Our Day at the Park

 Photo: The SKY Team at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park Half Marathon 2013

by Amber N. Yoo, MBA

Sunday, May 5, was a big day for The SKY Team. We woke before the sun came up and made our way to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for the nonprofit’s 3rd annual half marathon.

Decked out in our bright orange volunteer shirts, We met in the heart of the Park around 6 a.m. to help set up the Finish Expo. Meanwhile, 13.1 miles away, Dr. Yoo melted into a crowd of 2,300 runners and set out on a quest to beat his time last year: 2 hours and 2 minutes. 

 Photo: Dr. Yoo getting ready for the San Diego Safari Park Half Marathon 2013

The weather was perfect – brisk and clear. One hour into the race, we headed over to the finish line to pass out metals and water. The finish line was positioned such that we could see the runners take the final turn, come down a small hill, and sprint towards the finish line. We welcomed the first runner with cheers and claps. As more time passed, what began as one or two runners crossing the finish line every so often turned into small clumps of runners coming in at a steadier pace.  As the second hour of the race neared, we began searching for Dr. Yoo at the final turn. 

Finally, we spotted him -- our weary surgeon, looking very glad to see the end so near! We held up our “Go Dr. Yoo!” sign, our cheers growing louder the closer he came. The announcer, seeing how excited we were, began urging Dr. Yoo on over the loudspeaker, “Congratulations to Dr. Yoo, you’re almost there. Keep it up!” And then, he was with us, gratefully grabbing a bottle of water. Dr. Yoo placed 309th in the race, coming in at 1 hour and 54 minutes.

 Photo: Sign we made for Dr. Yoo.

With The SKY Team regrouped, we headed to the Finish Expo where we had a big surprise waiting – our own private tent! We won the Safari Park’s team fundraising challenge!! Our reward was a private tent at the Finish Expo, complete with refreshments and (much needed) chairs. We took some group photos and then sat down to enjoy the festivities (and to let Dr. Yoo re-coup).

 Photo: The SKY Team won the team fundraising challenge and had a private tent at the Finish Expo.

Soon after, the awards ceremony began. Imagine our surprise when over the loudspeaker, the announcer gave a shout out to The SKY Team! (Watch the video below.)

All in all, we had an awesome day supporting a great cause; the funds raised will go towards helping endangered greater one-horned rhinos