoo's annual Run to the Shine, an all-ages day of family fun!

Just in time for springtime sun, the annual Run to the Shrine benefiting Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is on track for May 18. The family-friendly fundraiser features a four-mile running/walking course through the zoo, culminating with a climb up to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, which happens to sit at 8,136 feet in elevation.  

The run marks as the only time that foot traffic is allowed on the historic road all year, making for a limited opportunity to see the panoramic and breathtaking views of Colorado without the obstruction of a car window. 

Run to the Shrine is friendly to everyone, from serious runners to walkers alike -- the course can be run as a competitive race, a brisk jog, or a nice walk. Whatever your preferred pace is, the event welcomes all participants and allows jogging strollers with tethers and handbrakes.

cheyenne mountain zoo

Courtesy of Facebook, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Registration fees cover participation in the event, chip timing, a commemorative 2019 event t-shirt featuring the mascot a meerkat named Dusty, entry to the post-race party, admission to the zoo for the rest of the day, and a chance at a unique medal for the first, second, and third place finishers for both women and men’s races. The Shrine itself will not be open during the race, the road will reopen to cars at 11 a.m. after the event and stay open until 4 p.m.

Race Day Schedule:

  • 7 a.m. – Event opens
  • 8-8:15 a.m. – Event registration and packet pickup in the south parking lot
  • 8:30 a.m. – Race time!
  • 8:30-11 a.m. – Post-race party
  • 10 a.m. – Awards ceremony for first, second, and third place finishers

Here's how to get registered:

  • Online registration is available now and will be taking participants until midnight on May 15.  
  • There are two locations offering in-person registration until May 12, 2019:
    • The Colorado Running Company – 5262 North Nevada Avenue #140, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
    • Runner’s Roost – 121 North Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Day of the event registration will be open from 7-8:15 a.m. at the registration tent in the zoo’s south parking lot. Please note that the day of registration entries may only be paid for by credit or debit card.

Registration pricing varies, and there are discounts for zoo members and for active duty, retired, and veteran military members; an email to specialevents@cmzoo.org will get a code for $5 off the registration for military members and their household dependents. For more information on pricing, click here.

What many may not realize is that the zoo is a non-profit and operates solely on money it makes from memberships, admissions, donations, and fundraising events. Run to the Shrine is a great way to get out in the community, help support the zoo, feed the animals that call it home, and keep the zoo beautiful and enjoyable for animals and visitors alike. Time to grab those running shoes and hit the trail for a good cause – don't forget sunscreen and plenty of water!

Also, did you know that the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was recently rated as the sixth best zoo in North America, as well as the fifth best zoo exhibit in North America by USA Today? Pretty cool, right? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts.