Runners race in their skivvies for a cause

George Washington, one of the racing presidents, helps runners prepare for the start of the mile long Cupid\'s Undie Run Saturday in Capitol Hill. The Rushmoors doned Valentine\'s Day-themed boxer shorts for the event. (WTOP/Thomas Warren)

Thomas Warren,

WASHINGTON – Despite the cold temperatures, nearly 1,000 people ran one-mile through the streets of Capitol Hill in their bras, panties, and tighty-whities Saturday afternoon all to help raise money for children.

The race in D.C was just one of 17 around the country and in Sydney, Australia, as part of the fourth annual Cupid’s Undie Run. More than 8,000 people combined participated in the races Saturday. The money donated will go to raise awareness of Neurofibromatosis (NF), and the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) for research.

NF is a genetic disorder that can cause benign tumors on the nerves, according to the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

The race is the brainchild of Brendan Hanrahan and Bobby Gill, co-founders of the D.C.-based non-profit. They both say they drew their inspiration from Drew Leathers, a boy who was diagnosed with NF in 2009, and was bedridden for 183 days in a hospital. After a month of planning, the race was born.

About 650 runners took part in the first race in 2010 despite 6 feet of snow.

“The first year we did it, it kind of started out as a joke among friends. And we raised about $10,000,” Gill says.

Hanrahan says their efforts have raised more than $1 million since they created the non-profit four years ago.

Temperatures in the district topped out in the upper 30s. So, why hold the race in the middle of winter?

“We want people to step outside, and really get that chill throughout their body and know that they’re doing something crazy. But, they’re doing it for a reason,” Gill says.

As for their inspiration Drew, he no longer needs the wheel chair he had been confined to the past four years.

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