Gorillas Ran Loose on the Streets of Cincinnati
The Gorilla Glue Company once again presented the Gorilla Run, a 5K run or walk in support of the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF) on Sunday, April 3, 2016, at 11:00 am. Over 500 participants donned gorilla or banana suits and raced along the Ohio River to raise awareness and funds for the international charity that is dedicated to the preservation of the mountain gorillas of Africa. The run’s start/finish line took place at Montgomery Inn Boathouse followed by a celebrative After Party where participants were greeted with a cold Silverback Pale Ale and complimentary food provided by HoneyBaked Ham and Montgomery Inn Boathouse.
Runner’s challenged themselves by accomplishing a 5K run in a gorilla or banana costume. The first male finisher was Matthew Behrensmeyer (18:26) and the first female was Kate Lawrence (25:57). Winners of the Little Gorilla Fun Run were Evangeline Fielden, Ethan Miller and Connor Jeffers.
Other great awards and prizes were given to the highest fundraiser, Mickey Garrett, with $310. Donna Mancini, 82 years young, was awarded the Senior Gorilla prize. The furthest traveled was Phillip Baumsteiger from San Anselmo, California, 2,048 miles away. The Gorilla Glue Company was awarded the largest and highest fundraising team awards, with 177 members and $2,765 raised.
This year’s race raised over $25,000 in support of MGCF, a non-profit organization that provides veterinary services to highly endangered Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The MGCF was founded by Ruth Morris Keesling, who was a close friend of famed gorilla researcher Dr. Dian Fossey. Popularized in the movie Gorillas in the Mist, Fossey was murdered by gorilla poachers in 1985.
Thanks to the support of all the Cincinnati Gorilla Run sponsors and participants, the MGCF is able to continue their efforts in conservation and maintaining the Ruth Keesling Wildlife Heath and Research Center. This building has tripled the size of MGCF’s current veterinary education capacity. The veterinary assistance, education and research is a sure sign that MGCF’s conservation efforts have made an impact in the protection of these endangered animals. When the project first started, there were only 248 Mountain Gorillas left in the world, today there are approximately 880 alive in the wild. “It’s quite a sight to see 500 humans dressed as gorillas running to raise awareness regarding a very serious issue.” Frank Keesling, President of MGCF, says of the race.