Six days, 26.2 miles - and more than £25,000 - later, Mr Gorilla has triumphantly completed the 2017 Virgin London Marathon.
Tom Harrison, a 41-year-old father of two from London, crossed the line on the Mall in central London around midday on Saturday, cheered on by his family and well-wishers who have been following his fundraising epic.
Since starting the marathon last Sunday, Mr Gorilla crawled the route, carrying on long after the thousands of other competitors had finished and gone home. For his efforts, he gained a legion of followers, inspiring thousands to help fund The Gorilla Organization’s conservation projects in Africa. His ambitious quest gained the attention of the world’s media, with Tom appearing on the BBC, ITV and featuring in newspapers and websites across the world.
Greeting him at the finish line were The Gorilla Organization’s Executive Director, Jillian Miller, Chairman Ian Redmond and celebrity patron Bill Oddie, who presented Tom with a trophy in recognition of his remarkable accomplishment.
Mr Gorilla explained that, while the going was certainly tough, not least due to the pain caused by crawling for miles and the fact that much of the route is alongside busy roads, it was all well worth it.
“It’s been a bizarre week,” he said, noting that highlights included being cheered on by 300 schoolchildren and being urged on by social media followers who were tracking his every mile.
“Above all, it has highlighted the gorillas’ plight, all around the world, and the work of The Gorilla Organization,” he added.
Asked if he would do it again, Mr Gorilla noted: “I wouldn’t rule out doing a marathon again, but I won’t be crawling it dressed as a gorilla.”
Celebrating his unique achivement, Jillian Miller, Executive Director of The Gorilla Organization, said: “We are immensley proud of Tom. What he has done shows just how committed he is to gorilas, having seen them in the wild in Uganda and then dedicated himself to ensuring future generations will be able to enjoy a world with gorillas in it. We can’t thank him enough for what he has done, and our big thanks to everyone who supported him over the past six days.”
At the time of crossing the finish line, Mr Gorilla had raised an incredible £24,000 – way above his target of £1,750, and donations are still coming in. You can donate on Mr Gorilla’s Justgiving page.
Pic: Nina Massey