WRIGLEYVILLE — Look out for flashes of red, pink and bare skin this weekend: Dozens of people donning Valentine's Day-themed intimates will dash through Wrigleyville on Saturday.
"It’s akin to a polar bear plunge," said Chicago undie run organizer Tamara Forys. "You’re putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation physically to fundraise for a great cause."
Forys is from the Chicago area and now lives in Washington, D.C., where she met Chad Leathers, and helped start the run. Leathers' brother Drew was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a tumor that affects the nervous system.
Leathers, together with some friends, decided to help raise money for NF research two years ago.
They wanted to create a charity that "wasn't your typical 5K walk or run," Forys said. Solution: A run in your underwear.
"We had a cause, and we wanted to create something that was different," she said.
The expansion to Chicago has attracted attention from both area running groups and the local NF community. One running team, Ali's Gaitors, runs for their daughter Ali, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2007.
The event is nearly sold out with 286 of the 300 spots filled, said Forys, who will be flying in for the run. Tickets cost $30, and all of the money raised goes to the Children's Tumor Foundation.
Doors at the Houndstooth Saloon, 3369 N. Clark St., will open at noon, with the run starting at 2 p.m. and awards at 3:30 p.m.