Oasis Zoo Run

Event Details

Location Toronto Zoo, 2000 Meadowvale Rd, Scarborough


Event Rating


Race Details

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Discipline Running
Start Date/Time September 17, 2017 @ 10:00 am
End Date/Time N/A
Address Toronto
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Reviews Write a Review

September 24th, 2016 9:13 pm

Avoid! Race and food were good. The pre-race organization, however, was a nightmarish calamity. I'm "that guy" who likes to arrive a full 30 - 45 minutes before my runs, so I heeded all the warnings and left 2 hours before the race for my 45 minute commute. Everything was fine with the traffic up until the last 2 kms before the parking lot when traffic was snarled to a stop. Other participants were actually exiting their vehicles (the passengers) and running to the event. There was NO ONE directing traffic except for one lonely old man (who was clearly in over his head in the mess) and no signage. When we finally did get to the parking lot, they actually had the automated gate arm lowering on cars and then rising just to delay things further and increase the frustration of those who had just spent 60+ minutes driving those last 2 kms. On the way to the corral, the 5km starters were actually being impeded by the 10km finishers with their medals (and vice versa) heading in the other direction. They couldn't have planned it any worse. The last insult came post-race when I asked a volunteer where the exit was a he pulled out a map to check. Comical! For the amount of money charged for this run, I expected much better organization. Avoid! Avoid! Avoid!

October 21st, 2015 1:12 pm

It was an amazing opportunity to get to run in the Zoo and see the animals before the Zoo opened. After you complete the race, you get to stay and enjoy the Zoo. Would definitely recommend this race, especially to animal lovers!!

September 14th, 2015 10:47 am

If it wasn't for the 30 minutes to get to the parking lot, I would give this a 5/5. But really - waiting in a traffic line for 30 minutes? Where I am coming from, public transit is not an option at that time of day. As the packet pick up is at a hotel in Scarborough, opposite of where I live, I have no choice but to pick up my race kit the morning of...judging from the line-up on race day, many others are in the same boat. Then I did a good warm-up by racing to the bag drop stuffing my jacket into my race kit bag as I was forced to park in the far parking lot. My original plan was to dump everything in the car except for my keys.

But everything else about the race was fantastic! Too bad the rain kept some of the animals inside...

Tight Laces
September 13th, 2015 10:32 pm

This was my first time running this at this event, I ran in the 10km run. It was a cool wet morning which made it ideal running conditions for myself. The course was well marked and the volunteers were great with direction both before the race and during pointing racers in the right direction.

I picked uo my race kit the morning of so I planned on getting to the Zoo well before packet pick up opened, and I'm glad I left when I did because by the time i park got my kit and was back to my truck there where long lines at the entrance ot the zoo.

The course its self was great with all the elevation changes, I was not expecting the brief trail like run,but I made it through it with no issues.

The only down side I had was with registration, and the fact that I had to make a new account with CRS in order to sign up for the run but other then that no complaints

CMJ Runner
May 25th, 2015 9:13 pm

This was my second time running this 5k with several members of my family and we were very disappointed at how disorganized it was at the beginning. We arrived in plenty of time but were not allowed to get to the corrals until after the scheduled start time. We were then given only a few minutes to get to the correct corral--I barely made it to mine.

We didn't pass very many animals and be warned that there is a killer hill about halfway through.

Being allowed to stay at the zoo after the race is a very nice idea but usually both runners and cheerers are too tired.

Nice shirts, medals, and food.

September 24th, 2014 11:00 am

This was my first 10k ever, and although the course was challenging I totally loved it - it made for a diverse and interesting experience, and it made me see that even a novice runner like myself can complete and have fun with challenging courses.
However, I do agree that there could have been three water stations - I've been to a couple of easy 5ks that had more stations than this one.

Kevin Johnstone
September 22nd, 2014 8:51 pm

Loved this race! It was my first time here, well organized defiantly signing up again next year.

September 22nd, 2014 4:09 pm

This is my third year doing the Zoo run and I have to say that I was not impressed with the traffick to get into the Zoo as well as the packet pick up desk then being so far from the start of the race. Then to have race staff tell me I have to hurry because I wont get my bib they are closing the pick up desks...are you kidding me the only reason we are late is due to the lack of organization to get into the park! I think giving myself two hours to get to a race that should only take me 30 minutes to get to is enough time!
*Pre-Run could have been better organized!

The run itself is always good, could have used 3 water stations instead of only 2!

Its been fun Zoo run.


Great Run
September 22nd, 2014 2:42 pm

They can't control the weather, but a sunny day sure made a run through the zoo that much better!

Gordon Mai
September 22nd, 2014 1:43 pm

My second year running in this race and will definately come back next year.

The course is very challenging with varying elevations throughout, the event was incredibly well organized, lots to do in the post race area, and you get free admission to the zoo! The shirt and medal this year looked great, I liked the suble zebra design on the shirt.

This is definitely going to be one I'll be doing every year, and the one race I will be signing up for the first day registration opens! Great to run with friends, the family, or if you're like me on your own.

Great job CRS!

Cathy N
September 22nd, 2014 11:26 am

Second year. 2013 pouring rain 2014 perfect weather. Perfect organization and volunteers. Shirts a bit on the small size but exchanged it with no questions asked. Wonder if the route could be changed to mix up the hills. Several comments heard how the course (10k) is so flat until 5k and then nothing but hills after.

September 22nd, 2014 11:35 am

This was my first race and my first 10K and it was Awesome!!
I was super excited for this race. The route was awesome challenging but delightful. I am a runner who likes running outdoors and this race was more than I could ask for. I found the route very easy to follow the marshals were encouraging which was nice.
There were only two water stations, I would have liked to see at least one other.
I am planning to do this race every year from now on :)

September 22nd, 2014 11:57 am

Second year running the 10k and it was great. Start was delayed 10 mins for the traffic which was fine for us as we left with plenty of time to make it on time. Course has a few easy hills. Only thing that would have helped would have been an announcement for people walking to stay on the right instead of randomly stopping in the middle of the course!

September 21st, 2014 7:02 pm

3rd year I've run this race.
I have done the 5k twice and 10k once.
Lots of hills.
Awesome finisher medal.
Good race kit.
Cute race bibs.
Bad traffic. Race was postponed 10 minutes and that wasn't enough.

September 21st, 2014 9:29 am

I love the challenge of this race and managed to knock 2 minutes off my time from last year. I was in the last group due to my horrible time last year, but enjoyed the pace and felt good. But what a challenge! I heard a fellow runner tell her boyfriend that they were on track for 1:10, then 1k later he started complaining and they dropped back. I have run with friends before and we have an agreement to run on our own and meet later.

A very well organized race. Lots of beverages available, great volunteers. I will be back and train much better for next year. I didn't take advantage of the post race zone, as hubby came to cheer me on and promised breakfast...he only paid $10 to enter...unfortunately he couldn't find his way to cheer on the last 1km and was kept back in the friends & family zone.

Dennis W
September 20th, 2014 8:29 pm

CRS outs on the best races in the Country. The 2014 edition of the Zoo run is no exception. The CRS team is the best in class.

September 20th, 2014 8:27 pm

Great race, 2nd year in a row. Well planned and organized

Sara Bettencourt
September 20th, 2014 1:43 pm

My 2nd year running the Zoo Run and I'm still loving it! Glad the weather was much better this year, so many more animals were out on the 5k course. :)

Race started 10 minutes late, but no real complaints. I mean come on, your race registration includes free admission to the zoo and parking.

Great medal and shirt as always!

Can't wait for next year! :)

September 20th, 2014 10:23 am

This race was amazing! The course was difficult but the views were great. Staff were super helpful and the finish line area was nice with lots to do in the area! The medal and shirt are the nicest ones I've got yet! Definitely gonna do this one next year!

Volvo Fly Girl
October 7th, 2013 6:16 pm

I really like this race. It is well organized and the shirts fit great. I was upset as I registered six months in advance requested a small shirt and when I arrived early on race day, they said "no more small shirts". That really ticks me off.

September 29th, 2013 7:23 pm

I really loved this race. I had my eye on it for a couple of years, and finally was able to sign up and actually attend.

I found that they capped the number of racers at the right spot. The beginning was a big congested, but thats the case in any race. The organization was amazing. Volunteers did a great job of directing, and there was tons of signs.

Too bad about the weather, but it was still enjoyable.

The course was neat to run. Great scenery, especially with the animals. I hoped to see more animals, but being able to wander the zoo after (FOR FREE) definitely made up for it. The course is challenging though, and lots of hills. My time wasn't the greatest, but a comparison point for next year :)

One criticism is the Virtual Goodie Bag. I felt that the race kit really suffered because of not actually receiving anything. The t-shirt is really nice though. Definitely going to try to make this an annual run.

September 24th, 2013 3:02 pm

Everything was great about this race, well organized, the volunteers did a great job directing runners. The food was great, the course was great and challenging. Nothing beat seeing the Pandas afterwards.

September 24th, 2013 3:17 pm

This is a great event, just want to share what could be improved
- need volunteer to guide traffic in parking lot
- route with more animals, it's not just because of the rain

Sara Bettencourt
September 22nd, 2013 7:13 pm

It was my first time running this particular race and I'd have to say even with the race day weather conditions, I really enjoyed myself.

The signage was very clear and organized to get to where you needed to go - corrals had tons of signs, it was just extremely crowded.

Course was great, however it'd be nice to see more animals - I'm sure a bunch were hiding because of the rain (didn't stop the giraffes from coming out though).

Only downside was the long walk back to the parking lot post-race from the finish line.

Hopefully next year there's sunshine!

September 21st, 2013 11:39 pm

I was pretty shocked to come on here and see such a good review for this race. I have done many 5ks and half marathons, and I would pick this as my least favourite easily!

I disagree about the organization....there was a complete lack of signage, so if you are not from the area, and have never been to the zoo, you are out of luck! So many people were getting lost...we met others on the way who had no idea where to go, and same with returning to our cars!

The course advertised running by animals, but we barely saw any. It is nice that you can stick around after to see them, but since it was raining, we left.

I;m not sure about this food others are talking about. We went looking around in all the tents afterwards (and we were in the first carrel finishing) and all we could find was the main food tent with bruised apples and stale bagels.

I should also mention the staff organizers (prior to the race) were HORRIBLE to deal with. I personally know 3 others who individually complained to me about how rude they were.

I did appreciate the separation of carrels, other than that, I would not recommend this race.

September 21st, 2013 9:07 pm

This race was great even with the rainy weather.

I had a really great experience at this race. Not only was the course challenging and scenic, but you get to explore the zoo grounds afterwards.

Definitely going to do this one next year.

September 21st, 2013 5:37 pm

It's my 2nd year running this race.
I really like it.
Tough hills.
Uphill finish.
Nice medal.
Nice shirt.
Starting corrals were better last year.
Lame race kit.
Awesome Liberte greek yogurt at finish.

September 21st, 2013 3:05 pm

Despite the rain, I loved this race. Not sure if it was I got there earlier than planned so got a good parking spot, or the great organization? I checked my bag without any problem, the race started on time & I loved the course. It poured but I didn't care. Lost a bit of time due to a much needed bathroom stop. No lining up or congestion. No itinerant pedestrians either. My time wasn't great, but something to improve on next year.

September 21st, 2013 9:27 am

Fun to see more animals this year love the additional hills

Joanne Michael
September 21st, 2013 9:20 am

Great run! Well organized but have some suggestions to make it even better;
-Easier access to parking and routed so racers aren't cutting through cars trying to park
have portable toilets colour coded to corals so racers in example the red corral aren't waiting behind in line behind runners in later corals when the race is just minutes from starting!
-Good food tents and promos afterwards but bit dissapointed in racekit
nice tshirt

Karyn Pedersen
September 21st, 2013 9:55 am

The race is well-organized, though I wish more of the 10k course was actually in the zoo. My main issue is the women's race shirts: XS is not available, and the S shirts are much too large for petite runners.

May 20th, 2013 9:17 pm

An excellent race in an excellent locale! I did the 5k and my daughter (3.5 at the time) did the Kids Run. Great to be able to do something like a race with her!

Start was uneventful, corrals worked well with the staggered start. The first 500m was a little congested up a small hill on a single path, but after that it opened up and the course was beautiful. Ran past zebras, flamingos, wolves, giraffes....where else can do you that?

Tons of volunteers and a great post race area with free greek yogurt and Oasis juice.

Kids run was great. 750m or so, lots of kids some in costume, all having fun. I ran with her and she was over the moon. She got a shirt and a ribbon as well as a personalized bib.

For Christmas that year my wife framed my Race Bib & Medal, with my daughter's Race Bib & Ribbon....hanging proudly on the bedroom wall. Great day.

May 6th, 2013 6:59 pm

One of my favourite races ever. My daughter and I were running this one together (her first race) so we decided to roll this race into a family day at the zoo. I love that the Runners get free entry into the zoo on race day and spectators can enter for half price. (Disney....are you listening?) We got free parking for the day as well!

The race kits and shirts were great, and I love that they have onsite pick up on race day since we live about an hour away from the zoo.

As with all Canada Running Series events, the start was well organized into corrals so that runners of equal pace are starting together and the slower runners and walkers start further to the back. The staggered start times (in waves 4 minutes apart) also excellent to avoid congestion.

The course itself is beautiful (we ran the 5K) but it is VERY HILLY! Train accordingly. The post race area and food were the best I have experienced yet at a race. (A bag of Werther's Chocolates for everyone...hello!!) The official race photographers were great and seemed to be a little more reasonably priced than those at other races. The finisher's medals were also AWESOME! Crowd support was great and I loved that so many of the runners were in costumes.

We are running this one again in 2013 - I think it will be a yearly family event. Well done!

November 12th, 2012 6:17 pm

Very well organized.

Race kit pick up the day of the race was smooth.

Free parking.

Lots of hills.

Nice medal.

Good start corrals.

October 23rd, 2012 7:51 pm

This was an incredibly well-organized race. The starting corrals ensured that people were running amongst a competitive group of runners that were of a similar pace, and the staggered start times prevented too much congestion at the beginning of the course. The events after the race were great for families who had come to support runners, and the food was perfect for runners' recovery. I especially liked the greek yogurt! I only have two small complaints; the first is that when runners were done, the exit was along the course. It was disheartening for me to see other runners who were long done heading back. I can only imagine how it would have felt for those who finished after the majority of runners and the route was full of runners who were finished the race heading in the opposite direction. The only other tiny critique was that the food tent ran out of paper bags, so those runners heading out of the zoo, clogging the route, were juggling bagels, bananas, yogurt and utensils amongst their running gear. Not enough to deter me from running it again though - I really enjoyed the experience!

September 26th, 2012 10:46 am

This race was really fun! I did the 10k. Organization was fine, other than starting a few minutes late. I appreciated the necessity of using corrals, especially once we were on the narrow zoo paths. I had been warned the course was really hilly, so perhaps I built it up too much in my mind, but I didn't find it too bad (other than that one hill just after 9k, but I've certainly run worse).

Only real complaint was I could really have used a bag for the food at the end! Too much to try and carry/juggle.

September 24th, 2012 6:50 pm

Great well organized run! Fantastic and challenging course around and through the zoo. Lots of hills AND lots of fun!

September 23rd, 2012 8:43 pm

You will get to see animals on this route, though don't expect to see them all - luckily you can enjoy the rest of the zoo after the finish line. I saw about a half dozen animals on the course - rhino, bison, giraffe (twice), goat, and some Canada geese that were just visiting the zoo. The race kit also included a 2-for-1 coupon for another zoo visit when your legs are fresher.

The 10k started on the roads outside the zoo, so you don't get to see many more animals on the longer course compared to the 5k. But there is some interesting terrain outside the zoo, including a hilly road and a dirt path.

Overall this was a fun race. Decent organization, lots of cheering volunteers, and wide paths that never made passing a problem. My only complaint was the some of the pre-run could have been better organized. There were about half as many porta-potties at the start as there should have been. Half an hour before the race there were about 5 lines with 30-40 people each waiting for a stall. I waited about 20 minutes to go. This was after waiting to pick up my kit and waiting at the bag check (luckily the volunteer there eventually realized the line would move faster if she had us apply our bag tags before we got to the front of the line). Also, the road to get into the zoo was congested 45 min before the race, because it's not built for that volume of traffic.

Post-run had a decent spread of food - bagels (nothing to put on them), yogurt, bananas, apples, cookies, candy, Oasis juice. Some of the promotional tents seemed disorganized. There was a 10-15 min wait to get a free sample of PowerBar bites, because you had to fill out your contact info on one iPad. Would've moved much faster if they'd given us pen and paper and let a few people do it at a time.

This event is worth it if you're looking for a unique place to run, or if you're bringing a family to cheer you on before going to check out the animals. Make sure to budget extra time if you're driving/parking/peeing.

Red Running Hood
September 22nd, 2012 5:20 pm

Good course, lots of hills, lots of SWAG and great volunteers. Costume contest was fun -We won it for the 5K along with the Banana Man! Parking was a bit of a hike on the way back, but free parking is great and the animals were beautiful to see. Would have liked the entrance lineups to have been separate from runners to spectators to move it faster. Lots of water and snacks at the end and Oasis was a great sponsor. Love the t-shirts and the MC kept the runners motivated at the end. Overall a well organized race, with a good pace.

September 22nd, 2012 11:02 am

SUPER FUN!! Crowd is very energetic and the giraffes were really exciting!!!

strong runner
September 22nd, 2012 10:35 am

It was a great experience....... Lots of fun

strong runner
September 22nd, 2012 10:09 am

It was the best exercise, nothing like it..

Belle Hirji
September 22nd, 2012 10:24 am

This is the best run I've ever had. I like the route.

Happy BUT tired runner!!
September 22nd, 2012 10:50 am

The run today was awesome! there were many hills :S but overall it was nice weather, great scenery & a fantastic amount of spectators and people cheering!!

Happy Runner
September 22nd, 2012 10:22 am

Today's race was awesome. I do believe though that the scenery of the animals could have been a bit better. Overall though the course set up was great.

September 22nd, 2012 10:04 am

Lots of positive energy and great volunteers!

September 22nd, 2012 9:35 am

How often do you get to run next to a giraffe?

September 22nd, 2012 9:58 am

more hills than I thought!! lots of fun!

September 22nd, 2012 9:27 am

Fun run! Beautiful to run through the zoo,and a good challenge:)

September 22nd, 2012 9:00 am

A challenging run, and a great atmosphere. It's always great running in a race with olympians.

September 22nd, 2012 9:15 am

this was my first race and it was a great experience

May 17th, 2012 11:43 am

Love this race! Animals!Strategically placed port-o-potties!

cathy kearns
April 30th, 2012 9:11 pm

Challenging, hilly course...lots of stuff to keep you amused while you run through the Zoo.....would be nice to go back to the long sleeved race shirts (black) from a few years ago versus the questionable colours rust and pepto-bismol pink) the last couple of years. Well organized with lots of parking.

March 9th, 2012 11:44 am

My first race. Crossed the start and ran my first hill ever. I was not prepared but persevered. Enjoyed the run and the support from onlookers at the finish was awesome!

February 24th, 2012 6:12 pm

A great way to see the zoo! watching all the animals play was a good distraction to keep your mind busy. Was more challenging that expected, gradual hills and a few short and steep to change things up. overall a great run!

September 12th, 2011 3:09 pm

I did this race a couple of times, if you are allergic to animals or fun, don't attend! Lions, Tigers and Bears...oh my....

June 27th, 2011 7:31 pm

Lions, Tigers and bears, oh my! It's great to get out of the city and run in a unique setting such as the zoo....

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