BEING caught in many downpours failed to dampen the spirits of team taking on 58 miles for the Welsh Mountain Zoo.

The team from Colwyn Bay’s Paradox Health & Fitness ran one mile for every year the zoo has been open - plus one - to raise more than £1,900.

While unable to take on the original plans for a run from Chester Zoo to Colwyn Bay, Gym Owner Azi Thomas was joined by Mike Jones and Kate Erentz for two back-to-back marathons. Their route, which saw other members of the gym join for portions, took the team from Colwyn Bay through Llandudno to Conwy and back twice.

Mr Thomas said: “The original idea was to run from one zoo to another although me and Mike discussed running through the local towns so more people could see what we were doing and be able to raise more awareness of the cause.

"The weather didn't bother anybody that was involved during the run, at some point everybody that participated was caught in the many downpours that happened that day.

"It was a tough eight hours but as a team and with the perseverance and encouragement from all that took part we completed it."

Mr Thomas felt compelled to support the zoo - which is due to reopen its gates to visitors on Monday, July 13 - after becoming a dad to twins Harlow and Harper, and wanting his children to enjoy the troubled attraction.

Mr Thomas, 40 of Rhos-on-Sea, added: "We have a great group of people that attend Paradox and we are always thinking of things we can together and ways we can help our local communities. We feel that with the current pandemic, it wasn’t the animals choice to be be put in this situation, so we decided to do what we could.

"We are very proud of everybody that participated with us that day, the best we could to attempt to help as a team, couldn’t ask to be a part of a more warm and friendly bunch of individuals>"

The Paradox Health & Fitness team plan more fundraisers in the future to hopeully raise a total of £5,000 to the zoo.

To donate to the campaign, visit the ‘Zooathon - Run to save our Welsh Mountain Zoo’ page on