Gorilla Organization


The Gorilla Organization, the international charity led by experienced African conservationists dedicated to saving the world’s last remaining gorillas from extinction. Our award-winning community-based approach to conservation promotes sustainable livelihoods, nurtures young conservationists of the future and empowers local people to tackle the main threats to the gorillas’ survival.

UK Reg Charity 1117131

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Day 150 - Legs like Jelly Babies

So, another day of training ... this time it's the 'F3 Duathlon Sprint' event back at Dorney Lake. It was weird being back there 1 week after the 'Race Your Pace' event, especially as the layout of the event was completely different, however I managed to win a place in this event so time to add it to the training.

Today's event was a 5k Run/20k Bike/5k Run duathlon - so a chance to get my old bike out, old is an important word as its a 20 year old Dawes Mountain Bike.

Ok, back in the later eighties and Dawes used Pink & Black alot...   
I guess my bike was the oldest there (and probably the heavy-est too) and kept the off-road tires on for the race. I saw so many uber-light racing bikes there it was like a 'Chris Boardman Display team' - I did get a little concerned. Nick who came with me was not helping with jokes like 'you did remove the basket and the dynamo?' or 'the Post Office called ... they want their bike back'.

OK, armed with two bananas and a half packet of jelly babies off I went.

The first 5k was like a normal ParkRun except I had to keep to pace myself as their was a lot more to come,
and felt good.
Still smiling ... must be the first half then ...
A quick banana at the transition, then on to the bikes - 6 laps to make up to the 20k, now to see what the 'old bike' can do ... well I discovered that it can be overtaken a lot... my bike is set-up for terrain not for the flat - i guess my top speed had twice as many teeth as some of their bikes - owww! The cross wind was not pleasant but do-able, it would have been better if the bike had decided not to let me use the top set of gears for half the race (pedal faster then I guess).
Final straight (back to the Billy Whizz hair)

Phew, after that 'extra peddling' back to the running for the final part of the running, this time not so pleasant compared to the first one, but after giving  by the power of Jelly Babies I managed it (I may have given out a few to some of the other runners to cheer them up).

Overall, a great race, and I completed it in 1:42:20 which was about the time I expected - now back to running.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Day 146 - Pedal your Pace ...

Phew ... just about recovered from the half-marathon on Sunday, and time to hit the gym again.

I got an email today reminding me i've got a Duathlonon Sunday, and surprise!!! it's back at Dorney Lake again so back to the laps of the really flat track but this time with bikes and running. Time to train on the bike again then.

Tonights challenge ... how far can I now cycle in an hour? The answer 30.35 km - which really makes me feel good about Sunday as the flat route should be similar to the gym.

Then off to the running treadmill - then it went wrong ... how? well about 2 k into the run .... I needed a pee, and the toilets are a distance from the gym so it kinda killed off my run :(   oh well, next time 'go before we leave'.

The other great news is that the great people at Lush in Basingstoke are going to host a Charity Pot Party!  where all the proceeds (minus VAT) from the sale of their Charity Pot body lotion will go to the Gorilla Organization.

How cool is that!!!

So March 12th (provisionally) come to Basingstoke Lush and buy up their Charity Pots !!!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Day 143 - Unleash the inner furry

Boy, what an exciting day!

Today was the 'Race Your Pace' event from 'Human Race' (I seem to be doing a lot of their events at the moment). It's a great idea where there are pace setters that run at specific speeds from 8 min/miles upto 12 min/miles, and then you run against these.

It was my first ever 1/2 marathon today, and to add to that I decided to run the 1/2 marathon as a gorilla (well, almost) - I ran in the body of the suit, but not the head. I'm waiting for an alternative head for running with better air-flow.

Before the race ... with my new shiny running top.
As I was changing into the costume, and putting on the running top, I was asked by someone 'So, who are you running for?' .... I was tempted to say 'The Boy scouts' - but didn't.

As I had no MP3 player working at the moment the whole run was without a soundtrack (which normally helps me set the pace) so I plodded on it. I seemed to be setting about a 10min mile consistently over the whole race which was great.

While running there was a chance to use some 'Naked Gun' type humour as I was asked by runners ... 'You must be hot' ... to which I generally replied 'Thanks, I have been working out'

As I reached the final mile I realized that the 10 min mile pace-setter was catching up ... so I hoofed it up a bit in the last section.

OK, so the hair went a bit 'Chuckle Brothers' after the race

I also got a chance to meet up with many other of the VLM runners including a number of first time racers - good to compare stories :)

Also at the end was a seminar organised by Lucozade Sport on Marathon training, so went along to that one too. The good news is that i'm heading in the right direction with my training, the bad news ... I may have to increase the mileage a bit.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Day 138 - Exercise really makes you feel your age

Phew ... back from gym now ... after todays challenge.

I realized i'm a couple of weeks away from my birthday today (amazing how you can forget these things) - so I thought I'd do a crazy Tuesday challenge of exercising my age in km (This would be where Nancy calls the men in white coats).

I thought about what exercises to do, and decided on a combination of running, cycling and rowing; which originally seemed a great idea. However, about 5k into running I realized I was only about 1/7 through the challenge and I was starting to run out of Lucozade (crisis) so I started to break up each mile of running with a short break to recover and drink, then restart - amazing it really helped and got me through the first part.

Then off down to the bikes ... about 2k in my iPod died, I hope is the battery - but think I may have killed it by sweating - I seem to be the kiss of death to mp3 players in this area. I can't help it ... I do not perspire ... neither do I glow ... I sweat.

Finally once the cycling was done, off the to rowing machines. The more I try to row the more I am impressed by how Dave Holby managed to row around the planet on a static rower, I just managed the 4 k and was glad it was over ... he did 10,000 as many k - so why am I complaining?  

Strangely, I feel rather good after tonights epic session ... will see how I am in the morning.

For those that are curious:
11 k run in 61 minutes, 22 k bike ride in 45 minutes and 4k rowing in 19 minutes.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Day 135 - Just a chat between friends

A mostly quiet day, after much duvet-based deliberation I finally conceded to going todays Parkrun, was touch and go though.

Also, taking so long to decide what i'm doing meant no chance to run/cycle in - which was probably good after last night (Day 130). When I got there I caught up with Peter a good friend who I persuaded to do Parkruns last year, and now has done a lot more than me ... (great work Peter).

I decided to pace myself today, and run with Peter at a reasonable (not flat out pace), and it worked really well. I remember a comment from a trainer a while back 'If you can manage 6-7 word conversations while running then your V02 (still not sure what that is yet) is about right, so we did just that.

We did have to stop twice on the way though because of injury, not ours though, one of the kids who was running sprained an ankle so we stopped to help him along, and get him back to the start (Parkruns are nice like that).

Still feeling good given i've run 15k, and cycled 20k in the last 24 hours....

lets see what can happen tomorrow....

Friday, 11 February 2011

Day 134 - Angry Running

It's been a long week - well thats an underestimate... I can't say anything really bad has happened, but there have been a collection of minor niggles & frustrating things that have all built up.

So, to prevent an argument at home (which I wasn't helping - to be honest), I decided to go for a run into town instead. So got changed, found iPod and started out, conveniently the shuffle option came to my rescue and found a motion traxx  (Episode #49: “Mean Streak”) which worked really well. It got me into town (5k) and I was still energetic. 

On the way in I remembered that I have a dualathlon in a few weeks time (5k run, 20 cycle, 5k run) so why not try that this evening, so off I went to the gym for a 20k cycle. I was really pleased as I did it in just over 41 minutes this time, nearly 4 minutes faster than Monday.

I must confess, by this time I was getting a bit sweaty, so I didn't really want to hang around too long at the gym once I finished. So, off I went home (a slightly different route) to have lots of  water followed by a relaxing bath.

Oh, and now have broken 300k in training :)

Hmmm, there is a ParkRun in the morning, I'll see how I am then ...

Monday, 7 February 2011

Day 130 - 10:1 I'm going to feel it in the morning

We all know where cunning plans go ... today was definitely Baldrick Monday.

My first 'cunning' plan was to go for a run at lunch-time, you know get a few more miles in. Well the weather looked a bit ropey but I though why not, I can't arrange the weather in April so take it as it comes.

I went off to the car and collected my gear and then just as I was dropping off my jacket at my desk ... argh !!!  Problems and questions from the team, and being my generally helpful self I continued with these until I realized I'd missed my chance for a lunch time run.

Never mind, I'll go to the gym later, and go for a run then. Hang on gym ... where's my card? oh no I must have left it at the race at the weekend - so off I trot to get a replacement before heading in. So ... running time ... Nope :( all the treadmills are in use, no worries I'll go for a cycle.

I then remembered that i've got a dualathlon later in the month 5km run, then 20 km cycle, then 5km run to complete - so why not go for a 20 km cycle then go for a run. Well, I managed the cycle in 44:57 (boy did I push that last km to break 45 minutes) and then headed off to the treadmills, attack of the Baldricks again as I normally run in shorts while inside and trackies outside, but ho hum i'll wear them inside ...  guess what NO. Why? well they have a mesh inside and those knees from the weekend still feel a bit raw - and the trackies had a moderate cheese-grater effect so I only ran 2k in the end.

While I was there though I caught up with Joe, an excellent trainer and motivator who helped me prepare for the gorilla run in 2009 - so it's not all bad.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Day 129.99 - Just a sneaky one before bedtime

I just discovered a photo of me mid-race in TuffMan, as you can see it's the return of 'insane-dolt'.

Night all,


Day 129 - Shopping

With a gorilla suit in the wash (yes I do have more than one) its time to run as me for some  training today. I'm a little conscious of the grazes to both knees, but feel I really need to do at least some more training as me to clock up a few more miles - but what excuse can I use ....

I know ... shopping  ... so, i'll run to the shops, meet my wife and after the shopping run home. Yep that'll do.
I managed to beat the car back home - which was fab - then found out that although we left at the same time (YAY) , my wife read a magazine and eat a chockie bar before heading off (not so-yay).

I also needed to check out what the effect of wearing a costume did for running times, and came up with this:

Time for the Peter Snow voice:
" Just a bit of fun, but ...'
So, a marathon is about 42.2km, it means as a gorilla I could finish about 4:45, but without the suit I could finish in just over 4 hours.

Hmm, enough maths - time for a cup of tea.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Day 128 - Am I the Missing Link?

I have to stop doing some of these races, as the cupboard is filling with race t-shirts. Today was 'TuffMan' the  final part of the ASICS 'Off-Road' series an 8km race in the middle of East Sussex (aka miles from home and an early start on a Saturday again).

I've enjoyed the series of races organised by the 'Human Race' and normally I grab a photo of me wearing part of a gorilla costume, then change back for race; today however I decided to run as a gorilla for the whole event (did I mention it was cross-country?)
Before the race, full-on Gerald
What gorilla? I don't see any gorilla
The weather was on my side to start off with, as it was a bit blowy and drizzly, and lots of comments like 'must be warm in there...' etc. As the race went on though it got a bit tricker as the mud/drizzle started to attach to the suit, and it did get a bit warmer.

On the first lap though I slipped and fell (first time ever in any event). I had taken the gorilla head off at the time to help with the airflow - so it wasn't a 'wardrobe malfunction' just mud. The fall was not too bad but shook me slightly.

Nearly done ....

Phew - finished
The response from all the other runners was great - they were so supportive  for the guy running in a gorilla suit and this really helped - thanks all!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Day 124 - Movies and Mayhem

It's been quiet for the last week ... combination of a ankle hurting and looking after my Mum (a few panic visits to hospital - but better now). So, surprise no training.

However, the last few days has been different - firstly on Sunday we (well Adrian, Nick and Helen) filmed a small film called 700 - (more to follow soon once I get a decent cut of the film). I've added an outtake below as  I epically failed to open a door to a phonebox.

Then tonight back to the gym for some training - a combination of cycling and running which actually went well. Mainly cycling tonight, and a small bit of running - but the ankle stood up well :) There was a superb offer at GoAdventure where a pair 2150 Asics were down to £49 and are really comfy (might sneak back for a second pair).

I'll spend the next few days building up to TuffMan on Saturday.

Sleep calls ....