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Underwear-Clad Runners to Race Through Hell's Kitchen for Charity

By Mathew Katz | February 12, 2014 7:47am
  Cupid's Undie Run has nearly naked participants run a mile to raise money for charity.
Underwear Run Raises Cash for Charity
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HELL'S KITCHEN — Runners will strip down to their skivvies this weekend to raise cash for charity.

Cupid's Undie Run will kick off its third racy race on Saturday afternoon when participants will get nearly naked and then sprint for a mile along the Hudson River.

The event raises money for the Children's Tumor Foundation, an organization dedicated to fighting neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, resulting in blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and chronic pain.

With Saturday's high temperature predicted to be a chilly 32 degrees, race director Julie Pantoliano said that it did sometimes take a little convincing to get people to run in the near-nude.

"These kids we're running for, they live with this incurable disease and there's just no answer," she said. "I really think we can bear it in our skivvies for just a little bit."

Right now, about 700 people are signed up to run on Saturday, though Pantoliano said she expects many more to sign up before the run begins. Those who raise $50 or more on top of the $60 registration fee will get a bright red pair of Cupid's Undie Run briefs.

The event will kick off with a noon party at Stage 48, 605 W. 48th St., followed by the run at 2:30 p.m., which will start at Stage 48 then loop around Pier 84 and back. Participants are encouraged to stay pantsless the entire time.

Dozens of cities will take part in the festivities and run on Saturday. The nationwide event raised more than $1.3 million last year and organizers hope to double that in 2014 — all going toward helping kids in need, though the event itself is for people 21 or older.

"The kids, they think it's really funny," Pantoliano said. "It's for the kids — we just hope they're not watching."