Stripping for a cause: my experience at ZonaZoo's Undie Run
Noelle Haro-Gomez / Arizona Daily Wildcat
For some college students, Thursday night is all about the shirking of responsibilities in lieu of drinking one’s self into oblivion. But instead, with 125 of my fellow students, I chose to get naked.
Last night, ZonaZoo held its third annual Undie Run on the UA Mall. While the event was unofficially held in 2009, ZonaZoo took it upon themselves to reach out and connect with the UA community by making them strip down to their skivvies. All clothing worn to the event, and subsequently removed, is donated to Casa De Los Ninos, benefitting children in need. While I rarely need a reason to take my clothes off, this was about as good a time as any.
As I arrived at the Mall, I was greeted by Starr Pass pool party amounts of skin, set in a brisk fall night rather than one hundred degrees. With Psy’s godawful “Gangnam Style,” LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” and some Ke$ha song that I didn’t care enough about to recognize, the raucous atmosphere was set.
For reasons unbeknownst to the crowd, and what seemed like organizational issues, we were entertained by a “battle of the sexes” trivia contest with three of the craziest (see: hottest) Undie Run enthusiasts of each sex. Questions remained relatively sports related, and when neither side could name a freshman UA basketball player to clinch the contest, the boys chose to go with “Dave York.” If there had been a tomato in hand, I would have aimed for someone’s head. They quickly changed their answer to Gabe York, won the round, and we all headed to the south side of the Mall to get ready to run.
Let it be known: we have an attractive campus of men and women alike. It was definitely evidenced as we sat poised and ready for the signal to start. Girls chose to either wear sports bras and booty shorts or something akin to full-blown lingerie, and the guys dressed up to dress down in boxer briefs. I chose standard boxers, which proved to be a poor choice later on.
At the drop of a flag, we took off down the Mall. Running alongside some of my friends helped to ease a bit of the awkwardness of the spectators that lined the Mall in patches, cheering us on and likely ogling the fairer sex. When they shouted, I shouted back. At one point I definitely yelled “This is America,” as I’ve likely never felt more free on a run. However, my underwear foresight was lacking. The morning of the event, I strategically planned my boxer choice, opting for black Ralph Lauren boxers with gold stitching and green horse logos. My rationale was that I would look as classy as possible while running through campus.
I fretted over that choice all day like a girl about to show off lingerie for her man. Once I saw my peers’ choices, which ranged from pink briefs (bless the brave soul that went this route) to matching Speedos, I felt slightly more at ease.
Mid-run, however, I quickly learned that fashion doesn’t always trump function. Sure, I looked good, but boxers tend to move around — a lot. Additionally, they also let other things move around — a lot. While worrying about too much of said movement, my underwear rode up a bit, which I corrected quickly, and with slightly too much emphasis, accidentally showing off a bit of my backside to someone behind me.
Whoever you are, I apologize, and had I known you would have seen my butt, I would have gladly spray-tanned for you.
Once reaching the finishing line, we were all handed a complementary ZonaZoo shirt and sent on our way. I would have preferred a post-party, building off the runner’s high we all had (because running a half mile totally gives you a runner’s high), but the shirt was a nice gesture from the Zoo Crew. With more than 100 articles of clothing donated, and knowing that a significant portion of the campus had seen me almost next to naked, we all disassembled and moved on to our various and likely drunken Thursday activities. The Undie Run was definitely a highlight of my senior year, and the cause it supports is more than worth whatever dignity you think you’re sacrificing. All signs point to the Undie Run taking place again next year, so keep in mind that you too will have a chance to Bear Down and “bare down.”