This weekend, the Bayou City is clothing-optional.
The annual skimpy Cupid Undie Run will take place in Houston and 46 other cities worldwide to raise money for neurofibromatosis research.
Cupid’s Charity started back in 2010 and is the nonprofit organization behind the run; according to its website, the first run took place during a frigid D.C. February, so there’s no excuse to stay home during this weekend’s relatively forecasted mild weather.
“People who have neurofibromatosis, they’re very uncomfortable a lot of times, from my own personal experience,” race director Krista Fredrick said in an interview with the Houston Press. “For those who deal with this on a day-to-day basis, they are uncomfortable and we wanted other people to just run a mile in their underwear for 10 minutes to just be a little bit uncomfortable, too.”
Fredrick said she received a diagnosis of the disease, a rare genetic disorder which doctors say causes tumors to grow anywhere on or inside the body, when she turned six months old:
“There are some days it’s very emotionally and physically draining,” she said further. “I’ve tried to have a positive outlook on it.”
The race is welcoming of everyone, with a party-like atmosphere and team names, like TX Underwear Traders and No Shame is Our Game.
Runners regularly dress up in body paint, onesies, Halloween costumes or robes, and, while there’s an entrance fee when you register, a pre run party at Fuego’s Saloon may give you the little liquid courage you need before running through the streets in your underwear.
Those who raise additional money for the cause qualify for perks, like souvenir undies and free drinks.
Since its first run of 600 people in Washington, the Undie Run grew to an international initiative known for raising over $14 million for its charitable cause:
“I want to do whatever I can to find a cure,” Frederick said further. “This has been such a great outlet. I’ve met so many people, between people affected, the volunteers, the people who don’t even know what neurofibromatosis is.”
From Fuego’s, participants are set to walk-run the approximate mile distance to the finish line, where officials say there will be a DJ and dancing.
Organizers said the run will happen rain or shine, but they’re prepared with waterproof parkas in the event of hateful weather.
In the name of Cupid and charity, see y’all there this weekend!