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, 31 October 2010

Day 31 - Gorilla sightings in the wilds of a Hampshire shopping centre

So judgement day ... how's my training doing?

Sometimes you are grateful for hour changes, and today was one of those days ...  I am not a morning person, and an extra hour in bed (for free) was most helpful. So, a 9am start (with my body thinking its 10am) in my home town was a perfectly reasonable idea.

Yes, today was Festival Place 5k, and also my first outing this year as a gorilla.

The race allowed us all to run round a shopping centre (normally a pleasure reserved for small children). The only way they could do this was before all the shops opened.

So, before we start, lets do the pre-checks...

Warm-up, legs first ...

... then the arms ...

... check the running clock ...
...finally check for anyone famous in the crowd (Cllr. Keith Chapman)

Seconds to go ... 

A spectator caught sight of the gorilla loose in the wild (Many thanks John)

Back to Festival Place ...

... and celebrate

Tell, you what though ... you can get really peckish on these runs ...

The people of Basingstoke were really fantastic, and cheered us all on. I especially liked the wonderful reception by all the children calling 'Come on Gorilla Man!', they all seemed to love it.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Day 24 - Flapjack is a food-group (honest)

My!, that was a busy 24 hours....

  • grew new feet
  • become a lot hairier & climbed a sky-scraper (ish)
  • ran for the love of flapjacks!

OK, in English ... what does that mean?

Well, my old Nike trainers (good friends for the last 18 months) have to go, I realized after last weeks Blacks 10k that apart from slipping on the mud a bit that the tips of the toes on my right foot were bruised (I decided not to upload a picture). This is not good (and rather sore), so after  pitch inspection I discovered that they were rather snug about my toes so unfortunately they have had to go :(

Since the weather is not going to improve (it's nearly winter dammit), and sliding on leaves is rather too close to sliding on mud (not to mention HellRunner next month) I decided I needed some help, so I went to Fast Forward to get their help. I had a chance to make use of their gait analysis tools too, very odd seeing how you run ... I finally bought a Salomon Trail shoes (you'll get to hear about those later).

We had to dash home afterwards to get ready for a friends Sci-fi wedding. It was a really well fantastic event, and very touching how they integrated all the elements into the ceremony. As part of the day they asked for attendees to wear some element of Sci-fi as part of the day ... how could I resist ... with the head of Geraldine, some gorilla gloves and a blonde wig my wife and I turned up to the reception as 'King King' and 'Fay Wray'.

Here's a picture of 'King Kong' dancing with the bride

Finally back to the flapjacks, another of those 'run to somewhere and get fed/watered' days. This time it was to see Petra and family and we were offered some of her fantastic flapjacks. So armed with my new trail shoes and the 'My Tracks' application on my phone I headed off for a run (with my ever supportive wife following on bike).

We got there, had a great chat (did I mention flapjacks?), they gave us a lift back to 'The Way Inn' for a smashing lunch (mmm Roast pork nom nom nom) and then rather fuller we made our way back home.

I had never used the My Tracks application before, but will in the future - it really is very good giving great feedback on how you are performing as well as mapping where you went.

So, according to the gadget today I ran 14km in about 1:20 (admittedly it was in two parts though) which makes me feel better for tracking progress this week.

I realize the next couple of weeks are going to be hectic with work and an amateur show; so training is going to be sporadic - but I hope a combination of Parkrun and Festival Place 5k (next Sunday) will help.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Day 18 1/2 - Time for bed said Zebedee

Just before I head to kip - I received the results from yesterdays Blacks Trail Run.

I came out of 223 out of a field of 488; not bad for my first 'official 10k'.

Night all...

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Day 17 - Part 2

Ok finished in 56:10 - not too shabby (Peter my 5k was 27mins - so no PB today) - the last 3k I befriended another runner Michael who was slowing down and kept him going (never give up - never surrender) as its a team sport.  Ok the winner did it in 39 minutes (and it was a girlie that beat everyone else)  - wow!

The views are superb, but with every good view there has to be a hill and a valley - and trust me there was - I will never look at Lord of the Rings again the same as they climb the steps to Mordor (Monster killer steps).

Note to self - muddy tracks and running trainers equals slippage, oh and here are a picture of the two cheeky monkeys and a gorilla - cheers guys :)

Now to get back to learning lines ...

Day 17 - Monkeys its cold!

Today its the Blacks 10k, up near Luton. Boy its cold!

To help I brought Geraldine - not for running today just for companionship. While typing this I met Joe and Al (two cheeky monkeys) who stopped by on their bikes.

More later - I need to warm up...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Day 12 - Sickness sucks

So, all quiet for the last few days - what happened?

Well Sunday, was rather full. Went to the hospital again to see my friend (who is doing a whole lot better) so I missed out on the 'Calamity Jane' auditions - but I gather my friends had a great time and congratulations to all those got parts and commiserations to those that didn't.    

After that I went up to the 'Gorilla's Secret Dance Party' with Dave (he's going to keep me in-check with training so I don't do any to stupid - or at least be there to video me being stupid as the case may be).

While I was up there I caught up with Sam and grabbed a spare gorilla suit (from now it will be referred to as Geraldine). Finally while at the Dance Party I have to recommend one of the acts 'MC Xander' who created live audio loops including a live-mix of 'You can call me Al' - really amazing.

In the mean time my body was conspiring against me, I felt a little off in the afternoon but thought I would ride it out.

Yeah, Right! Monday morning - yukk, attack of lurgy and that takes me up to now. Hopefully get things together for the weekend as i'm running in the 'Blacks Single-Track 10K'.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Day 9 - Parklife AROO AROO

OK time for a Parkrun (well it is Saturday), which seems to be booming here in Basingstoke. Today there were 152 runners, I'm not sure if that includes someones Dad on a bike, or a baby being pushed the 5k? Actually, I'm not sure they may '10 runs' t-shirts that size ....

Today was a chance to wear my Spartan Race T-Shirt - I know it's sad, but I really enjoyed that race and the  Tee feels good (anyone know a good therapist?)

And no, I didn't race with my eyes shut - its just I always seem to blink when a photo is taken - if only I could use those powers for good.

Today was not a Personal Best (that's not a surprise), but took 30 seconds off last week which is not bad (Something must be working).

Once we all recovered from the run, that is the post run coffee in town or as I call it Breakfast! I finally snuck in to the Sports Centre for another quick bike ride. I set the profile to something out of an 80s bombing run arcade game and set off.

I managed 5Km in about 13 mins with the settings set to 9 (I have no idea how those rate), but it felt like a good work out (Ok well I was has hot and sweaty at least).

That's it for today's training, unless the car breaks down :)

Day 8 - Goldilocks Technique

Finally made it back to the gym (I snuck in while they weren't looking) and get back to some training.
Still not enough time for a full training session (another hospital trip) A bit of a mad mix today - 2.5km each of running, rowing and cycling. I forgot how much rowing hurts - how Dave (http://www.worldrecordrow.com/) manages every day I have no idea?

Got me woken up though ... crikey. Better get some kip there's a Parkrun tomorrow ....

Btw for those that are interested, my hospital friend is now is a lot better - hopefully she'll escape hospital food middle of next week.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Day 6 - Earthworm Gym

Finally got back to the Sports Centre - and found there was a Circuit class available this evening - oh well why not. It was only a 45 minute class whats the worst that can happen?

Forgot to mention, I haven't done a circuit class for the last two months - and I can feel it (owww).

Once I had turned the color of a tomato (traditional for these classes) I went for a short 1 mile run (I know its only 1/26 of a marathon - but its a start).

After the gym it was a quick trip down to Winchester to catch up with my friend who's in hospital there; she's doing well (considering none of this was planned). I gather she woke up today and saw the gryphon we left yesterday - it made her smile (job done). It's gonna take a while for her to recover (doctors using months not weeks) but she looked so much better with a stack load of drugs and fresh blood (no she's not a Twilight fan - actually i'm not sure)

Forgot to say, I saw Kat while at the gym who asked about my friend in hospital, it caught me by surprise but was rather touching.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Day 5 - Reality bites

No real training today - there were plans, but other more pressing issues came to a head.

We got a message today that a very good friend has been taken to hospital and when we arrived to see her at hospital this evening she was in theatre (EEK!)

We dropped off an old friend to look after her (see below) - and i'll be back to see her over the next few days, all other plans for the next week will take lower priority.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Day 4 - Rest(ish) day

Right now to tackle work ... well actually not today - I've taken the day off to sort out lots of things for the Marathon. I also appeared to have emailed most of the planet.

I sent the email round work for my colleagues on my last project, and the response has been really really great - I am at this point about 11% towards my goal of £1350 - thank you everyone.

Still lots to do, and must catch up with Kat, Nicola and Jo down at the Sports Centre - I am so going to need their help.

No running today - it's a chance to regroup and sort out the next few weeks, a combination of 'work, rests and plays' (sorry bad pun)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Day 3 - Time to get out there

What horrible weather today :( you know its bad when the ! icon comes up on the phone.

This didn't put me off though - armed with helmet, bike and a bottle of Lucozade I headed out for a bike ride. The destination ... relatively unknown ... just seeing where I can get to. Navigation was rather simple - 'hmm where does this go ...'

It actually worked - I had about about a 15 mile bike ride around the town.

I must confess about 2 miles from home I stopped off to see Alex and Iain, had a great chat and also snuffled a cup of tea on the way.

That may be my training plan - exercise in the direction of a friends house; catch up and recover then head back home ... we shall see.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Day 2 - Part II

Ok ParkRun was not my best, just over 25mins for the 5Km -  I've done better. They had cake - makes it all so much better. Have a good photo of me though wearing my 'Great Gorilla Run' T-Shirt though (worn with pride)

Met several people who are doing the VLM - so don't feel quite so alone, also caught up with Dave 'the rower' and discussed our plans to run together {I BLAME YOU :) } also intial plans or Gorilla based antics around Basingstoke to help raise funds for the event.

Looked at the schedule for the next few months decided I need to add some 10k/20k events in before the end of the year - so have decided to have a go at the http://www.blackstrailrun.co.uk/ on 17th October.

However, before that is some very important weight lifting exercises at Milestones - aka Octoberfest ... mmm that'll be nice.

Day 2 - Ok that'll teach ya

Right so I'm awake early on a Saturday (not right I say). Last night felt odd  - I know I mentioned to fiends that I 'may' be doing the London Marathon next year, but now I really am!!!

Oh boy!!!

Ok so this morning, do a Parkrun, yep that sounds like a good idea, I am sure there will be others there with success stories about getting into the marathon, and others who were not so lucky.

After that ... hmm... I think I'll catch up with Dave Holby who 'got me into this mess' in the first place (that's the story for another day) . He's also running in the Marathon next year, he'll be supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer - a fantastic Charity that he has been raising funds for over the last two years on his World Record Row around the planet on a rowing machine.

But first, a cup of tea for my every faithful companion on my 'mad' races - Helen; I apologise now for any chaos, stress and confusion this event may cause. She really is my best friend as well as my wife, and I'm so sure I won't be able to take part without her help. Love you lots :o).

See you later....

Friday, 1 October 2010

Day 1 - The Saga begins

OK at 16:26 my friend Sam at the gorilla organization sent me the following message:

Hi Martin,

I can confirm your place in the 2011 London Marathon. I have attached a fundraising pack to this email. If you can set yourself up with a Justgiving site that would be great!
Let me know if I can be of any assistance with this.

I also have a collection tin if you need it.

Kindest regards,

So now that's it - I'm in.... holy heck ... right stuff to do ... plan etc.

I plan to run in the 'full fur' so to speak - oh and have never run a marathon before, and watching RunFatBoyRun may not be deemed training.

But where to start? Hmm, Lots of ideas - people to talk to ... oh well that's it for day 1....