Cupid comes to Detroit early

By Allen Jordan

Valentine’s Day came early to downtown Detroit for the city’s first annual Cupid’s Undie Run.

The Feb. 9 outdoor matinee took runners on roughly a mile-long run in the area of Comerica Park and Ford Field with pre-run and post-run festivities held at Cheli’s Chili Bar, where runners began their route.

The event began in Washington D.C. in 2010 and has expanded to 17 cities around the world. Beginning its first year of competition in Detroit, over 500 runners participated in the run, according to event organizers.

The Undie Run raises donations for the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which helps children suffering from the genetic disease neurofibromatosis (NF). NF causes a tumor to grow all over the nervous system and can cause blindness, deafness, learning disabilities and severe chronic pain, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The CTF is the world’s largest non-government organization dedicated to ending NF through research. There is currently no cure for NF, according to

“I don’t have a kid who suffers from it, but just to be down here doing this for a cause bigger than myself is the satisfaction I appreciate,”Kevin Rizzioni, a participant runner, said.

To date, the Undie Run has raised over $1 million around the world for CTF, including $80,000 raised in Metro Detroit this year, according to the website.

“It’s amazing that in such frigid temperatures so many people are willing to get out here in next to nothing for people around the world they don’t even know,” Jessie Sanders, a volunteer for the outdoor run, said. “So many big hearts coming together as one is pretty fascinating.”

The event was sponsored by Gimbal’s Cherry Lovers, Fathead, Quicken Loans, Southern Comfort, Channel 955,, Compuware, 313 Energy Drink, Just Baked Bakery and Cheli’s Chili Bar.

This year the Quicken Loans team took the title as top group raising over $27,000 for charity with the top earning individual raising over $4,000.

For more info on the event for next year go to For more info on CTF, go to