Running nearly naked for charity?
Don't worry, the key word here is "nearly."
But you might as well have no clothes on due to the quick numbing sensation your body is sure to feel once you step outside for this run that had a kick off time of 10pm yesterday.
But it is all for charity... a fact of which I am sure the runners reminded themselves of as they made their late-night lap around the campus.
This was only the second year for the "Nearly Naked Mile Run."
Yet it was another hit.
The idea behind it is you show up to run about a mile around campus, just like any normal day at the gym.
Except you have to donate clothes that will go to the homeless shelter upon your registration for the run.
You can bring a pile of clothes, or just a T-shirt - anything.
But the humor behind this is that you wear what you will donate when you register, then strip down to your underwear (such as a bathing suit or compression shorts, etc) once you register.
So you donate the clothes off of your back.
But your options for running attire are not only limited to bathing suits.
You can wear anything and everything you want, as long as you are not literally naked.
Most people do sport bathing suit attire, but others are a bit more eccentric in their choosing of clothing.
This year there was a runner who wore a unicorn head prop while another group had painted their entire bodies to match one another.
With this said, you are not running alone by any means; but rather quite the opposite of alone, you are running with a pack of other dedicated students who are willing to brave the cold.
You can run with your friends, or pass them, your choice.
|Two devoted Belly Dancers model their Naked Mile attire.|
Some people ran to represent their school clubs in order to spread the word. The Belly Dancing Club wrote their name on their backs in order to promote their love for this dance.
Regardless of the differences in garments, everyone had one major thing in common - they all ran.
As I walked out of my room last night accompanying my roommate who was running, while I documented it all, it had begun to rain.
If that was not tough enough, it began to hail.
Thankfully about 30 minutes later when the race actually began, the hail subsided somewhat and the rain lessened to a drizzle.
Yet as my spectator friends and I eagerly awaited the return of all the runners, we did not have a problem enjoying the nice warm gym.
Once my roommate and I entered the registration area, I was taken aback by all the people!
There was still 35 minutes till the start of the race, and already it was booming with people.
|A great shirt to donate for this runner.|
The registration process was easy and quick for the runners to follow as they were guided from table to table by smiling
student government officials.
Signing your name, putting valuables in a safe place that you
were not donating, and then stripping down to your bare minimum clothing of your choosing, while donating the rest.
After each runner registered, they walked downstairs to the gym floor in order to gather in a pre-freezing cold run pep talk.
|Rainbow suspenders and a kilt to bear the cold.|
|Colorful to the max, with sass to match.|
|The new bathing suit season.|
Even standing upstairs with the other spectators, awaiting the start of the race, we could hear the boom of the pumped runners chanting for the start of the run.
Then, before I realized what was going on, they began to run back up the stairs leading from the gym floor, back through the lobby where the spectators were standing, and out the main door, into the cold.
The word run is an understatement though; they did not simply run, it was more of a stampede.
|Just a little body paint to make things interesting.|
|They were all a blur... of skin and determinism.|
I saw more people bolt by then I could have imagined, it was a rainbow of colors and spectacle of exposed skin - skin that was bracing itself for the undeniable cold that was waiting outside.
Once they all gathered outside at the official starting point, you could hear them pumping themselves up once more.
|More pep talk to tolerate the cold!|
Then it began.
As the other spectators and I walked downstairs, we were not sure how long the runners would take.
Sure enough, less than 8 minutes later - the first runner finished.
It was a friend of mine, a cross country runner, who lives for events like this.
Being able to look ridiculous, help charity, and the free T-shirt at the end was just icing on the cake of running to him.
|Satisfaction is shown with good humor for these runners.|
No matter the differences between everyone's reason for running, the important thing was that everyone was together...
And once the race finished, everyone came together to munch on cookies, celebrate, and dance.
|Accomplished runners strike a pose with their new T-shirts.|
The nearly naked runners did not appear so naked once they clothed themselves with their victory T-shirts with cookies in hand, and large grins of pride spread across their faces.
Talk of next year's run was already bustling in the gym before the end of the night.
I have a feeling the 3rd annual run will have to work hard to top this one.