Published: Dec. 1, 2015

Students running the Nearly Naked Mile

For Charity, Students Bare (Almost) All

Nearly Naked Mile costumes over the years:
  1. Polar Bear
  2. "Where's Waldo"
  3. Blue body paint, head to toe
  4. Nintendo's Mario and Luigi
  5. CU mascot Chip in his tighty-whities

On the crisp evening of Oct. 23 nearly 300 students arrived on campus clad in the plaids and flannels of fall.

By the time the starting gun went off at about 8:15 p.m., the happy horde of students had stripped to their undergarments and strapped on their running shoes or a costume: It was time for the Nearly Naked Mile, a free-spirited footrace that doubles as a clothing drive for Colorado children in need.

Now in its 12th year, the 1 mile sprint through campus generated 1,540 articles of clothing, donations from the students in the race. The CU-Boulder Alumni Association works with the organization A Precious Child to distribute the clothes.

After the race, prizes went to the top male and female finishers, sophomore Joseph Crawford (EnvEngr’18) and freshman Dani Loma-Jasso (EnvEngr’19).

“This was the best decision I’ve made this year,” says Crawford, who ran cross country and track at his Durango, Colo., high school and completed the race dressed in only a pair of camouflage running shorts. “It was cold at times, though!”

The Herd, CU-Boulder’s student alumni association, sponsors the race, one of its most popular annual events. Throughout the school year the group offers its 6,000-plus members discounts for restaurants, retail stores and the CU Ski Bus, plus leadership opportunities — not least the chance to provide clothes for the needy through the Nearly Naked Mile.

Find out more about The Herd.

Photography by Patrick Campbell