Fans of the Mighty Boosh could be forgiven for thinking that they were being overrun by the Bollo appreciation society, but if you find a group of pantomime apes ambling past you on Saturday morning then you've simply stumbled across this year's Great Gorilla Run. And it's not too late to join in.
Participants will don simian suits and set off at 10:30am for a 7km jog across the city and down the South Bank in favour of the Great Gorillas charity which assists poverty stricken people whose homes border rainforests to get what they need to live on without needing to disturb nearby gorilla habitats. A fortnight ago the 720th runner registered for the event which was significant as that's also the number of mountain gorillas left in the world. The organisers will be delighted if you simply turn up along the route to support the event, but you can still register to take part up until 5pm today (Friday). If you're wavering, Tom Adams's experiences might persuade you to swing into action:
From the outset as gorillas mill around at the starting line comparing gorilla fancy dress – it’s clearly not enough just to be a gorilla for the day when you could be a pirate gorilla, a sporting gorilla or a gorilla ballerina – the buzz of the day is electric. And then after words of inspiration from Bill Oddie, what more could you ask for(?), its three, two, one and you’re off… Our motley crew - accessorised as gorilla break dancers - stopped at any given opportunity to form a circle and ‘throw down’ our best moves... Just terrific fun, the highlight coming once we’d reached the Southbank, performing for the most confused and bemused looking tourists, some of which ‘got it’ and others who must have left London thinking they’d been on planet crazy.
To enter you must be 14 or older on the day of the race and you must commit to raising a minimum of £400 worth of sponsorship in addition to the £75 registration fee. Do remember, however, that the organisers provide the gorilla suits and you get to keep the one you wear.
Photo via ChazWags's Flickr stream.