May 13, 2024

Run Wild for Conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay on July 7


May 13, 2024 

NOTE TO MEDIA: Images can be accessed through this Dropbox link. Photo credit is contained in the file name (Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium).


POWELL, OH – Lace up your running shoes and get ready for an unforgettable experience during the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's newest event, Run Wild, presented by OhioHealth. Taking place on July 7, 2024, this exhilarating 5K run, produced by M3S Sports, promises a day of excitement and adventure for participants of all ages while celebrating the world’s wildlife.

Proceeds from the event will support several of the Zoo’s conservation initiatives, including the establishment of the North American Center for Bison Conservation at The Wilds and the new Ohio Center for Wildlife Conservation (OCWC) in the North America Trek region set to open in 2025. The OCWC facility will highlight extraordinary local conservation initiatives for species such as eastern hellbenders, Plains garter snakes, American burying beetles, and freshwater mussels.

Run Wild Route and Highlights:

Run Wild will kick off at 8 a.m. at the front of the Columbus Zoo and lead into the parking lot in the direction of Powell Road. From there, participants will loop around the breathtaking pollinator gardens along Powell Road before heading back through the front entrance and into the Zoo. Runners and walkers will enjoy a trek around Conservation Lake and through the Asia Quest and Adventure Cove regions. As an added treat, some of the Zoo's animal residents will have access to their outdoor habitats, and runners and walkers may see the animals doing their part to help cheer participants on along the way. After passing through Adventure Cove, runners will enter Zoombezi Bay for an adventurous journey through the waterpark before making a splashing finish in the Wild Tides Wave Pool.

 Extra Perks:

  • Unisex event shirt
  • Official Finisher’s medal
  • Private pool party at the wave pool before Zoombezi Bay opens at 10:30 a.m.
  • FREE admission to Zoombezi Bay on July 7 for registered runners
  • FREE race photos, presented by OhioHealth

 Race Information:

  • Children over the age of 3 years must be registered, and strollers are welcome on the course.
  • All participants must finish the run by 9 a.m. when the Zoo opens to the public.
  • The event will take place rain or shine, so participants should come prepared for any weather conditions.
  • Each participant will receive a same-day admission ticket to Zoombezi Bay. Spectator tickets are available for purchase separately.
  • Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay members receive a discount on registration. To receive the discount, members will be prompted to enter their Member ID number during registration.


Registration is open now for Run Wild. Entry fees for participants are as follows:

  • $55 through May 15
  • $60 May 16 through June 15
  • $65 June 16 until Run Wild event on July 7 (or until sold out)

 Additionally, participants who register three (3) or more participants at the same time will receive $15 off.

Cheer on Your Favorite Runner!

Spectator registration is available for $25 per person. All event attendees must have either a Participant or Spectator ticket. Those who are registered will receive an email closer to race day with instructions on how to purchase Spectator tickets. Spectator tickets are limited to 2 per runner and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

More Information:

Additional registration details and other information including packet pickup, full policies, and guidelines, can be accessed through the Columbus Zoo’s website. Special thanks to Run Wild event sponsors Cardinal Health and Kim and Tom Schmid for their support.

For additional updates about the Columbus Zoo, events, and more, follow the Zoo’s social media accounts on FacebookInstagram, X, and TikTok, and visit us at


About the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium 

Home to more than 10,000 animals representing over 600 species worldwide, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium leads by making a positive impact on people, wildlife, and wild places. The Zoo complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Club. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also manages The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a wildlife conservation organization with regional, national and global impact, annually supporting conservation and research projects locally and worldwide. For more information, please visit

About Zoombezi Bay

Zoombezi Bay is a 22.7-acre water park that features 19 state-of-the-art water attractions, including the aquatic adventure area, Otter Banks; themed water slide, SoundSurfer; the multi-level play structure, Baboon Lagoon; the Pelican Point interactive water playground for the youngest guests; a wave pool; an action river; a lazy river; and more. During the regular summer season, admission to Zoombezi Bay includes the Columbus Zoo, and proceeds from the water park support the Zoo’s operation and mission. Please visit for more information.