The University of Rhode Island’s Student Alumni Association and Greek Life will co-sponsor their annual Nearly Naked Mile clothing drive on Wednesday, Oct. 22.
The participants are allowed to wear appropriate undergarments while they run, such as bathing suits, shorts, and tank tops. The event is free, but runners are suggested to bring a donation of one coat or two articles of clothing. All of the clothing will be given to the local Jonnycake Center of Rhode Island. Jonnycake’s mission is to “improve the quality of life for individuals and families by providing comprehensive assistance to those in need of food, clothing, and household items.”
“Nearly Naked Mile is not only fun because you’re given the chance to run in barely any clothes and it’s acceptable, but it also sends the message that you’re taking into account those who live lives without a substantial amount of resources and protection by donating some of your own clothes,” Mark Canny, a sophomore and general member of SAA since Fall 2013, said. “It’s truly a representation of running a mile in someone else’s shoes.”
The route will begin at the quadrangle, continue onto Upper College Road, down Campus Avenue, and right onto Lower College Road before leading back to the quad. Also during the event, Greek Life will be holding a paint station where runners can show their school pride with washable paint. Participants are encouraged to share their mile time on the provided custom chalkboards.
The Nearly Naked Mile has been around for two years and SAA Campus and Community Relations Chair, Laura Graffitti said she hopes it will become a tradition for URI in the future. Graffitti also said that she expects a good turnout and that since the event is usually held in November, more people will sign up to run this year with expectations of warmer weather. SAA is looking for a few hundred students to attend as well.
Nearly Naked Mile’s pre-registration begins at 3:30 p.m. and the race starts at 4 p.m. on the URI quad. All runners will be able to warm-up at a pre-run Zumba session at 4 p.m. It is encouraged that students sign up early because the pre-registered runners will be placed in a draw where five students can win a $25 gift card to the URI Bookstore.
“I’m really hoping that the Nearly Naked Mile will bring something to Homecoming Week,” Graffitti said. “It will bring a lot of school pride to campus and help everyone get involved.”