Throo the Zoo at the Louisville Zoo


CONTACT: Kyle Shepherd
Direct: 502-238-5331  |  Media Only: 502-744-5639

Norton Audubon Hospital and McDonald’s® Restaurants of Kentuckiana present wildest 5K in town now in its 23rd year

The wildest 5K in town will be held Saturday, May 14 at 8 a.m.  Runners and walkers will get to see the Zoo wake up during the 23rd annual Throo the Zoo 5K  Run/Walk, presented by Norton Audubon Hospital and McDonald’s®  Restaurants of Kentuckiana. Proceeds benefit the Louisville Zoo, which is dedicated to its mission of bettering the bond between people and our planet.

The course takes participants “throo” the Zoo — past many of your favorite animals and exhibits. The Start and Finish points are just outside the Zoo gate, but along the way you’ll be able to wave to the polar bears, roar with the tigers and stretch your stride with the giraffes. Participants will have an hour and 30 minutes to complete the course. The finish line area will officially close at 9:30 a.m. Please note that Illinois Avenue will be closed from Grenade to Trevilian from 7 to 8:30 a.m.  Also, Illinois Avenue from Taylor Avenue to Grenade Avenue will be closed from 7:45 – 8:30 a.m.

Strollers are welcome. No roller blades/skates, bicycles or pets are allowed.

Let your imagination run wild and dress in your favorite animal costume! Runners with the most creative costume in five categories (adult male and female age 18 and over; male and female youth age 17 or younger; and group) will receive a prize package courtesy of McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana and the Zoo. Along with costume awards, we’ll have numerous door prizes to give out to our participants. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., the Zoo will hand out overall and age-group awards for top finishers in the area next to the Finish.

Registration is required and forms can be completed online at

Registration fees are:

  • $30 – through April 24 at 11:59 p.m.
  • $35 – April 25- May 8
  • $40 – May 9-12
  • $45 – May 13 and on race day from 7 to 7:45 a.m. at the Zoo.

With your registration fee, you get a commemorative T-shirt, post-race refreshments, entry to win door prizes and FREE Zoo admission on race day with your race bib.  Children in strollers are free to participate in the race (excluding T-shirt, post-race refreshments, door prizes and Zoo admission if ages 3 or older). All participants will also be professionally timed through an electronic timing chip attached to your race bib.

A Pre-Race packet pick up party will be held Friday, May 13 at Whole Foods, 4944 Shelbyville Road, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

In addition to Friday’s Pre-Race Party, there will be two other opportunities to pick up your race packet:

  • Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13:9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Whole Foods
    4944 Shelbyville Road
  • Louisville, KY 40207
  • Saturday, May 14: 6:30 – 7:30 a.m.
    Louisville Zoo (next to Start line)
    1100 Trevilian Way
    Louisville, KY 40213

Parking for the race will be free at the Zoo. It is recommended that you arrive before 7:30 a.m. Parking will close early pre-race to allow time to make sure the course is safe for participants.

Throo the Zoo is presented by Norton Audubon Hospital and McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana with additional support by Outfront Media, Whole Foods, Heine Brothers, Aquafina, Trader Joe’s, USA Image, State Farm, New Balance, Service Systems Associates (SSA) and Tru Moo.

ROAD CLOSURES: Illinois Ave. will be closed from Grenade Ave. to Trevilian from 7 to 8:30 a.m. and Illinois Ave. from Taylor Ave. to Grenade Ave. from 7:45–8:30 a.m.


The Louisville Zoo, a non-profit organization and state zoo of Kentucky, is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).