Binghamton community members stripped their clothes off on Saturday morning, and it wasn’t because of a wild night of partying.
They were participating in Strip for a Cause, a 5K campus run that raised money for the Cornell Cooperative Extension, which provides clothes for the Broome County Urban League’s Urban Star Vintage Boutique in Johnson City. In the race, which was co-sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Student Volunteer Center, runners started out with several layers of clothing on, and they took layers off at collecting points along the run. The layers they removed were then donated to the thrift shop.
The race started at the University Union, went around the Brain, proceeded up to the Nature Preserve and then finished back at the Union.
Matthew Christian finished the 5K first, with a time of 20 minutes, 18 seconds.
“Taking my clothes off during the run was kind of weird,” said Christian, a sophomore majoring in economics. “When I got to the first group of people who were taking clothes I just ripped it off and threw it. I gave two shirts, pajama pants and I am going to give my shorts after this interview.”
According to Christian, being on the Binghamton University crew team and running track and field in high school helped him prepare for the event.
Tara McElroy, a sophomore majoring in biology, was the first female to finish the race.
“22:19 and I did it in a dress,” McElroy said.
Some students had a little more difficulty than McElroy.
“I thought taking off my clothes would have been a little smoother,” said Kyle Schlecht, a junior majoring in economics. “My shirt got stuck on my neck for a little bit. Thank God I didn’t do pants. That would have been a little too hard.”
Despite some minor troubles, students were happy to support the cause.
“I know this area is going through a bit of a rough time right now, and I’m a local, so donating clothes here to people that need them is definitely something I support,” Christian said.
According to Student Volunteer Center President Theresa Ehrich, around 70 students registered for the race. The registration fee, which went directly to the Cornell Cooperative Extension, was $15 for each runner.
Ehrich said she was happy with the event.
“A lot of people decided not to strip as they ran but donated the clothes at the beginning, which is okay too,” Ehrich said. “It was pretty successful for the first time, but we hope to do it again in the future.”