Culture

Man Completes London Marathon Crawling in a Gorilla Suit

The prospect of running a marathon can seem like a giant feat for some people. It takes months of training, commitment, time, and of course, endurance. Since the activity has gained popularity in recent years, over a half a million people finish a marathon annually. And while some people have fun with it by wearing Superman outfits, or juggling for the entire 26.2 miles, others take it a little bit further. Or should I say FURther.

An English police officer, Tom Harrison, recently completed the London marathon SIX days after everyone else. No, he wasn’t out of shape, and he didn’t get lost. Instead, the 41-year-old crawled (alternately on hands and feet and hands and knees) in a full gorilla outfit.

Like many other marathoners, Harrison was running (crawling) for charity. He completed the race to raise money and awareness for the Gorilla Organisation, which, according to the Guardian, is “dedicated to conserving gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

Harrison crossed the finish line on the Mall flanked by his two sons and beating his chest. He said: “It was tough at points, but I am really glad I did it.”

The Putney-based police officer said he had run the marathon in the gorilla suit last year, but this time wanted to do “that little bit more”. He said: “The first couple of days, people were giving me weird looks and a wide berth. But by day three more people had started hearing about it: I started getting people beeping their horns and clapping and cheering.”

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He was met at the finish line by Gorilla Organisation chair Ian Redmond and conservationist Bill Oddie, who handed him a trophy and a stuffed gorilla.

Harrison relied on the help of friends throughout the race. He slept at their houses after averaging about 4.5 miles per day (for 12 hours per day). Friends and guides also walked in front of him to keep him from running into trees or lamp posts. But all of their efforts paid off because Harrison reportedly raised 23,000 British pounds for the charity. And while he might have needed a massage after six days on the road, he certainly raised awareness for a great cause.