Miss A Columnist

Mary Grace Rodriguez lives, works and writes in Austin, TX. In her late twenties, she was selected to participate in several creative writing workshops studying with writers such as Pat Mora and Sandra Cisneros. Her poems have appeared in various literary formats including a chapbook entitled Long Story Short, which was published in 1999 by Wings Press.

Austin’s Second Annual 5K Gorilla Run

You may remember the 1988 film “Gorillas in the Mist”, starring Sigourney Weaver as naturalist Dian Fossey. It brought the Mountain Gorilla and silverbacks, the dominant males, into the popular imagination. Sparked by Fossey’s plea for their protection, Mountain Gorillas survive today in their native Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in large part due to consequent efforts of the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF), which fosters Fossey’s legacy in its mission to conserve and protect habitat through the education and support of the public, park rangers and veterinary staff.

Photo Credit: Rick Kern

In 1987, the endangered Mountain Gorilla population living in the wild dwindled to some 248, but through the efforts of Fossey and the MGCF, populations have rebounded to near 800 in their native habitat. On Saturday, January 21st, Austinites will do their part, raising awareness and funds for these efforts, by running through the streets in full gorilla costume. All funds collected are donated to the MGCF, and participants get to keep the suits they’re wearing. This year Austin Gorilla Run hopes to break the Guinness World Record for most people in gorilla costume, currently held by the DGR (Denver Gorilla Run), so spread the word.

The fun begins and ends at Run Tex with live music by Achachay and brunch for “hungry gorillas” and their supporters following the run at Fado Irish Pub. In the meantime, raise a glass of Silverback Pale Ale brought to you by Thirsty Planet Brewing Company, now available in 15 local pubs, partial proceeds go toward supporting the event.

Amble, skate, roll, pedal your way for a cause, which supports our now and future primates.

Photo Credit: Rick Kern

WHEN: Saturday, January 21st, at 9 a.m.

Run Tex
422 Riverside (at S. 1st Street Bridge)
Austin, TX

COST: Benefits the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund; register online.

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