Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals 5K, 10K & Kids’ 1/2 Mile

Saturday, June 3, 2023 | Memorial Park (Directions)

5K/10K Race Start: 7:30A | 1/2 Mile Kids Run Start: 8:45A

The Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals 5K/10K & Kids’ 1/2 Mile is hosted by the Cosley Foundation to raise funds for the animals at Cosley Zoo as well as exhibit development projects, public programs and conservation projects.

Interested in Volunteering? Volunteer Sign-Up


Race route map opens in new window at

Check out some of our frequently asked questions to see if we have an answer for you. If you still have questions, please contact Margie Wilhelmi at or 630.510.4984.

Starting Line (all races): On Main Street just south of Seminary Avenue (east of Memorial Park)

5K & Kids’ 1/2 Mile Finish Line: Seminary just west of Main Street

10K Finish Line: Wheaton Avenue just north of Union Avenue

Packet Pick-Up: Thursday, June 1 at the Wheaton Park District Community Center (1777 S. Blanchard, Wheaton) from 10A to 7P.

Race Bundles: The Race Wheaton bundle is available until Run for the Animals on June 3 and offers discounted registration pricing! Challenge yourself to a 5K in each season of 2023. Start with the Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals in June, keep the momentum going with the Light the Torch 5K Night Run in September and complete the year with the festive Reindeer Run 5K in December.

Will race registration be offered at packet pick-up or on race day?
Online registration is open through race day morning and is highly recommended. However, you can also register online at packet pick-up and on race day morning.

What is the refund policy?
All race registrations are non-refundable. In the event of an in-person race cancellation, runners may opt to transfer to the virtual run or defer their race registration.

Race Day Check-In & Packet Pick-Up, Gear Check, First Aid, Post-Race Party, and Washrooms located at: Memorial Park (208 W. Union, Wheaton, IL). All participants are welcome to redeem the tear-off from their run bib for a complimentary beverage at Memorial Park after the race.

Kids’ 1/2 Mile Info: This race is open to children ages 4-10. Children age 5 and younger who are participating in the Kids’ 1/2 Mile race must be accompanied by a parent or responsible guardian aged 14+. Parents and guardians do not need to pay for a 1/2 Mile race registration. All children participating in the 1/2 Mile race must be registered and paid.

Parking: Participants are encouraged to use the parking garage located between N. Wheaton Avenue and N. Hale Street. Street parking is limited. Limited handicap-accessible parking is available in the parking lot of Gary United Methodist Church. Please enter this lot from Wesley Street.

First Aid: Minor first aid is available in Memorial Park at the First Aid Booth near the park entrance on Karlskoga Avenue and Hale Street. For serious incidents, please call 911.

Course Details: Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals is a USATF-certified course. The course winds through the streets of downtown Wheaton. The 10K will include Northside Park as part of the route. The 5K course closes to runners/walkers at 8:30A, the 10K course closes at 9A. A course map will be available at USATF Certification Numbers: IL14055JW and IL14054JW.

Race Results & Awards: Results will be posted upon completion of each event at Memorial Park. Awards for overall and age category winners will be handed out during the Post Race Party. Overall awards and age category awards will be based on chip time.

Overall first, second and third place awards will be given to the top male and female finishers in both the 5K and 10K (chip time).

Age category awards are given to the top three male and female finishers per category in both the 5K and 10K: 10 & under, 11-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80 & up.

Medals: All 5K, 10K & Kids’ 1/2 Mile participants will receive a finisher medal at the Finish Line.

Results: Race results can be accessed by scanning the QR code on your race bib and will be posted at shortly after the race.

Safety: For participants’ safety, NO bicycles, in-line skates, or other-wheeled vehicles (except wheelchairs or other accessibility devices). Strollers ARE allowed, but all runners with strollers must start in the designated stroller corral at the end of the race. Animals are NOT permitted on the race course or in Memorial Park (except for service animals). Service animals must be registered at least one week in advance.

Inclement Weather: The run is held rain or shine. In the event of severe weather before the race start, the race director may postpone or cancel the race. Pre-race inclement weather announcements will be made on the Cosley Zoo and Wheaton Park District websites and social media outlets; via e-mail to all registered runners; and through public address announcements. If severe weather occurs while on the race course, please follow course officials’ and/or emergency personnel’s instructions. No refunds will be given in the rare event of a race cancellation due to severe weather or other uncontrollable circumstances.


What is a virtual race?
A virtual race is self-timed and can be completed by participants on their favorite outdoor run/walk route or on a treadmill. There is no official race route or start time.

Virtual race course?
There is no official race course. Runners/walkers may select their own 5K or 10K routes or may complete their registered distance on a treadmill.

Will virtual runners be allowed to participate in the in-person race?
Race staff and volunteers will not allow runners without an official race bib onto the course. Virtual runners may change to the in-person race by calling 630.510.4984 or emailing

Virtual race timing
The virtual Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals is self-timed. To have your time included in the race results, runners/walkers must submit their results by the end of the day on 6/18/2023.

Recording/Posting race results
Race results are recorded by the runner/walker directly on the registration website by logging in with the email address and password used for race registration. Participants can also email their time to If emailing your time, please be sure to include your name, distance (5K or 10K ) and time (hour, minutes, seconds).

Questions: Please contact Margie Wilhelmi at 630.510.4984 or


Awards will be given to the top three overall male and female runners in the 5K and 10K (chip time) and age-group winners (chip time):

10 & Under, 11-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, 80 & Over


Two Packet Pick-up Options:

Thursday, June 1 | 10A-7P | Wheaton Park District Community Center (1777 S. Blanchard St., Wheaton)
Saturday, June 3 | 6:15-7:15A | Memorial Park


Runners are encouraged to park in the downtown Wheaton parking garages:

Wheaton Place Garage – 232 West Wesley Street, 1st & 2nd Floor
Willow Avenue Garage – 220 South Cross Street, 1st Floor


Contact Margie Wilhelmi at or 630.510.4984.