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Look Past the Underwear: This Run Is for a Good Cause

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Participants race in Cupidís Undie Run on Capitol Hill. The 1.5-mile event raises money for The Childrenís Tumor Foundation.

Another big boost this year came from corporate sponsors. Donors include life-size pro-athlete decal purveyor Fathead, Brooklyn craft brewery Sixpoint and the eventís biggest sponsor, San Francisco-based Gimbalís Fine Candies, which also offers Web customers the option of directing 15 percent of their purchase orders to Cupidís Undie Run.

And no charity of this size is without a few noteworthy participants. This yearís list of better-known personalities willing to strip down and strut around were comedian Christopher Titus in Los Angeles and actress Erin Cummings in Seattle.

At the flagship race in the nationís capital, the Washington Nationalsí Racing Presidents very fittingly threw on their cupid boxers and led the pack at the start line.

And at least one notable politician also made headlines for losing his pants for a good reason this year: Orlando, Fla., Mayor Buddy Dyer ran alongside his friend, Belle Isle, Fla., Mayor Bill Brooks, whose daughter has NF.

The Gentleman From Veronicaís Secret?

Despite organizersí efforts, itís unlikely that a member of Congress will soon strip down and run a loop around the Capitol and back to the Pour House ó for charity, at least ó but theyíre still holding out hope for future runs.

For all of the eventís success, Hanrahan still canít believe how big Cupidís Undie Run has become. But part of that is probably because he has little opportunity to look up and see how well itís going.

Hanrahan originally came to the Washington area to pursue a doctorate degree in materials engineering from the University of Maryland. And, for the past few years, heís been balancing the looming responsibility of producing and defending a dissertation with the ever-increasing responsibility of his charity run.

In fact, his defense is inconveniently, if not appropriately, scheduled for Friday, the day before the runís final races. ďIíve been trying for months to get everyone in one room. Thereís no rescheduling this,Ē he says between chuckles.

And after all the work heís put into achieving his dream of being an engineer, he still doesnít know for sure whether he wants to pursue it professionally or focus full time on the charity. He does know, at the very least, that heíll never fully depart from his brainchild, even if heís serving in a remote advisory role.

Hanrahan knows how important Cupidís Undie Run is to The Childrenís Tumor Foundation and to the kids whose lives are improved every day by the resources he has helped provide. And he also knows that all of these efforts bring the world ever closer to the ultimate goal: curing neurofibromatosis.

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