Denver Gorilla Run

 Running Wild in The Mile High City

When Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson did not “complete the process of the catch,” the Detroit Lions ended up losing  a heart breaker on the road last season to the Chicago Bears. He clearly caught the ball, but it was ruled an incomplete pass. My friends and I decided right then and there we were going to take a road trip next season to watch our boys play in person.

When the schedule was released earlier this spring, Denver was the unanimous choice.  What originally started out as weekend trip to see our boys compete, ended up turning into an extended trip to The Mile High City that embraced Halloween, hosted one of the most enjoyable 5K events around the nation, and of course magnified the hype that is Tim Tebow.

The 8th annual 5K Gorilla Run attracted more than 1,200 runners in ape suits to the Wynkoop Brewery to raise money for the Denver-based Mountain Gorilla Conservation fund.  You can go around this course anyway you would like that is not motorized. For the diehard runner and going for 1st place (male and female), the only requirement is that you have to keep your full gorilla suit on.

There were 3 waves: 1st wave was all gorillas with wheels (bikes, roller blades skateboards, wheel chairs, etc.).  The 2nd wave was all “Silverback” runners (the competitive ones that plan to win the race).  And the 3rd wave was the rest of the walkers, joggers and etc.

Each runner is given a full-on gorilla suit accompanied with a mask and gorilla hands. Most people elect to “add” to their costume.  For example, there were groups of people dressed up as Star Trek Monkeys, Bay Watch Monkeys, Hockey Monkeys on Roller blades and even two monkeys running while carrying a “mock-human” on a stick (arms and legs tied together).

We chose to outfit our costumes in Detroit Lions jerseys! #81 (Johnson), #26 (Delmas), #90 (Suuuuuuuuuuh) and #9 Stafford. From the minute we got out of our car we were getting positive reactions from on-lookers.  Other monkeys wanted our picture together, with them, and of course “Tebowing.”

Since we weren’t in the timed wave, my friends and I really took in the atmosphere of this race. It was a welcome change from some of the other races where my competitiveness takes over and I am shooting for a particular time to hit.

The weather was about 65 degrees and sunny when the race began.  We ran alongside the streets and river of downtown Denver.  We chased after people dressed as bananas, went between a semi-circle of rocks to do a unified “Tebowing,” and stopped at various points to take pictures of fellow monkey runners dressed in costume.  At one point during our race, I saw a skater park and veered off course temporarily to pose on a skateboard. The skaters were laughing and not entirely sure why a monkey wearing a Lions jersey was on their skateboard.

The entire event was so much fun and I highly recommend participating in this race if you live in Denver or if you are thinking about coming to Denver over Halloween weekend in the future. Of course, it didn’t hurt either that the Lions demolished the Broncos and confirm that in fact, Tim Tebow does not walk on water with a 45-10 victory!

To watch video, go to: Running Wild in The Mile High City

To see photos, go to: Denver Gorilla Run

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