running for emma lu.

mr. lesley's cousin, emma, passed away last may.
although i never had the opportunity to meet her, i know she was an amazing person with a huge heart.
she loved animals, especially gorillas, and was passionate about the mountain gorilla conservation fund.

in order to honor emma, some of mr. lesley's family came into denver, specifically for the denver gorilla run.
what in the world is the denver gorilla run you ask? 
well, it's a 5k where everyone running/walking/biking/roller skating dresses up in gorilla costumes and takes over the streets of denver.
it. is. awesome.

and not only does everyone wear their gorilla costumes, but you HAVE to wear a costume on top of your costume.
we decided to be sunflowers (they were emma's favorite) and farmers.
oh, and there was a cow thrown into the mix.

saturday morning we all took the light rail downtown and made our way to the starting line.
it was pretty awesome to see how people looked at us...
we made some pretty cute gorillas, don't ya think?
we had some time before the race, so the boys grabbed a beer and watched the michigan st. game. 
you know, just some gorillas hangin' at the bar.
no bigs.
finally, it was the moment we'd been waiting for...the costume contest.
we knew we were up against some stiff competition, but we thought the sheer size of our group might be enough:) 
while we were waiting, we admired some of the other costumes...
finally it was our turn, and i have to say the cow was a bit hit. 
the crowd loved him.
we had time for a quick group pic...
we tied up our laces, and we were off!
led, of course, by a group of bananas.
(good motivation for us gorillas)
you wouldn't believe how hot it gets in that suit...
and the three weeks i took off from running didn't help much either.
fortunately, there was a lot of entertaining sites during the run.
just like our marathon, we made sure to finish hand in hand.
after we finished, i made my way back to admire all the finishers in their amazing costumes.
(loved this moment...the gorilla finally caught the banana!) 
even the doggies got into the spirit.
i was so happy to be there as everyone crossed the finish line...
then it was time to indulge in the free food and beverages at the post race block party...

and just when we thought the day couldn't get much better,
we found out our team raised the most money and won the "bahati award."
i can't think of a better way we could have honored emma.
we will definitely be running again next year.
and if you live in denver, you should join us. 

you know you want your very own gorilla costume. 
who doesn't? 

best. race. ever.


  1. I LOVE THIS!!!! Marshall and I want to fly in next year!!! It's sooo funny!!

  2. a-mazing. definitely running this next year!