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Hear Philly: Thousands Ready To Strip Down For Charity At Cupid’s Undie Run

(Cupid's Undie Run. Credit: John McDevitt)

(Cupid’s Undie Run. Credit: John McDevitt)

majka Dan Majka
Dan Majka is a web editor and service aide at KYW Newsradio...
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By Dan Majka

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On February 15, nearly 20,000 runners across the U.S. and parts of Australia will strip down to their skivvies and take part in Cupid’s Undie Run — and it’s all for a good cause.

“Cupid’s Undie Run is a fun run, one mile(ish) run, in your underwear in February, on Valentine’s Weekend. It’s to promote awareness for a disease called Neurofibromatosis and to raise funds for research for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.”

Sandy Frenia, co-race director of the run in Philadelphia, says the idea for the event was born four years ago in Washington D.C. with a desire to help a friend in need…

“Cupid’s Undie Run started with a group of three friends who were sitting around having a good time one night. One of their brothers is affected by the disease, and they wanted to do something different, off the cuff, not your typical 5K to raise awareness for Neurofibromatosis. So, they came up with the idea of running in your underwear through a party. It started four years ago in Washington D.C. as a single race. The next year, it expanded to six cities nationwide. Last year, we went up to 18 cities nationwide, and this year we’re up to 27 cities nationwide.”

This is the second year for the event in Philadelphia, and Frenia expects it to be bigger and better than before…

“What’s going to be different this year is our venue is much bigger. We are at XFINITY Live and we’re hoping to have 1,000 people onboard with us this year, so it really helps spread awareness.”

And for Frenia, spreading the awareness, is especially important…

“My 9-year-old son Owen has the disease Neurofibromatosis. Last spring, his MRI revealed a brain tumor, so he started a 15-month regimen of chemotherapy in September to treat this brain tumor, so this is very passionate to us.”

Frenia says the event will take place rain, snow or shine…

“Unless there is a huge, where it shuts down the city, snowstorm, we will be holding Cupid’s Undie Run this year. And do expect cold temperatures.”

But before heading out and into the cold, Frenia says participants will enjoy a pre-race party that they will then return to at the conclusion of the run.

“Cupid’s Undie Run starts around noon. The doors open at noon. You come in and strip down to your bedroom best. The bar is open and there will be festivities such as best costume prizes, most fun raised prizes. Around 2 or 3 p.m., we head outside in our underwear and we run approximately one mile. Some people walk, some people jog. There is a lot of stopping and taking pictures. And after the run, you come back in and enjoy the festivities some more.”

And while the goal behind Cupid’s Undie Run is a very serious one, Frenia says the race itself is definitely not…

“It’s definitely a more leisurely kind of day. I tell serious runners that it’s not a serious race. It’s a party with a brief run in the middle of it.”

And for those who would like to help, but can’t “bare” the thought of running in their underwear, there are alternatives…

“They can go to cupidsundierun.com and they can offer a general donation. They can find a friend or coworker who may be in the event and sponsor them, or they can volunteer.”

So if you’re looking to do something special Valentine’s Day Weekend, make a date with Cupid’s Undie Run.

“Take you sweetheart into the city, spend the day raising money for a great charity. It’s a great time guaranteed.”

For more information about Cupid’s Undie Run and the Children’s Tumor Foundation, you can visit the run’s website.

Listen to or download the full show podcast (runs 3:25)…

Listen to podcasts any time at hearphilly.com.

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