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Hundreds Run Through Central Park in Their Underwear

By Ben Fractenberg | August 6, 2011 8:53am

MANHATTAN — Hundreds of underwear-sporting joggers strutted their stuff in Central Park Friday night, kicking off festivities for the New York City Triathlon on Sunday.

The Naked Cowboy, John Burck, presided over the 1.7-mile Jamaica Underwear Run, greeting about 500 runners in his own famous skivvies. The underwear-clad competitors stepped off at 7:30 p.m. at 72nd Street near Fifth Avenue and finished near the Bandshell.

"It's the first time I've done this," said New Jersey resident Ashley Fedor, 25, who was preparing to run her first triathlon Sunday. "It's a distraction. I'm still so nervous."

The race already holds the world record for the most amount of people gathered in their underwear, according to event organizer.

More than 3,000 athletes are set to compete in the Nautica New York City Triathlon on Sunday. The intrepid triathletes will swim 1,500 meters in the Hudson River, bike 40 kilometers along the Henry Hudson Parkway and run 10 kilometers in Central Park. 

David Halloran, 39, said he wanted to do the underwear run as a way to kick off the triathlon, for which he'll be volunteering. He added that he heard a lot of people hollering at the runners, but it was nothing untoward.

"Nothing fun," said Halloran, who lives in Long Island City. "Not even anything stupid."