The Great Gorilla Run 2016

The Great Gorilla Run 2016

The Great Gorilla Run 2016- supported by Bench events:

September 17th 2016 saw around 500 “gorillas” actively participate in the annual Great Gorilla Run by the Gorilla Organizationan organisation at the forefront of gorilla conservation with innovative and award-winning projects in Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo. The run is a 5 mile fun run along the banks of the Thames, Central London, where participants run in a gorilla-suit.

Now in its 14th year, the Great Gorilla Run has raised well over £2 million for gorilla conservation and poverty reduction projects in central Africa.

Bench Events, who deliver world leading events in hotel and restaurant investment across Europe, Middle East and Africa, and who just recently delivered the Africa Hotel Investment Forum and AviaDev Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, put together a team to participate in the Gorilla Run. Their reason for participating was simply to contribute to this great cause of Conservation of wildlife, which has been for many years a positive story for Rwanda with the mountain gorilla population doubling over the past 2-3 decades. Gorillas are a national pride to Rwanda, with a large number of the very last of their kind inhabiting the mountains in Rwanda, they continue to be a great spectacle for tourists, which has earned Rwanda the title of “Premier Gorilla Tracking Destination in The World” by Brandt Guide.

“We always like to leave a legacy in each destination we visit and 2016 is no exception. There are less than 1000 mountain gorillas left in the World today and many of these populate the mountains of Rwanda, so we felt the cause was perfectly aligned with what we are trying to do. Namely, improve African tourism infrastructure in a sustainable way”, said Jon Howell of  Bench Events.


The “Gorilla Madness” team left to right: Jonathan Worsley, Chairman Bench Events; Nick van Marken, Global Head- Advisory, Deloitte LLP; Matthew Weihs, MD, Bench Events; Raj Kotecha, Head of content, Bench Events; Jon Howell, Aviation and Tourism development manager, Bench Events

Talking about their experience of the run, Jon Howell added: “Thankfully, on the day of the run, we experienced relatively cool temperatures, but having said that I’m not sure it’s ever comfortable running in a gorilla mask and suit. We passed many perplexed tourists on Tower Bridge and the banks of the river and after a thousand high-fives and a sweaty and difficult last couple of miles, we all made it across the line.”

As a team, they raised $2,500 which they presented on site in Kigali to the Gorilla Organization CEO, Ms. Jillian Miller, at a session on how to sustainably promote tourism through conservation.

Asked whether they would recommend the run, the team said it was “incredible fun, a great way to raise much needed funds for conservation and we cannot recommend it highly enough.”

How to Participate in The Great Gorilla Run:

If you would like to participate in The Great Gorilla Run 2017, this is what you will require:

  • Registration costs £60 and includes your very own gorilla suit which you get to keep!
  • The Great Gorilla Run events team then ask you to raise as much as you can in sponsorship before the run.
  • The Great Gorilla Run events team will provide you with all the support you need to ensure you reach your fundraising target and are in shape for the race.
  • And on the day, you’ll feel like a star as the crowds cheer you on every step of the way, and our celebrity ambassadors welcome you across the finish line and place a medal round your neck!

For more information on how to take part in the Great Gorilla Run and support conservation of the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda, please go to: