This has been my fifth year in a row participating at different races produced by the Palm Beach Zoo, but there’s something special for me about the Stacey Konwiser Memorial Save the Tiger 5k Race. Though I am only taking photos, my kids run the race each time.
April 15 is my youngest daughter’s birthday. On that very same day last year, my family – me, my wife and two of our kids – were getting ready to leave town for some short vacation when news of the passing of Stacey Konwiser broke. It really touched a chord deep in me as we had recently featured a story about the zoo in the magazine and interviewed Stacey. I don’t think I have ever met a person with more profound love for tigers than Stacey.
A strong community stood to support the Palm Beach Zoo staff when the incident happened and on May 14, 2016, their existing Annual 5K Race was renamed to honor the late beloved zookeeper. Around 400 people on average used to participate in previous Save the Tiger 5K Races but on that day, more than 700 people registered for the now renamed Stacey Konwiser Memorial Save the Tiger 5K Race.
Andrew Aiken, CEO and President of the Palm Beach Zoo said that more than 700 hundred people also registered to the event this year.
Watch Mr. Aiken deliver a few words before the race started.
Many people have already become familiar faces to these races at the Zoo and you can tell by looking back at photos from last year. Along with the Palm Beach Zoo efforts to help the Wildlife Conservation Society to protect Malayan tigers and their habitat at Endau Rompin National Park in Malaysia, our small support is vital to fund their partnership.
There are many reasons to run a local organized race but one like the Stacey Konwiser Memorial Save the Tiger 5K Race will bring about the same insurmountable feeling a zoo keeper has for animals, specially those species in danger like the Malayan tiger, currently in a declining trend.
If you are interested in participating in future races, visit the Zoo’s website to get more information.
Below there are some photos of the 2017 S.K. 5K Race that took place on May 20. The rest of all photos taken can be seen on our Facebook Page. You can find all the results in the Accuchip Race Timing Services site. I’d like to make a very special mention to 15 years old Cameron Dunn who scored a 00:19:00.397 overall time to be the winner of the race. I saw him keep a leading pace since the start of the race, throughout the course and at the finish.