STORY UPDATED at 2:10 p.m.
Thousands of people attended Utah’s first Undie Run on Sept. 24, and it’s being heralded as an enormous success due to the worldwide publicity it garnered, said event organizer Nate Porter. The exact count is being discussed with the Guinness World Record officials because the rules originally stated that women had to be wearing a shirt during the count. Porter is trying to have this policy changed and he estimates up to 5,000 people ran through the streets of Salt Lake City in underwear, costumes and other attire.
“It was a huge success,” Porter said. “It’d be great to get the world record, but that was secondary to the larger goal of showing the world there’s a lot of cool people that live in Utah. We wanted everyone to know that not everyone who lives here supports Prop. 8 and crazy liquor laws. … It was a protest against being uptight.”
The current record of 550 will stand if the Guinness officials, who are based out of England, do not accept the change in rules allowing women to be shirtless.
“We are trying to tell the Guinness officials that when you tell people in the United States to be in your underwear, for women that means just a bra and no shirt,” Porter said.
Many people painted or drew slogans about why they were running and some attendees sported pro-gay and lesbian messages, such as “No H8” and “Equal rights.” Some had messages supporting transgender rights. Many supported such hot topics as liquor and huka laws.
Runners had very specific rules to be included in the final Guinness count: Men had to be wearing bona fide underwear and no shirt; women had to also be in underwear, but wear a shirt; everyone had to stay in place in that state of dress for five minutes after a horn was blown.
Porter said that he will hold another run next year.
“There’s always next year too. Undie Run 2012 is coming right up,” Porter said.
QSaltLake posted nearly 100 photos of the event on their Facebook page.