Dispatch: Are You Ready For The Underpants Run?

The annual Underpants Run is a lighthearted and slightly ludicrous event that serves as a fundraiser for local Hawaii charities.

Photo: Nils Nilsen

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“Dispatch” is an online column from Triathlete Editor-at-Large Holly Bennett that will feature pro updates, industry news, happenings afield and otherwise random reports related to multi-sport. Look for “Dispatch” every Thursday on Triathlete.com.

Triathletes the world over are finalizing their preparations for travel to Kona. Yet the Ironman World Championship is not the only competition set to take place on the Big Island next week. There’s also the annual Underpants Run, a lighthearted and slightly ludicrous event that serves as a fundraiser for local Hawaii charities while poking fun at triathletes’ overwhelming tendency to underdress and parade around town inappropriately clad.

Pros Amanda and Michael Lovato are diehard Underpants Run devotees, so we asked Amanda what the event means to the couple and for advice on how to best prepare to bare nearly all.

“Michael and I started doing the Underpants Run back in 2007 as a way to support a great cause, and, in particular, to allow Michael the chance to relax a bit pre-race. We’ve always enjoyed showing up in something that shows off our sense of humor, our style, and our, well, you know…” she said with a sly grin.

“The best way to prepare is just to stop taking yourself too seriously,” continued Lovato. “The goal of the Underpants Run is to have some fun and to raise money, while making fun of folks who walk around in their swimsuits. Just have fun!”

If you’re still searching for the perfect pair of panties for this year’s Underpants Run, keep in mind there are several styles to choose from, depending on your personal preference and level of confidence.

For women, the most common styles seen sprinting along Ali’i Drive each year include:

  • The Boyshort: Cute, comfy and confidence-inspiring due to relatively full front and rear coverage.
  • The Bikini: Standard female undie fare; coordinates favorably with most bikini bathing suit tan lines.
  • The Brazilian: Also known as the “Cheekie” due to significant cheek exposure; sexy and revealing yet not as skimpy as a thong or g-string.
  • The Thong: The minimalist’s panty of choice; particularly suited for those with tightly tones glutes.

For men, the Underpants Run also inspires all variety of skivvy style:

  • The Brief: Aka “Tightie Whities”; as old school (and arguably uninspired) as it gets.
  • The Boxer Short: Traditional underwear favored by hang-loose types; can easily pass for lightweight shorts.
  • The Boxer Brief: A sexy step up in menswear, the boxer brief blends traditional briefs and boxers into one suave package protector.
  • The Banana Hammock: The most snug and revealing panty for men, favored by many Europeans; similar to the Speedo-style race suit often seen adorning Ironman world champion Faris Al-Sultan.

Whatever form of underpinnings suits your personal fancy, be sure to join in the fun at the annual Underpants Run on Thursday, Oct. 11 in downtown Kailua-Kona. For details on the run and the charities it will benefit, as well as to pre-order event merchandise, please visit Underpantsrun.org.

PHOTOS: 2011 Kona Underpants Run

Check back to Triathlete.com in the coming days for an article on the history of the Underpants Run.

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