It's Friday evening in the centre of London's West End. A perfect time to train for the Great Gorilla Run? Five furry forumites reckoned so...
I arrived at about 7.30 to find a few normal but rather anxious looking people standing outside our agreed meeting place, trying to look nonchalant with bags full of fur at their sides. 15 minutes later much to the amusement of the 40 or 50 or so people standing outside the pub there were five scary looking gorillas (Godzilla, Donna Laskey, Neil Riddoch, Sloth and Flavio) standing about waiting for a few errant members of the family.
8 o'clock came and went and with no sign of more primates turning up we set out to do some running and collecting. A nice gentle jog down to the marketplace told us two things - we were getting noticed, and we were going to be hot gorillas.
So without further ado we began harrassing the public and to start the show off we decided to do a sprint across the church end of covent garden. This was where the Jazz band was playing (the Natalie Williams jazz quartet) on stage in front of a few hundred people - not sure whether we stole their applause, but we really couldn't be missed.
So the first 80 yard dash was finished with more collecting of cash, and then a jogged circuit of the gardens. At this point we were joined by another Gorilla - "Smithers" who had apparently fallen in love with his suit and had been wearing it everywhere - clearly the gorilla lifestyle was taking over.
So six hairballs did another pass in front of the band (who this time gave us a gorilla warm up tune) and managed a bit of crazy dancing for the crowd.
I personally had to stop when the combination of funky chicken meets Jamiraquoi doing the running man had me hyperventilating so much the mask was being sucked onto my face. However Donna, complete with glowing pink rabbit ears and a tutu over her gorilla suit, breakdancing in covent garden is a sight you don't forget in a hurry.
At this point we decided to call it a day with a final lap of the gardens including a gorilla piggy back courtesy of one of our forumite spectators, de-suited and went for a few well-earned beers.