Participants shiver through the Nearly Naked Mile for a good cause
Several inches of snow and temperatures in the low 30s did nothing to stop students from stripping down to their skivvies Thursday night for the second annual Nearly Naked Mile race on campus.
The large, rowdy crowd of students – scantily clad in Speedos, g-strings, bikinis, costumes and even makeshift duct-tape thongs – gathered in front of the Koenig Alumni Center on the corner of Broadway and University to stretch, cheer, and fuel up on bagels and Rockstar energy drinks before the race.
Minutes before the race began at 9:30 p.m., participants jumped up and down cheering the CU fight song. A snowball fight broke out at the starting line.
The race, sponsored by The Herd Association, was held along with a winter coat drive. Every person who donated a coat received a free t-shirt reading “We came. We stripped. We ran.” CU alumnus and Herd director Judd Rogers estimated that about 75 to 100 coats were collected.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for kids to celebrate fall, get together for a good time and help others more needy than us,” Rogers said.
The fastest runners received gift certificates to a running store. The winner, Nolan Amy, a junior mechanical engineering major, ran the race in his black Speedo. Amy is a member of the CU triathlon team and also won the race last year.
“I wanted to win again this year,” Amy said. “(The cold) is not that bad once you get running.”
Tom Johnson, a senior integrative physiology major, explained what effect the cold temperature has on a runner’s body.
“You run slower when it’s cold because your legs feel like ice blocks,” Johnson said. “I can’t feel my left foot right now.”
Senior Herd member Hannah Levine started the race last year. Levine brought the idea from her hometown, Ann Arbor, Mich.
“They do this race where I’m from, and I thought Boulder was liberal enough to do it, too,” she said.
Levine said the race route goes across Norlin Quad, around Farrand Field, down Broadway and back to Koenig. The distance is a little over a mile.
Kyle Pearce, a freshman pre-communication major and champion briefs-wearing participant, said he decided to run the race to benefit charity.
“It’s for a good cause,” Pearce said. “If we can help other people, it’s all good.”