VA-HI | Hundreds of runners in undies to invade Va-Hi Saturday | News
ATLANTA, Ga. -- There is no sane reason for anyone to be wearing next to nothing outside in Atlanta in winter.
So you might question the sanity of runners in Atlanta who, on Saturday, will be wearing even less than their jogging shorts and t-shirts.
You might question their sanity, but you'd never question their good hearts.
"We're going to be running in our undies," said one of the participants, Alischia Linson
"We are going to be running in our undies down North Highland."
What would possess anyone to do that?
In Atlanta's Virginia-Highland neighborhood, or anywhere else?
"The event is 'Cupid's Undie Run,'" Linson said.
And it was founded a couple of winters ago by a couple of Atlantans, Chad Leathers and Brendan Hanrahan, in Washington, D.C.
And it's been so successful, it expanded this year to five other cities, including Atlanta.
Alischia Linson is Atlanta's race director and she told 11Alive's Jon Shirek on Thursday that 250 runners have signed up, so far, and they will meet at Highland and St. Charles beginning at Noon Saturday for festivities that will include the 2:30 pm fun run -- wearing only their underwear -- in the cold.
It is a short run, only about one mile.
They will run north on Highland a half-mile to Virginia Ave., then south, back to St. Charles.
When asked if they're insane, Linson said yes, in a way --
"Insane about raising money for the Children's Tumor Foundation."
That's the "reason for the freezin'."
It is an insanely successful fun run -- for kids.
For the Children's Tumor Foundation.
"In the City of Atlanta," Linson said, "so far today we've raised over $20,000."
And the "Cupid's Undie Run" organization has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, nationwide, for research into the debilitating tumors that form on the nervous system.
The condition is neurofibromatosis, which is commonly called "NF."
Fran Cone's son is a patient. And another son is one of the event's founders.
"We're very, very, very grateful" that the event is expanding and attracting more and more runners and donors, Cone said Thursday. "It's a great way for people who would otherwise not have any connection to NF to help, and make a difference."
Talk about getting out of your comfort zone --
getting out of your clothes?
"Running a mile in my underwear down the street? No," said one of the race coordinators and a participant, Hannah Thompson, when asked if she's ever done anything like it. "This will be a first for a lot of us.... It's a great event, great charity, it's going to be a blast. It's not embarrassing, everyone sits around in their underwear, hanging out, having fun, and it's really supportive and fun."
So, on Saturday, in the Virginia-Highland neighborhood of northeast Atlanta -- when the forecast calls for blustery winds and high temperatures that may not make it out of the 30s, with lows in the low 20s -- layered, warm clothing is highly recommended.
Unless you're a little insane.
Some facts about NF and the event, from the co-founder of Cupid's Undie Run, Chad Leathers:
It is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body
It causes a very wide range of issues from severe learning issues, to blindness, deafness, intense pain, and cancer in some cases
It affects roughly 1:3,000 births, which equates to millions world wide
The Children's Tumor Foundation is the world's leader in NF research, and has seen great strides in the last three years from funding from Cupid's Undie Run
On Saturday there will be nearly 3,000 runners nationwide, and they are on pace to raise more than $350,000, which is up from $10,000 from the first run two years ago