Primates and bananas take to streets to help gorillas

Team "It's Not Twerking" competes in last year's Gorilla Run. Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Team “It’s Not Twerking” competes in last year’s Gorilla Run. Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

A herd of primates – and a few rogue oversized bananas – will take to the roads of Camp Mabry Jan. 30 during the sixth annual Austin Gorilla Run.

The 5K fun run and walk, which starts at 9 a.m., raises money for the new Ruth Keesling Wildlife Health and Research Center in Kampala, Uganda. The center will work with Africans to manage and care for wildlife, and will house a laboratory dedicated to studying infectious animal diseases.

This year's Gorilla Run will take place at Camp Mabry on Jan. 30. Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

This year’s Gorilla Run will take place at Camp Mabry on Jan. 30. Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Runners who sign up for the Austin run will get a brand-new gorilla or banana suit to keep with their registration fee. A pre-race costume contest is planned, and a Silverback After Party will feature beer from Thirsty Planet Brewing Company, plus food trucks and music.

The Denver-based Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund, which coordinates runs like this around the country, is dedicated to the conservation and protection of endangered mountain gorillas in Africa and the preservation of their habitat. For more information go here.

Larry Durbin, of Volente, puts on a helmet to fit with his team's theme of "Ben Fur" before the 2015 Gorilla Run in Austin. Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Larry Durbin, of Volente, puts on a helmet to fit with his team’s theme of “Ben Fur” before the 2015 Gorilla Run in Austin. Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

“We are keeping Austin weird in a fun family way, as well as bringing awareness to the critically endangered mountain gorilla,” says Frank Keesling, president of the organization.

Registration is $99.95 for adults, including a gorilla suit ($30 for kids), or $60 for a banana suit. Adults who have run in the event before and already have a costume can register for $40 ($15 for kids).

To sign up go here or call 720-524-0272.

Participants sprint away from the starting line in the Gorilla Run at Mueller Park in Austin on Jan. 31, 2015. Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Participants sprint away from the starting line in the Gorilla Run at Mueller Park in Austin on Jan. 31, 2015. Lukas Keapproth/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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