Imagine runners shedding their winter clothes from scarves to coats in the frigid, cold January temperatures. On Saturday at Eastern Illinois University, runners will take off their clothing in support of local charities during the “Nearly Naked Mile” event.
Students, staff and community members will gradually take off their new or gently-used winter clothing from hats, gloves, scarves, coats/jackets, shirts, pants and gently-used running shoes during the race while leaving their bathing suit areas covered. Organizers will donate all clothing items to Standing Stone Community Center in Charleston.
“By running in the mile, participants are helping people in our community, who cannot afford warm winter clothing,” said Erin Clemons, organizer of the event. “Now, they will be able to keep warm for the rest of the winter.”
Even shoes will go at the end of the race and will be donated to Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program, which takes worn shoes and recycles them to make composite surfaces for tracks or playgrounds, Clemons said.
Check-in for the race will be at 9 a.m., and the race will start at 10 a.m. at the North Entrance of the Carman Hall parking lot. The entry fee is $10 per person, including a long-sleeve race shirt, and $15 the day of the race for late participants. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to the Charleston Food Pantry, Clemons said.
The sign-up deadline to be guaranteed a T-shirt is 4 p.m. Thursday. The mile was organized by the Students Today Alumni Tomorrow group and Student Community Service.