11th Annual Cheetah Chase on June 24

Posted at 3:47 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 15:47:40-04

Runners and walkers are excitedly anticipating the  11th annual Cheetah Chase 5K set to happen this year on June 24th  at Binder Park Zoo.  One of the area’s most highly attended running events the “Chase” is a fundraiser to support the nonprofit zoo and their many conservation efforts. Adding to the festivities this year, Kalamazoo’s own Bell’s Brewery is sponsoring a beer garden to quench your post race thirst.   The “garden” will feature brews from Bell’s inspired beer collection. All participants age 21 and up get their first beer free!

All participants will receive a free pass to spend the day enjoying the zoo at a leisurely pace.  Once inside the zoo, race participants and zoo guests alike will have the opportunity to purchase beer that day at the Bell’s Brewery station located on the Snow Leopard Lawn. Must be age 21 and present valid ID.

Don’t miss out on all the fun happening Saturday, June 24th, at Binder Park Zoo for the Cheetah Chase sponsored by Meijer.  To register for the Cheetah Chase, go online at   

Cheetah Chase Race Details

Early packet pickup will take place Friday, June 23rd from 5-7pm at the Zoo office. Pre-registration is available during packet pickup. Day-of registration and packet pickup for all events will run from 6:45am to 7:45am with the race starting at 8:00am. The gates to the Zoo close promptly at 7:30am to prep for the race, so arrive early to park in the Zoo lot.  Additional parking will be available at Harper Creek High School where participants can take advantage of shuttle service to and from the zoo.

Both the run and the walk will be chip timed by Mac’s Sports Timing.  Medals will be awarded to the top finishers in each category.  All Gazelle Gallop and Sloth Walk participants have the option to purchase a tech race shirt for an additional fee.   In addition to free admission to Binder Park Zoo on race day, and their first beer free, participants will also enjoy post-race refreshments sponsored by Sam’s Club as well as valuable information from the health and wellness community.

The 5K course for both the Gazelle Gallop and Sloth Walk has a variety of surfaces including asphalt, brick, boardwalks, crushed rocks, and grass.  The course has a combination of up hills, down hills, tight turns, and flat stretches. Highlights of the Cheetah Chase include panoramic views of the African savanna with herds of giraffe, zebra, antelope, and more.

To help make this event “green” the zoo is encouraging participants to bring their own water bottles. While there will be some plastic water bottles available, using the water stations provided by Besco is strongly encouraged. “We continue to work towards making greener choices for our events and are in the beginning stages of phasing out plastic water bottles, entirely,” states Amy Riegel, Binder Park Zoo CFO. “In the meantime, we will be working with Schupan Recycling to offer race participants an easy way to recycle used water bottles and cups.”

Proceeds from the Cheetah Chase support Binder Park Zoo’s cheetah conservation efforts.  Cheetahs were once prevalent throughout much of Africa and Asia but now face great danger of becoming extinct.  Their population at one time flourished, but due to loss of habitat and poaching, very few remain in the wild today.

Zoo staff wishes to extend a special thank you to this year’s Cheetah Chase Premier Sponsor, Meijer, Beverage Sponsor Bell’s Brewery, Race Bib Sponsor Rice’s Shoes and New Balance, Gazelle Gallop Sponsor Oaklawn Hospital, and Sloth Walk Sponsor Hoffman Brothers. Other contributing sponsors include:  Corners Ltd, CTS Telecom, MedExpress, Sam's Club, and SEMCO Energy.  Also thank you to these in-kind sponsors: Townsquare Media, Schupan & Sons, Atlas Sales, Lowes of Battle Creek, Besco Water, BC Sound, Service System Associates, Trek Bicycle Store, Flash Sanitation, LifeCare Ambulance Service, Emmett Township and Newton Township.

Register online by 5:00pm EST on Thursday, June 22, 2017 or submit a mail-in entry form postmarked by June 19, 2017.  Pre-registration costs $30; or $45 with a tech shirt, and day-of registration is $45 (no shirt guaranteed). For more information, visit or call (269) 979-1351.

Binder Park Zoo’s Cheetah Chase is the second race of the Cereal City Stampede series which awards t-shirts to those that participate in the Cereal City Classic, Cheetah Chase and Road Hawg Classic. For more details visit