MANILA, Philippines — It was meant to send a message. And sure it did because who wouldn’t notice athletes and enthusiasts running with nothing but their underpants on.
That was the very first Kona Underpants Run held in in Hawaii in 1998 to protest against the inappropriate wearing of Speedos all over Kona, which is the home of Ironman, the biggest triathlon competition in the world.
Gaining the support of locals and foreigners alike, Kona’s underpants run also became a form of charity wherein proceeds were donated to different beneficiaries based in the Hawaiian community. Now a much-anticipated event, the protest slash charity run had become almost as iconic as the world championship Ironman race of Hawaii.
Quickly garnering the same popularity is Century Tuna Superbods: The Underpants Run, which is the Philippine version of original Kona Underpants Run. Now on its third year, it happens on March 11 at Subic Bay.
According to Century Pacific Food Inc. Vice President and General Manager Greg Banzon, the local underpants run was launched in 2015 as a way to kick off the inaugural Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 with something that would set it apart from all the other triathlon events in the country.
“Our intention back then was to start our own local tradition that the thriving local triathlon community could look forward to while raising money for charity at the same time,” he said.
True enough, the underpants run continues to enjoy a growing number of participants with more expected to join this year, enthused Banzon. He also noted, “Running enthusiasts will be running alongside elite athletes and Century Tuna Superbods in a light 3-km race. There will be a lot of prizes at stake this year—including cash prizes for individuals and groups who will come in truly inspired costumes.”
Recent races saw Filipinos and foreigners wearing Hawaiian tutus, diapers, body paint, and headdresses. Some looked funky, while others donned sexy. So the more creative runners are, the more chances they get of winning the “best dressed” titles without having to dress up much. They also get to take home P15,000 (individual) and P20,000 (group) besides bragging rights.
Meanwhile, the first place finisher wins P15,000, while the first group of four to finish gets P20,000.
And more importantly for Banzon, all underpants runners can show off their own “Superbods,” attained by leading a healthy, fun, and balanced life.
“We wanted to utilize the Century Tuna Superbods: The Underpants Run to inspire confidence and encourage them to express their individuality,” he ended.
This year’s beneficiary will be chosen by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
Starting at 9:30 am at the Subic Bay Yacht Club, the race will take runners through a scenic route along the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Sign up below to join.
For updates on both The Underpants Run and the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3, follow Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 on Facebook, @subicbayim703 on Twitter, and @subicbayim703 on Instagram. Also visit www.centurypacific.com.ph or www.ironman703subicbay.com. Don’t forget to use the hashtags #ironman703subicbay and #centuryIM703.