Monday, January 23, 2012

Austin Gorilla Run

I've been a part of "serious" races where the goal is to get to the finish line as quickly as possible. I've also been a part of an obstacle course 5K, a night race, and now a race dressed as a gorilla. These "fun runs" have always been the most memorable and the ones I've enjoyed the most. People are out there enjoying life and laughing and having a great time. These are my favorite runs by far!

Saturday morning Chuck and I got up at 5:30am which is mighty early when you go to sleep at 12:30 or 1 am! We go down to the lobby and have some breakfast then back upstairs to drink back a sugar free Rock Star (for caffeine) and I get my gorilla gear on.

We find a parking garage at City Hall in Austin. The "Occupy" people were camped out on the steps and must have been using the garage as their bathroom because it stank! It was so gross. I wish those people would go home and occupy their own homes instead of living like homeless and making our cities look bad.

We walk to the start line which was right outside the Run Tex store. Since it was in the 40's outside a lot of us gorillas stayed inside the store and just waited around for the start.
 Time to get the mask on and head to the holding area.
 The Guinness Book of World Record people were there doing an official count. We didn't quite make it. We had 1,023 gorillas and needed 1200. Maybe next time.
 The gorillas on wheels were allowed to start first.
 Uncle Sam gorilla. People were dressed in all kinds of crazy outfits. It is HARD to run in those masks! I carried mine.
 This gorilla got engaged right before the race started. I didn't get the gorilla-to-gorilla proposal picture. Congratulations, y'all!
 People were having the best time. Running, dancing, jumping around, grunting like a gorilla. People just enjoying life.
 Now this is talent! It's hard to ride a unicycle but with a costume and mask on? Bravo!
 This unicycler looked a little freaky to me. The head looked to big for the body.
 Super gorilla!!
 Just keeping Austin weird.
 Banana chefs! How clever!
 Oh no! King Kong gorilla got Barbie.
 Well, good for you, lady. Not sure I'd advertise it like that but do your thang.
 Oh la la! Bridal lingerie gorilla. How sexy.
 Tutus, roller blades, Planet of the Apes. All were represented.
 I ran behind these guys most of the time. At one point we were running under a railroad track and a passenger train came by and we got to wave at the astonished passengers. They had no clue what was going on. All they saw were a thousand gorillas running around and acting crazy. It made me LOL.
 This was my first race running on low carb. I felt so much better than the first run I tried last week. My legs felt good! By breathing, on the other hand, was not so great. I've lost a lot of aerobic fitness during my hiatus in December.

Somewhere along the course I lost my pink and black feathered boa and an earring. Wardrobe malfunction.

As I came around the corned to see the finish line I put on my gorilla mask but had to roll up the bottom so I could get some more air.
 Chuck finally spotted me. He didn't recognize me without the feathers. That man had the nerve to say we all look alike. How racist!!

Ashley and her husband Rob were waiting at the finish line with an awesome sign. LOVED it! That was so sweet of her to drive to Austin and cheer. I appreciated it and it was so good to see her. Wish we could have hung out longer.
 Yes, my face is very red. Even though it was cold outside it was very warm in that gorilla suit!

I'm not sure of my time because this was not a timed event and I didn't wear my Garmin. But Chuck did say I finished a lot sooner than he thought I would. And I was nowhere near the sag wagon so I think I did ok.

Then it was time for the post race street party at Fado Irish pub.
 Ashley and Rob left us to go get some food. Chuck and I got some Silverback Pale Ale and toasted a great run. This beer was good!!! I hadn't had beer in a while and according to the Atkins book the effects of alcohol are more pronounced while eating low carb. No kidding!! Dang.
 There were pink gorillas at the party too!
 We took our beer and free breakfast tacos and took a seat to listen to the bands and watch gorillas people have a good time.
 These guys were dancing in rhythm together.
 A band with a cowbell=awesomeness!

 The band tossed out sunglasses to the crowd and I got a pair!

 A nice lady offered me a massage. Oh sure. Why not?! Ahhhh. It felt good! I almost went to sleep.
 Made some furry friends.
 Whoa! Isn't that the name of the medicine the dentist gives me before a root canal?! I took that stuff once and woke up on the sofa of The Room Store. Messes you up!
 Time to make our way back to the parking garage. I'm hungry! I did not look out of place walking around. There were gorillas everywhere.
 It has been tradition to go out for pizza and beer after races. But since I'm trying to watch the carbs and my insulin issues and weight issues, we headed to Mimi's Cafe. I had intended to get something acceptable but decided to have one splurge meal. I am on a mini-vacation after all!

I got a five-way grilled cheese with turkey on it and fries. Then we split some stuffed beignets. It tasted like ambrosia. But as soon as we were finished with lunch we both felt sluggish and tired. 

Did I mention that I went to Mimi's in my gorilla costume? Yep. And a waitress gave me a hug. Several comments from patrons. Children stared. People were very supportive of my lifestyle choice of the day. This is Austin!

My favorite question was from the manager: "Is it your birthday?"
Ha! Because I guess if it were my birthday it would make sense to go out dressed as a gorilla with a tiara???

Back to the hotel where we took a nap for almost 2 hours. Then showered and back out. This time we met up with 11 people at a popular BBQ place called Salt Lick. There were buses in the parking lot. The parking lot is enormous! We had to get in a long line just to put our names on the list. We were told there was a two hour wait so it was time to get comfortable.

Under lit oak trees are long benches to sit. It's BYOB so people brought coolers of their favorite beverages.
 They sell fresh squeezed lemonade (you get to watch them squeeze the lemons!) and popcorn for the starving people who are waiting forever for some BBQ.

It was maybe 15 minutes before they called us. Yay! It was packed.

I wore my gorilla race shirt and got a shout out from a few people who had also run the race that morning. I love the camaraderie of races like that.
Chuck and I enjoyed sausage, brisket and smoked turkey (no sauce) and good company. It was a GREAT day!!

The only thing I would have done different was that lunch. It really messed me up. Both Chuck and I had trouble sleeping and didn't feel well the next day. You'd think I would learn!

Sunday morning Chuck shot a carbine shooting match with his friend until a little after 1 pm and then we headed home arriving aroun 6:30pm. It's good to be home but this was one incredible weekend that I'll never forget. I can't wait to do it all over again next year!


  1. Wow...what an amazing weekend and experience!

    Makes you wonder what aliens freshly landing would

    Oh...and "more cowbell!"

  2. so fun! bummed I missed it, next year for sure

  3. Loved all the different gorilla costumes - what a crazy, fun race!

  4. How funny! ! ! Thanks for sharing! You have such a fun spirit :)

  5. If you ever get the chance, check out the original Salt Lick in Dripping Springs, about a 40-minute drive from Austin.


    we went for 3 seconds and my daughter was terrified.

  7. Awesome post and pictures. You are so dang lovely and adorable. This post is another reason why Austin rules and I must visit.

  8. What a crazy run - sounds and looks like you had lots of fun.

  9. ah, ha, wonder there aren't any gorilla costumes availabel up here in Vancouver. They've all been shipped to Austin! How fun.

  10. That gorilla run sounds like a lot of fun. MMMMMMmmmmmmmmm Real BBQ. I miss that stuff.

  11. F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!!

  12. lol on the birthday question! too funny!
    way to go for running a race in a gorilla costume! That alone earned a beer. :)


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