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'Undie run' created by Parkview grads coming to Atlanta

Get your best boxers and prettiest underwear ready -- Cupid's Undie Run is coming to town.

Two years ago, Parkview High School graduates Chad Leathers and Brendan Hanrahan started Cupid's Undie Run in Washington, D.C., a "mile or so" fun run where participants strip down to their skivvies to raise money for The Children's Tumor Foundation.

The Washington Post recently named it the area's top winter event. On Feb. 11, the event will expand to five more cities, including Atlanta.

"Our focus is on fun," Leathers said this week. "As cheesy as it sounds, we like to keep the 'fun' in fundraising."

The run was an offshoot of Leathers and Hanrahan's organization dubbed "the Tumornators," meant to help fund research for neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. Leathers' youngest brother was diagnosed with the disease that can lead to blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and chronic severe pain.

The original Cupid's Undie Run saw about 450 running around the U.S. Capitol. The idea was a fun, eye-grabbing event.

"Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd," Leathers said, "and nothing draws a big crowd like people in their underwear."

Because of the overwhelming success of the Washington, D.C. run, the event will also take place in Cincinnati, Denver, New York City, Seattle and Atlanta this year. The goal is to raise $500,000 nationwide.

The Atlanta edition will be held in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood, beginning with festivities at local pubs Hand in Hand and Neighbor's. Three more Gwinnett natives -- Meadowcreek grad Alischia Linson and Parkview grads Chris Griffith and Hannah Thompson -- have been instrumental in setting up the local event, Leathers said.

Registration is $35 and available at www.cupidsundierun.com/atlanta.

As far as attire is concerned, it's all in the name, with one major caveat -- absolutely no thongs. Leathers also offered one piece of advice for shyer participants: "Long johns are underwear too."