Met police officer 'Mr Gorilla' crosses the finish line after crawling the London Marathon

Sean Morrison

The Metropolitan Police officer who was crawling the London Marathon dressed as a gorilla has completed the 26-mile race – six days after it started.

Tom Harrison, who goes by the name Mr Gorilla, crossed the finish line in front of hundreds of people.

After raising a massive £23,900 for his aptly chosen charity The Gorilla Organisation, the 41-year-old was met at the finish line by the group’s organisers.

Reflecting on his six-day crawl, the homicide and major crime officer told of how and why he decided to tackle the annual marathon in such a peculiar way.

Tom Harrison, who goes by the name Mr Gorilla, celebrates after crawling across the finish line in The Mall (PA)

He told the Standard: “When I got to the mile one mark, they had already cleared the gantry. At that point I knew it would just be lonely old me for the rest of the race.

“I got quite intimate with the paving slabs because my face was about a foot away from the ground, and it was more comfortable to look straight down.

“I don’t think people really knew what I was doing at first and I got some really strange looks, but after a while people started to realise and I got lots of support from everyone I passed.

“It was tough in parts, my knees got completely messed up in the first day when I was crawling on my hands and knees, but I’m really glad I did it.”

Mr Harrison crossed the finish line flanked by his two sons, while beating his chest.

The Putney-based officer said that he had already run the marathon in the gorilla suit last year, but this time wanted to do "that little bit more".

'Mr Gorilla' makes his way crawling along part of the London Marathon course in aid of the charity Gorilla Organization (AP)

He said he tried various different techniques, none of which were pain-free. The policeman said he is now just looking forward to being upright.

“I’m now looking forward to drinking a cup of coffee, just little things like that. It didn’t sit very well while my stomach was in such a strange position during the race,” he said.

“I mean, I got up every day and thought: ‘oh, more crawling’, so I’m looking forward to doing normal things and being upright.

“What’s next for Mr Gorilla is what I’m thinking about now. Watch this space.”

Mr Harrison said the money he raised will be used to protect endangered gorillas in Africa by sponsoring ranger services and helping people living near gorilla habitats to be more self-sufficient.

The inspiration for his race came from a trip to Uganda and Rwanda in November last year, when he decided he would do more to protect the species.

‘Mr Gorilla’s Just Giving page can be viewed here.

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