According to Triathlete Magazine, the annual Underwear Run in Kailua-Kona on the big island of Hawaii leads a Race Week that culminates in the Hawaii Ironman race.
Runners clad only in their tighty-whities or bra-and-panties gathered neared the pier, took the pledge (not to wear training gear unless they are actually training) led by race-leaders Paul Huddle and Roch Frey, then strolled down Alii Drive to Lulu’s nightclub.
The Kona underpants run is a race-week tradition designed to poke fun (and discourage) those athletes who insist on wearing their training togs in unsuitable endeavors, such as shopping, dining out or hitting the local coffee shop, Lava Java.
Frey and Huddle, along with one other Ironman-in-Training, began the annual underwear race in 1997. The event has gradually grown in popularity—some come to the island just to participate in the Underwear Run, then stay to watch the more-gruelling Ironman competition.
Runners compete by choosing their best designer underwear, or by getting creative—grass skirts, coconut bras, even a “layered look” with bright white briefs peeking out from under a colorful thong, were seen in the throng of around 100 runners this year. Huddle and co-founder Roch Frey drafted their wives to sell T-shirts printed with the phrase “I see London, I see France, No, it’s your underpants,” for $20 each, with the proceeds benefiting West Hawaii Special Olympics.
In McCook, Nebraska, however, the underwear run was a more serious news item. According to McCook Daily Gazette reporter Connie Jo Discoe, an Trenton inmate transferred to a local hospital for treatment escaped from the Community Hospital of McCook wearing only her bra and panties. Authorities became especially concerned as the weather turned bad.
McCook police and sheriff’s officers were called in to search for the woman, believed to have run into a cornfield north of the hospital. The weather shortly before noon Tuesday—rain and fog and only 49 degrees—became a major concern as officers were uncertain whether the woman wore more than her underwear.
Her ex-husband, who had come to the hospital, carried the prison-orange jumpsuit she wore from the jail and said she was wearing only her underclothes.
The woman broke into a home in the community, apparently to steal clothing. When she was apprehended, she was wearing not on bra and panties, but also a light pink bathrobe.
[McCook Police Chief Ike] Brown added, “As always, when we get into difficult and complex situations, the city and the county resolves the situation together. Officers did an excellent job of safely apprehending the suspect without injury to officers or citizens.”