On Thursday, Sept. 29, the University of Colorado Boulder’s Herd hosted their 15th annual Nearly Naked Mile to support local community organizations. This year’s event featured Clothes To Kids of Denver, a non-profit that helps Denver youth in need, and Pig & Pearl Second Hand Thrift, a Boulder-based shop that offers a monthly match giving program for rescue organizations.
“We try to reach out to five organizations for this event,” said Sophie Nied, a volunteer with The Herd. “We have partnered with Clothes to Kids of Denver the most, but we still try to contact unfamiliar organizations each year.”
The annual Nearly Naked Mile began 15 years ago with the mission of “taking your clothes off and giving them to someone else,” according to Nied.
Through this event, the Herd hopes to encourage students to become more involved with on-campus events, while also engaging with the community.
For this year’s Nearly Naked Mile, the doors opened at 6:30 p.m. at the Koenig Alumni Center. To participate, students had to donate at least five articles of clothing, and in return, they received a free complimentary fanny pack. The donated clothing would be given to the Herd’s two partner organizations after the event.
Then, students lined up for the race. Many of the participants, who had just finished chugging their energy drinks, seemed ready to run.
Then, at exactly 7 p.m., the race began. After a climactic countdown, they took off and carved their way through the fence surrounding the start line, racing each other to get over the Varsity Lake Bridge.
Stripped down to their undergarments, they took a liberating one-mile run through campus. The run continued past Folsom Field, circled Farrand Field, then proceeded down 18th Street and finished with a final sprint back to Koenig Alumni Center.
Once they reached the finish line, students were greeted with applause, followed by a glass of water. After all of students had returned to Koenig, the after-party began. Students celebrated their one-mile victory for charity by dancing to live music and socializing with fellow Buffs.
The party included a live DJ set, food catered by Boss Lady Pizza and pop-up stands, where volunteers handed out Celsius and Red Bull drinks, immunity shots, glow sticks and body paint.
“If I was still in my college years I would have loved participating in this event” said Diane Burns, the front house manager of Boss Lady Pizza, who was attending the event for the first time. “I went back to the store and was telling everyone about it. The event definitely shook up a lot of interest.”
“This is such a great event to get students involved,” Burns continued. “Given the COVID-19 cancellations in the past, it was nice to see people dancing and having fun in their outfits.”
The Nearly Naked Mile is certainly a unique tradition at CU Boulder, which makes for a fun and memorable night for students and community members alike.
“We only do this event in Boulder,” Nied said. “We always have such a great turnout, and the people here make the event even better.”
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