Categorized | Running, Sports

If it’s Thursday in Kona, it’s the Underpants Run

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

The tradition continues into it’s 15th year and, according to the Underpants Run website, it will bring the usual cast of idiots and some notable participants.

Included in past editions were triathlon legends Tom Knoll, Dave Orlowski, Scott Tinley, Thomas Hellreigel, Bob Babbitt, Mike Reilly (lead vehicle), Michael Lovato, Amanda Lovato, Michael Mulahey, 70-nutty Australians, Chris Danahey, Roch Frey, etc.

The run dates back to 1998, when Chris Danahy, Tim Morris, and Paul Huddle decided to protest the wearing of Speedos in inappropriate places, such as stores, restaurants and the post office.

It has since morphed into a pre-race ice breaker and fundraiser for local charities that has become an integral part of the Ironman World Championship event week.

Now supported by the McMichael family (owners of Pacific Vibrations), CLIF Bar, Cannondale, Head Sweats, Garmin, 110%, Surftech, Green Layer, Wattie Ink, Betty Designs and, the event continues to grow with the mission of having a little fun while giving back to this great local community.

During the last 15 years, runners have raised more than $100,000 for local charities through donations given in exchange for T-shirts and hats. This year’s run benefited the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii and Ahuena Heiau.

At 8 a.m. sharp, several hundreds runners joined in the 1.2-mile fun run Alii Drive, with a quick stop at Kailua Pier for some warm-up calisthenics.

While it is debatable whether it is an actual running event or just an extraordinary photo opportunity, Underpants Run co-founder Paul Huddle said, “There are definitely rules, but no one seems to follow them.”

Event rules haven’t changed since 1998:

1. Any version of white “mommy underwear” (also known as tighty whities, y-fronts, briefs, etc.) is permitted. Good sources include Duofold’s performance briefs made with Coolmax Alta or any variety of cotton three-packs available at Wal-Mart and other fine stores.

2. No boxers, long underwear, or stylish Euro-bikini briefs permitted.

3. Route must be completed by running, walking, or crawling. Heart rate monitors, black or argyle socks, bad hats, and earrings are optional.

4. While this event is considered a “moderately paced parade” rather than a “race,” pacing strategies are up to the participant.

5. No awards will be presented.

6. No aid stations will be provided.

7. Other rules to be decided as issues arise.

8. Rules committee reserves the right to make things up as they go along.

9. All are welcome regardless of age, species (dogs welcome), gender, race, religious beliefs and/or nationality.

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