What to Expect at the Zoo’s Samson Stomp & Romp

The race honors the legacy of Samson the silverback gorilla. 

The 43rd annual Samson Stomp & Romp will take place on Jan. 15 at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Runners and walkers are invited to join in this popular event, honoring one of the zoo’s most famous residents, Samson, the silverback gorilla, who lived from 1950 to1981.

Proceeds from the event will support all animals in the zoo’s population.

The main 5K competitive run officially starts at 9:30 a.m. and a 2-mile fun run/walk begins at 10:15 a.m. Children can join a 1-mile romp at 10:45 a.m. Advanced registration fees are $35 per runner for the 5K (which is limited to 1,500 participants) and 2-mile events, $30 per runner for each team member and $20 per participant for the children’s event.



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Race-day registration fee is $40.

Participants are encouraged to register online at milwaukeezoo.org. Online registrations will be accepted until noon on Jan. 11, unless the 5K race sells out prior to registration deadline. Entry fees to the Samson Stomp include a long-sleeve T-shirt, beverage, zoo admission and parking (for runner only). All fees are non-refundable.

The event will be held rain, shine, cold or snow, but the zoo reserves the right to cancel due to severe weather or dangerous, unforeseen race conditions. No refunds will be given.

All three events take place on the public walkways throughout the zoo. For safety, no strollers, in-line skates or similar devices are permitted.

During the event, all can take part in the zoo’s mission of conservation by donating old cell phones to the zoo for recycling. The drop-off area is in the zoo’s U.S. Bank Gathering Place. Recycling cell phones reduces the need for mining coltan, a mineral extracted from the forests of Congo, which has led to a dramatic reduction of the gorillas’ natural habitat.



Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.