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Jersey Gorilla goes wild again with new marathon challenge

Jersey Gorilla goes wild again with new marathon challenge

Saturday 09 July 2022

Jersey Gorilla goes wild again with new marathon challenge

Saturday 09 July 2022

A zoo worker who has raised more than £60,000 for Durrell by undertaking gruelling challenges dressed as a gorilla is going wild again with a new marathon – and a new suit to match.

This October, Will Highfield plans to take on the London Marathon.

His fundraising started with the Jersey Marathon back in 2019, with an aim of raising £10,000 to go towards a new gorilla enclosure.

But his work didn't stop there – as lockdown hit, and Durrell launched its 'Love Your Zoo' campaign to help keep going throughout the pandemic, Will kept running and fundraising.


Pictured: Will's new outfit in all its glory.

To date, his efforts have raised £63,000 to support Durrell's work – a feat which saw him recognised as Regional Fundraiser of the Year in the Pride of Britain Awards.

On his latest challenge, Will said: "As if running my first London Marathon isn't epic enough, to make the challenge one to remember I've had a custom built gorilla suit made by the team at JAGProps Limited which has been generously sponsored by my friend Conservationclubusa.

"I'll be pushing myself mentally and physically to my limits so please keep sharing, donating and believing in our campaign, as together we 'Do it for Durrell'!"

You can sponsor Will HERE.

Will's fundraising diary so far...

6th October 2019: "Ran the Jersey marathon in a full mascot style gorilla suit in 3 hours 53 mins and 40 secs."

11 March 2020: "Trip to Uganda to help with the Kafunjo orphanage and schools community project. Whilst in Africa I saw wild mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and many more species. A highlight of the trip was an unplanned 13km run which large groups of local children and adults joined in with along the way!"

2nd May 2020: "Unofficial Trail Monkey Double Top ultra marathon (during lockdown). In Jersey we were only allowed outside for a total of 4 hours each day. I ran 23.20 miles (37.33km) including 926.30m elevation in 4 hours outside and 16.80 miles (27.02km) including 1,176m elevation in 4 hours inside on my treadmill. Total time was 8 hours running."

25th May  - 29th May 2020: "Centurion Running One Community 100 mile event. 25th I ran 14.55 miles (23.42km), 26th I ran 20.20 miles (32.52km), 27th I ran 26.94 miles (43.37km), 28th I ran 27.84 miles (44.81km) and on the 29th I ran 12.15 miles (19.56km), cumulative total time (from starting my first run to finishing my last run) was 4 days, 1 hour, 11 mins and 48 secs."

5th July 2020: "Unofficial Trail Monkey Round the Rock ultra marathon. Ran a full lap of the Island (46.31 miles/ 74.54km on cliff paths and trails in 8 hours 38 mins."

20th July - 26th July 2020: "Centurion Running One Up Challenge - Olympus Mons Level. Unlike their last challenge this one was not about distance travelled but elevation climbed. Within the 7 day time period to complete the top tier challenge I had to walk or run 21,229m (69,648ft) elevation gain, an incredibly difficult task especially living on an Island at sea level. I was also working full time which meant my average day I was working 9 hours a day, running approx 9 hours a day leaving only 6 hours a day to travel, eat and sleep. This was by far my most physically and mentally exhausting challenge to date."

4th October 2020: "Virtual Jersey Marathon (in lockdown). To increase the challenge of the 26.2 mile (42.2km) marathon I rounded it up to a 50km ultra marathon."

28th November 2020: "Centurion Running One Community 100 mile event. After completing the last event in just over 4 days, I upped my goal to finish 100 miles in just one day. It was double the distance I had ever run in one go before. After a gruelling 29 hours and 53 secs of non-stop running, falling asleep on my feet and at times crying uncontrollably to myself I finished the full 100 miles."

20th February 2021: "PanGorilla run in collaboration with Save Pangolins Official. 8 hour run wearing my gorilla suit virtually with my friend Charles wearing a pangolin suit in Cambridge UK. I ran 37.77 miles (60.78km) and attempted some "Strava Art" during the eight-hour event."

19th June 2021: "TMF Group Island Walk. Gemma and I walking on roads, trails, tricky cliff paths and beautiful beaches to complete this 48 mile challenge around our beautiful home. We supported each other physically and mentally to get to the finish line both still smiling in a fantastic 15 hours 28 mins."


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