If you’re not into spending Valentine’s Day weekend in typically sappy ways, maybe you should try something like, ohh..... partying in your underwear for charity?
Cupid’s Undie Run will be held this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. in Baltimore, D.C. and 28 other cities, including three in Australia. The event is exactly what it sounds like: Runners meet at a bar, party it up and then embark in an underwear-clad run. Because why not?
The run is the brainchild of University of Maryland alumni Brendan Hanrahan and Bobby Gill, who created the event five years ago to fundraise for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which specializes in research on the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis (NF).
"We are asking people to come out, be a little uncomfortable and do something for someone else," said Hanrahan, whose best friend’s little brother has schwannomatosis, a rare form of NF. "What do they get in return? An event that runs like a well-oiled machine giving them a day they will remember forever."
The D.C. run will make full use of Hawk 'n' Dove, The Pour House and Capitol Lounge, while the Baltimore run will take place at Luckie’s Tavern and Power Plant Live!
Baltimore Race Director Kate Gibson said your best bet is to focus on your partying skills even if you're not sold on the running part.
"All of these races today are novelty races," she said. "This is just a party with a jog in the middle. "
Gibson participated in D.C.’s race last year and had such a good time, she decided to get involved.
"It’s an opportunity to just go out and be in public in your underwear," she said. "It’s a chance to go and be silly. It’s a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day."
Colorful underwear is distributed to all the runners, but people can wear whatever they want (as long as they're covered where it counts). Some choose the longjohns-and-leg-warmers route, while others take full advantage of their chance to flaunt their stuff and bring their own scanty costumes.
You will see people dressed in everything from fur coats (and nothing else) to boxers (and nothing else) to tank tops and tutus (and…you get the idea).
If the idea of being undressed in public does not sound appealing, Gill says that should not stop you from joining in on the fun.
The race will be held rain or snow, both of which are quite possible given the weather of the last few days. Gibson said the races have precaution in place in the event of heavy snow accumulation or ice buildup.
"I’m more concerned about ice because I don’t want anyone to fall into the harbor," she said. "Granted, it’s supposed to be a little hard. It’s supposed to be cold and you’re supposed to be in your underwear."
Cupid’s Undie Run has grown every year in its efforts to raise money for NF research: from $9,000 in 2010 to $1.3 million in 2013. The goal for the 2014 run is to raise $3 million.
"It’s a great time for an ever greater cause," said Gill. "There are a lot of events out there that tout themselves as having a fundraising component, but where Cupid’s differs is that it is charity-first above everything else."
Hanrahan had one final pitch for anyone still not convinced that Cupid’s Undie Run is worth their time: "Think about this -- these kids with NF are uncomfortable all their lives. You can be uncomfortable for a jog with your friends."