This morning, I went out for my first run in almost two weeks. In the run-up to the London Duathlon on the 13th I trained like a madman (relatively speaking, for me) and decided to take a break until I *felt* like running again. That was this morning.
I’m incredibly lucky to be living in Central London, getting to run alongside the Thames and enjoying the amazing sights and sounds of this city. I run out of Wapping, along the river, crossing bridges here and there, looping around St. Paul’s cathedral before coming home. It’s one of many routes I take, but probably the nicest one in terms of surroundings.
This morning however, things took a turn for the surreal. As I crossed Southwark Bridge, I noticed that there were more men in gorilla costumes than I’d normally expect to see. That is, there were many, many men in gorilla costumes, all running. I’d like to think 10 years of life in London has left me slightly jaded to the unusual and I take most of the weirdness it throws up in my stride.
But dozens of runners in gorilla costumes? I was fazed. I kept running and began to enjoy the great atmosphere they were exuding, as our running routes overlapped and we crossed the Millennium Bridge together. Tourists clapped and cheered as they saw the runners pass and more than one Wildean wag commented on my lack of Gorilla costume. Chortle.
We parted ways at St. Paul’s and I turned for home, dwelling on two things. One, London never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something appears and reminds you you’re in London, baby.
The second thing on my mind was a lesson to file away for future reference. Namely, never ever run downwind of a man running in a gorilla costume in the sunshine. The stench is unbearable.
(And in case you think this was all some exercise-induced hallucination, here’s a link to the charity that organised this morning’s run: http://www.greatgorillas.org/london)