Runners are generally serious people with Type-A personalities, the kind that find motivation in the chase of perfection. They normally enjoy structure and relish the chance to evaluate themselves by their wristwatches. Rigid training schedules format their day so as not to allow anything to disrupt their much needed run. Yet, on some rare occasions when the pressures of competition and training become too much, runners can let their guard down, and, in the case of the New York City Underwear Run, their pants too!
Held annually the Friday evening prior to the New York City Triathlon, the Underwear Run contains approximately 500 highly motivated fun seekers who clad themselves only in their skivvies. Bodies of all shapes and sizes adorn little more than a smile and a positive attitude as they bounce, shimmy, and glide through the world’s most famous park. Sports bras and bikini briefs. Boxers and boy shorts. Pink ones and black ones. Lace and elastic. Traditional and downright bizarre. If you wear it under your day clothes or just in the darkest hours late at night, you’ll see it trekking through Central Park in all its glory.
Leave your modesty at the door if you elect to dive into this ocean of flesh and cotton. The 1.7 mile run, which in 2009 broke the world record for total people gathered in one place in their underwear, winds through the tree-lined streets of Central Park, drawing plenty on onlookers and an impressive number of cell phone cameras. With no timing chips, no transitions, no race numbers, no fancy gadgets or gizmos, the run represents the heart of the Big Apple’s approach to life: personal expression to the greatest conceivable degree. Absurdity and fun don’t get any better than this.
So, if you are interested in a run as memorable as any, or if you simply want to figure out exactly what Victoria’s secret actually is, go to http://www.nyctri.com/Central_Park_Underwear_Run.htm for additional information and pictures of last year’s race. You may want to train for this one and eat a few less cookies though. Failing to do so may bring about a whole new definition of indecent exposure. Not to worry, however, as next year’s race is a ways away…on July 14th at 7:30 pm.