Un­der­neath it all

Un­der­dressed, cos­tume-clad run­ners pack Alii Drive for Un­der­pants Run for myr­iad rea­sons

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - SPORTS - By TIF­FANY DEMASTERS

KAILUA-KONA — Whether they were par­tic­i­pat­ing solo or in teams, run­ners were ei­ther hardly dressed or dressed to im­press for the an­nual Un­der­pants Run.

Hun­dreds of men, women and chil­dren gath­ered at the King Kame­hameha’s Kona Beach Ho­tel on Thurs­day morn­ing for the jaunt down to Un­cle Billy’s Kona Bay Ho­tel on Alii Drive in Kalu­aKona. The run added to the en­ergy and ex­cite­ment that’s been build­ing to­ward the 39th an­nual Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship on Satur­day in which 2,400 ath­letes will par­tic­i­pate.

Many run­ning in the Un­der­pants Run event are at Iron­man as spec­ta­tors or vol­un­teers.

Kathryn Coiner-Col­lier and Chasse Bai­ley-Dor­ton, both of North Carolina, were dressed as Lit­tle Bo Peeps with pale pink corsets, white lin­gerie-type shirts and bon­nets. This is the first time the women are vol­un­teer­ing for the race in Hawaii.

Coiner-Col­lier said she’s al­ways wanted to come to Iron­man on the Big Is­land.

“It’s been a dream for me,” she said. “I prob­a­bly won’t ever qual­ify with my times so this is the next best thing.”

Coiner-Col­lier has vol­un­teered in regis­tra­tion. She will also do body mark­ing and be a fin­ish line catcher.

Bai­ley-Dor­ton is work­ing in the med­i­cal tent. She said she works with cancer sur­vivors. She added there are many groups at Iron­man not just to par­tic­i­pate in the race, but to sup­port cancer fight­ing causes by us­ing the fa­mous race as a venue to help achieve those goals.

Both women say they’re happy to be here. Bai­ley-Dor­ton said the lo­cal peo­ple have been fan­tas­tic.

“We’re al­ready plan­ning for next year,” Coiner-Col­lier said.

Next time, Coiner-Col­lier said, they plan to bring sheep.

Chrissy Wilkinson of Aus­tralia was dressed as Won­der Wo­man. This is her first Iron­man and Un­der­pants Run. She said she came to sup­port her part­ner who is run­ning in Satur­day’s race.

“It’s amaz­ing,” Wilkinson said of the Iron­man events. “You can feel the ex­cite­ment build­ing ev­ery day.”

Wilkinson said she de­cided to dress as the DC Comics hero­ine be­cause her sig­nif­i­cant other has al­ways wanted a Won­der Wo­man.

“I am his Won­der Wo­man,” she said.

Michael Marzec of Chicago rocked a spiky red wig and nearly noth­ing else for Thurs­day’s run.

For the past 11 or 12 years, Marzec has vol­un­teered for the Iron­man. This is his 10th Un­der­pants Run in Kona

“We love the Big Is­land,” Marzec said. “We love ev­ery­thing about it — the am­biance, the peo­ple, the scenery.”

At least two teams rep­re­sent­ing women’s sports­wear ran with the horde of un­der­dressed. One of those groups was Coeur Sports.

Allison Gomez of Santa Clara, Cal­i­for­nia, was sport­ing a sports bra and span­dex shorts. She de­scribed the cloth­ing as a women-spe­cific triathlon brand.

Founder of the com­pany, Kebby Holden, said all the girls run­ning in the Un­der­pants Run are am­bas­sadors for the brand en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to get in­volved in the sport.

“What bet­ter way to meet peo­ple than in your un­der­wear,” Holden said with a smile.

Can­dace White of Ja­pan was part of a run­ning team sport­ing cloth­ing made by Betty De­signs. She said the brand is sup­port­ing strong women and about in­clu­sion.

“It’s mod­ern-day girl power,” she said.

White is here as a spec­ta­tor and to train for a triathlon in Ari­zona.

This year’s Iron­man is the largest race since its in­cep­tion with 66 coun­tries, ter­ri­to­ries and re­gions rep­re­sented. At 6:35 a.m. Satur­day, start­ing with the pro­fes­sional men’s start, more than 2,400 com­peti­tors will take on the leg­endary 140.6-mile course.

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