Did you see almost 500 little kangaroos (also called joeys) bounding through the Vilas Zoo a few weeks ago?  Well, don’t be alarmed…it was just a stampede of healthy kids who rallied behind the causes of our local zoo and healthy schools!  Let me assure you, it was quite a sight!

This year Tri 4 Schools took a slightly different spin on our Family Fun Run.  Instead of reprising our Warner Park event, we were fortunate enough to work with the Friends of the Vilas Zoo to give their kids Roo Run a makeover!  This event is part of the incredibly popular Zoo Run Run, which brings nearly 2,000 runners to the zoo at the end of September.

What started as a 50 yard dash inside the zoo was remade into a quarter, half, or full mile run that started and finished at the same places as the Zoo Run, making it an instant win for safety, space, and swagger!  We’re happy to announce that 457 runners took place in the Roo Run this year, an increase of 107 runners from last year.  We’ve heard lots of great stories and feedback, but none were greater than this:

roo run 2013


Lauren is a seven-year-old who has Cerebral Palsy.  She attends the same school I did when I was young, which made me an instant fan!  According to Lauren’s parents, doctors said she would never walk.  However, she signed up for the quarter mile distance of the Roo Run and was determined to complete it on her own two feet.  It wasn’t easy, but we were SO impressed with her dedication and determination as she kept moving forward to the finish line!

roo run 2013


The best moment?  Hundreds of people stayed to cheer Lauren and root her on until she finished the race – volunteers, parents, kids, even safety personnel!  When she crossed and received her finisher medal, she got a huge hug from her brother, melting the crowd into a pool of happy tears.  See more photos on Channel 3000.com’s slideshow.

When we asked Lauren what helped her keep going?  “The people cheering me on.”  Let’s all remember how much our words can encourage and inspire others, and we’ll hope to see you back again at the Zoo next September!