Novocastrians are being asked to run in their underwear for the sake of charity next month.
Whether it’s riding a bike in a tutu, or doing laps in a living room wearing undies on the outside, Cupid’s Undie Run organisers say it’s the money that matters most.
The cheeky charity run, which raises funds for Neurofibromatosis (NF) research and support, is returning to Newcastle in 2021.
Sporting a slightly different look, the organisation that asks its supporters to “take their pants off” each year will be hosting it “virtually”.
The Cupid’s Undie Run Challenge 2021 kicks off on Valentine’s Day, 14 February.
The annual event is the major fundraiser for The Children’s Tumour Foundation (CTF), Australia’s leading charity supporting those impacted by NF, a genetic disorder causing tumours to grow on nerves throughout the body.
The Cupid’s Undie Run will start with an online version of its signature run, before offering cheeky new challenges each day for two weeks.
Organisers say they are hoping by giving participants total creative control, they’ll bring their best, showing off a little flesh in the name of charity.
This year, the event will be fronted by speaker, author, filmmaker and body positivist, Taryn Brumfitt.
Through her film Embrace, and her subsequent courses, Brumfitt aims to teach young Australians to love their bodies the way they are.
“I’m so excited to be supporting Cupid’s Undie Run as we share the same mindset about our bodies,” she said.
“Let’s just strip down, have some fun, embrace our bodies as they are, and do some real good at the same time for people living with NF.
“C’mon, I can’t wait to see all of you in your undies.”
For Janu Dhayanathan, the event is about more than stripping down to your underwear.
Born with Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1), the NF Ambassador for The Children’s Tumour Foundation says she was used to keeping her diagnosis hidden from others.
“Growing up, the standard of beauty set for women by the media was thin, beautiful, feminine, white, able-bodied with flawless skin,” she added.
“I did not feel like I was any of those things, largely as a result of my NF.
“That is why Cupid’s Undie Run is so important. It celebrates what makes us different.
“I want everyone to feel comfortable in their own skin, even if they don’t fit into a certain standard.”
A series of fun “dares” will start with Undie Sunday on 14 February; and continue through to Sunday 28 February.
The challenges will see Cupid’s runners hit a major shopping chain in their undies, singing a few love songs at the top of their lungs in their undies.
The final test will involve runners attending a Virtual Sunday Session on 28 February featuring music, comedy and an awards event for fundraisers and participants.
Head of marketing and fundraising for The Children’s Tumour Foundation Renee Anschau said Cupid’s Undie Run was the highlight of the not-for-profit group’s fundraising calendar.
“It may seem like a bit of fun, but once you have stripped down to your undies in public, people want to know why.
“NF affects everyone differently and can be physically disfiguring, which can lead to feelings of social isolation, anxiety and depression.
“We run to celebrate our differences and to give the NF community a voice,” she summed up.