Stacey Konwiser Memorial Save the Tiger 5K race 2018
Photo: Pedro Penalver, WPB Magazine

Rain was not a deterrent for more than 400 friends of the Palm Beach Zoo to join the annual Stacey Konwiser Memorial Save the Tiger 5K race on Saturday, May 19.

The Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society helps support the Malayan tiger, one of the most endangered of the 5 remaining species of tigers in the planet of which an estimated 250 or fewer Malayan tigers are left in the wild. This race—which was renamed in honor of late beloved zoo keeper Stacey Konwiser—uses proceeds to help support the zoo’s partnership with WCS at Endau Rompin National Park in Malaysia to protect tigers and their habitat.

Endau-Rompin National Park is the second designated national park in Peninsular Malaysia. It contains one of the world’s oldest rainforests and volcanic rocks that date back 240 million years. The park has some wonderful plants and animals and it is in this area where most of the remaining Malaysia tigers live. They are only found on Peninsular Malaysia where around 45-50% of the area is native forest, exactly what tigers call their home.

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The race this year brought together familiar faces but also many first-timers, including people from England who decided to ditch the Royal Wedding to join West Palm Beach for a very good cause. Eliot Ball from Belper, a small town in the district of Amber Valley in Derbyshire, England, won the race—Male Overall Winners. Upon receiving his wooden medal, he said he had found about the race online and decided to join. He did the race in 17:38.3 according to AccuChipUSA, Inc.

Eric Capostagno from West Palm Beach entered second and young Famous Rhodes from Parkland was third in Male Overall Winners. Michelle Nunez from Orlando was first in Female Overall Winners, followed by West Palm Beach’s Kara Weber in second place, and Josephine Holtzclaw from Vero Beach in third place. All the results per category and time scored by each runner can be found on accuchiptiming.com.

During the awards ceremony, Ron Brooks, Palm Beach Zoo events manager introduced their president and CEO, Margo McKnight, who recently stepped into her new role in May. McKnight brings nearly 40 years of experience in government, tourism and fundraising.

Photo gallery: Stacey Konwiser Memorial Save the Tiger 5K race 2018

Zoos exist to study, celebrate and help protect animals and their habitats. This has been at the core of the Palm Beach Zoo mission throughout the years as they provide the very best for the animals entrusted to their care. As the zoo continues to work with the Wildlife Conservation Society supporting species and habitat, days like today give their staff and the entire world a ray of hope that efforts to research, protect and preserve the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife are important.

The Stacey Konwiser Memorial Save the Tiger 5K race