Thursday, June 17, 2010

Adventure #038- The Gorilla Run

Tuesday, May 18:
Jon shows me the picture he took of a poster on the side of a tram advertising a fund-raising run for the gorillas in Africa. The cost was 500kc ($25), which is pretty steep for a race. I tell him that I don't have the money for it, but it sounds like fun.

Thursday, May 20:
Jon sends me a text saying that he really wants to run and will help me out, but he needs a fellow gorilla. After a bit of debate, I decided to do it. Why not? The money goes to help gorillas in Africa and I would get a free gorilla mask, and maybe other cool freebies from sponsors.

Saturday, May 22 RACE DAY
noon: Jon and I meet on the 22 tram heading to the castle. We get to the start, pay our fee and get our bag of goodies. Inside the bag is a mask, 2 free zoo tickets (300kc, $15 value), and a bottle of water. The mask isn't the cheap paper kind I was expecting. This was a pretty good quality, full-headed plastic mask. The start was full of people in costume, dogs, curious tourists, and journalists. We listened to some live music and got ready to run. The race went from the Prague Castle (on the top of a hill) to Old Town Square (across the river). The course wasn't long, no steep hills to climb, but most of it was cobblestone, so I was a little worried for my ankles, I am sure you know how graceful I can be!

13.00: The gun goes off! Jon and I are at the front of the pack for the start and as we ran down the stairs and through Malastranska Namesti, I could barely keep a straight face. The tourists had no idea what was happening, there were suddenly 250+ people in gorilla masks running through the streets. Participants were making gorilla noises as they ran and tourists were taking photos as we ran past. I couldn't see out of mask well enough to be able to run on cobblestone and not hurt myself so I had the mask on top of my head, Jon wore his the entire time.

13.20: The finish line! It was a quick race. I had read on the website that it was a 7k fun run, but apparently that was in a different location because I am not that fast, or fit, even with a huge downhill! At the finish line, they had bananas for the 'gorillas' and more water. I think I floated away with all the water they gave me!

14.00: After some food (shish kebab sandwiches and a beer) there was music and the winners were announced. First prize was a trophy and a basket of bananas! Turns out that we raised almost 200,000kc (over $9,000) for the gorillas. It was a pretty funny event. The best part was that everything occurred in the heart of the tourist areas so people kept looking at us like we were crazy.

Here's Jon's experience. Here's the link to the official site. My photo turned up on one of the write-ups for the event too!

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