Run Wild Races

Next Event:

September 24, 2022


Metro Richmond Zoo, VA
Racing to save the endangered Cheetah


The 5th Bi-Annual Run Wild Race

September 24th, 2022 hosted at the Metro Richmond Zoo. Below are the race options for the upcoming event.

Run Wild:


8:00 am

1 Mile

Learn More


8:30 am

3.1 Miles

Learn More


9:30 am

Approx. 2 Miles

Learn More

About Us

Something For Everyone!

Run Wild Races has partnered with the Metro Richmond Zoo to bring fun and animal awareness to those who participate in our events while helping to raise animal conservation funds.

Come run, walk, or ninja your way around the zoo on Saturday, September 24th! Don’t forget to round up your herd; there is FUN for everyone. Choose from our 3 events: Mini 1 Mile5k, and Wild Ninja! Be sure to spot rhinos, zebras, cheetahs and other zoo animals along the race path! After you cross the finish line, each participant can visit the Zoo for FREE! Any spectators that come with you will receive a 10% discount off their zoo admission tickets for race day. 

Race day countdown









Compare Events


Run Wild Mini

Run Wild Mini 1 mile sprint is for all ages, but awards are only given out for children ages 4-11.

The majority of this course goes through the pathways of the zoo and includes a few all-terrain sections (gravel 5%, grass 20%, dirt 5%, pavement 70%). Parents can run with their children, but will also require a ticket. Children 3 and under do not need a ticket. Strollers are permitted but must be able to handle all-terrain.

Learn More


Run Wild 5k

This all-terrain 5k starts through the inside of the zoo then spans the perimeter of the Zoo.

The course passes many off-site facilities such as the Cheetah Conservation Center.  The all-terrain course consists of mostly dirt, mulch, and grass trails with some gravel and asphalt pathways. The trail has winding turns, some rolling hills, bridges over many creeks, beautiful views, a few steep hills, and sights of exotic wildlife.

Learn More


Wild Ninja

Wild Ninja is an obstacle course that is not timed, but scored on obstacle completion.

This approx. 2 mile obstacle course is not for the faint of heart. Participants face up to 42 challenging obstacles dispersed throughout the all-terrain trail. Some ninja obstacles are similar to those seen on the hit television series American Ninja Warrior. The obstacles represent real life challenges that animals encounter in the wild for the survival of their species.

Learn More

Run Wild and support a Wild cause


100% of our net proceeds from this event will benefit:

The Endangered Cheetah


“The cheetah is Africa’s most endangered big cat. In 1900, the cheetah population was around 100,000 individuals. However, due to habitat loss, human conflict, and illegal animal trade, the cheetah’s current wild population is in drastic decline. It is estimated there are around 7,000 cheetahs left in the wild. As of today, the cheetah inhabits only 23% of its historic African range. Cheetahs in the wild have an extremely high mortality rate. 90% of cubs die within the first three months of life. 50% of these deaths are attributed to predation and the other 40% fall victim to a lack of genetic diversity. MRZ

The Metro Richmond Zoo has partnered with the Aspinall Foundation to do some very special work with the Endangered Cheetah. More details to come soon!

The Aspinall Foundation, a world-class animal conservation charity, dedicated to protecting endangered animals around the globe, was founded in 1984. Now, over 30 years on our mission remains the same. We are more dedicated than ever to returning as many captive bred animals as possible to protected wilderness areas and reserves located throughout the world. 

100% of Run Wild’s net proceeds from this race will benefit the Endangered Cheetah through these 2 reputable organizations. Click on their links to see how they are making important contributions to mitigate this species’ extinction.


Cheetah Conservation Center – Metro Richmond Zoo
The Aspinall Foundation


    Why Run Wild Races?

    Run Wild Races was started in the summer of 2020 by Justin Andelin, the Zoo Ninja. 

    “Fitness and competition have always been an important part of my upbringing.  My competitive nature is what inspired me to apply and get onto the 10th season of American Ninja Warrior.

    I had never previously been to a ninja gym to train on ninja obstacles for the required body control and awareness needed for success.  Nevertheless, I was going to prove to myself that I could complete the obstacles.  That was exactly my intention when I stepped onto the tv set in 2018.   Needless to say, I was humbled by the third obstacle! Had I previously trained on ninja obstacles, I would have made it much further.

    After being on the show, I realized that like myself, there are a lot of people that just want to try ANW style obstacles.  Because there are not any ninja gyms in Richmond, I wanted to bring ANW styled obstacles for my community to try.  I also wanted to improve on the slow format (1 person at a time) of ANW.  My solution: Wild Ninja.  I hope you enjoy it.”


    Why the Mini and the 5k?

    “Simple. I like sprinting, and my endurance isn’t great, so this trail helps me train my endurance for ninja warrior.  I also wanted people to be able to race through the zoo around the animals!” 


    Register to Race!

    Register soon for the best price!

    Conservation Funds Raised

    Since fall of 2020 Run Wild Races has donated over $8,000 to Cheetah, Penguin, and Orangutan Conservation projects.


    Thank You To Our Sponsors