Austin Runners raise $35K for Gorilla Conservation

This is why I love Austin! It’s a very animal-friendly city and it’s also wonderfully weird. Our city motto is Keep Austin Weird, after all…

Runners raise $35K for gorilla conservation.

Gorilla Run raises $35,000

(Paul Shelton / KXAN)



By Michael Aaron
Published: January 31, 2015, 4:18 pm Updated: January 31, 2015, 4:19 pm

AUSTIN (KXAN) — About 600 people put on their gorilla suits Saturday and took a run around The Mueller in East Austin. The 5th annual Austin Gorilla Run collected funds for the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF).

The 5K race raised more than $35,000 for the non-profit organization, which works to protect the highly endangered Mountain Gorillas in Africa and preserve their habitat. MGCF provides veterinary services to highly endangered Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“It’s quite a sight to see close to almost 1,000 humans dressed as gorillas running in their gorilla costumes,” said Frank Keesling, President and Race Director of MGCF. “We are keeping Austin weird in a fun and quirky environment, as well as bringing awareness to a wonderful cause and a beautiful species.”

Mark Bond was the first male competitor to finish Saturday’s 5K race with a time of 23:30. Margaret Collins, the first female “gorilla,” completed the course in 26:42.

Runners enjoyed plenty of food (bananas included), drinks and music once they crossed the finish line. The family friendly event also included a kids obstacle challenge.

MGCF officials say the number of living Mountain Gorillas in Africa has risen from 248 to about 880 since the organization was founded in 2001.

* * * * * * * * * * *

At least it was cold this morning! I bet the runners were grateful to have those gorilla costumes on. Congrats to all the runners who participated and all the organizations who sponsored this important fundraiser. And kudos to all who put the event together. I think $35,000 is a very respectable fundraising result, don’t you? The gorillas will be very grateful…

5 thoughts on “Austin Runners raise $35K for Gorilla Conservation

    • And whacky works a lot in this town, believe me! We have so many quirky festivals, like Eeyore’s Birthday Party festival (Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh fame; it’s a festival that has been going on every year since 1963!!), the Spamorama (a complete festival centered around the canned meat Spam, complete with a Spam cookoff and the famed Spam Toss), Bat Fest (celebrating and raising money for Bat Conservation: Austin is home to the world’s largest population of Mexican Free Tail Bats)… You get the idea. It’s a weird, whacky, wonderful city. Thanks for dropping by. How was your birthday yesterday?? Hope it was fun for you.


      • My birthday was great yesterday and we continued the celebration with my father-in-law and sister-in-law for lunch at an Ecuadorian restaurant (my wife is from Ecuador). Not my favorite kind of food, but they all enjoyed it. Personally I like Peruvian food better.

        We went to watch the bats from under the bridge in Austin when we were there for one of my daughter’s weddings. That’s they got married while she was in graduate school there. We stayed at the Radisson Hotel near the bat bridge. Austin is quite a town. Been there several times.

        Arlee Bird
        A to Z Challenge Co-host
        Tossing It Out


      • Oh cool! Happy to hear you got to see the bats. They’re fascinating creatures, that’s for sure. Sounds like you are having a great BD weekend. Glad to hear it!


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