Friday, October 14, 2005
Sorry, I missed last week's installment-I was attending a funeral, so wasn't exactly feeling good. Anyway, this week installment could be called: "I see London, I see France, No, it's your underpants". It involves a pre-Ironman Contest fun run, in which the participants run through a part of Hawaii clad only in their underwear. (Sorry, Europeans, Speedos aren't allowed.)|
Some of the international athletes who come to Hawaii to train in and around the village for the race in the week before the event sparked the idea for the fun run, which began with three people in 1997.Last time I ran in my underpants, I got arrested...
"It was a reaction to the abhorrent and unbelievable practice of wearing Speedos around town, in the post office, the grocery store, even restaurants," Huddle said. "It's just a clash of the cultures, between the more conservative Americans and the whole European and Mediterranean resort vacation thing."
After taking a pledge not to wear racing Speedos for anything other than swimming, the runners took off to Kailua Pier for a quick round of calisthenics and then continued along Alii Drive.
Some runners sported their best Calvin Klein or Banana Republic undies. Others were more creative - grass skirts, coconut bras, black and yellow Joe Boxers, even the layered look with bright white Hanes peeking out from under a colorful thong.
Huddle and co-founder Roch Frey drafted their wives to sell T-shirts printed with the phrase "I see London, I see France, No, it's your underpants," for $20 each, with the proceeds benefiting West Hawaii Special Olympics.
Huddle's wife, Paula Newby-Fraser, is an eight-time Ironman winner and Frey's wife, Heather Fuhr, won the race in 1997 and is considered a favorite this year.
As the runners went through their warm-ups at the pier, several Speedo-clad triathletes looked on, fully aware that their attire was the butt of the day's joke.
"We just got out of the water from our swim and haven't had time to change yet," Oliver Gallob of Germany said in his own defense.