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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

Arizona WBB looks to rebound at home against UC San Diego
Jason Dayee, Assistant Sports Editor • December 7, 2023

    Strip-tease meets fun-run at CatFest this year

    Michelle A. Monroe
    Michelle A. Monroe / Daily WildcatRetail and consumer sciences freshmen Melissa Russo and Jordan Pack and Physiology freshman Christina Auclair stand at the starting line of the annual “Bear Down Undie Run” on Thursday, Nov. 17. Zona Zoo hosts the run on the UA Mall each year to collect clothing items donated by students.

    The ZonaZoo will host one of its many community events of the year, Runderwear, along the UA Mall on Friday. Runderwear is an event open to all students and supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson.
    For the event, students derobe  before running the short dash, donating everything but their delicates.
    “Basically the purpose of it is to donate clothes to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Tucson and the idea is that you come, donate your clothes and at the start of the run you take off the shirt that you’re wearing and you can have spandex, sports bra, whatever you feel comfortable running in,” said Audrey Koomar, the ZonaZoo community outreach director and a senior studying business management and entrepreneurship. “But the idea is purely just an avenue to donate clothes, so you take it off and then you start the run.”
    This year, the ZonaZoo has planned to make this event bigger than ever before by increasing its marketing efforts.
    “We’ve never marketed it [this much before,]” Koomar said. “We’re trying to appeal to all the different student markets, … and we’re really just trying to promote to all of them the overall cause of donating all of their clothes that they don’t use.”
    Although the event has taken place in past years, this year is expected to be a bigger turnout as the event is being paired with CATFEST, where T-Pain and Bassjackers will be performing later Friday night after the run.
    “Last year we took a different turn on it because it wasn’t paired with the concert,” said Inyene Udoinwang, ZonaZoo executive director and a senior studying molecular and cellular biology. “Usually we do it with the [Wildcat] Events Board, but timing just was off.”
    Koomar and Udoinwang are excited to see how many students participate and the amount of clothes they can donate as a result of the increase in marketing this year.
    “I mean, I know I have garbage bags filled with clothes that I don’t use anymore, so I’m going to donate those,” Udoinwang said. “I’m interested to see the turnout just because we’ve marketed this a little differently than we have in the past, so we’re going to see how many people actually sign up and run.”
    Runderwear is also an exciting event for students to come together outside of a sporting event by doing something together to give back in a fun way.
    Check-in for the event begins at 5 p.m. Friday and the run begins at 6 p.m. The course is a short segment around the UA Mall, starting at Old Main and spanning to Cherry Avenue.
    The ZonaZoo is also holding a contest and will be giving out prizes for the funniest participant, the most Zona spirited and the most creative underwear.
    In addition to Runderwear, the ZonaZoo also participates in other community events through such outlets as Junior Cats and attending a local high school pep rally. This year, the ZonaZoo will be going to Tanque Verde High School to show the students the importance of school spirit.
    Koomar described Junior Cats as an introduction to the ZonaZoo culture at the UA for local youth.
    “We take local middle schoolers onto the campus and [give] them a tour of the athletics department and just basically show them why they should go to college and kind of eliminate that stress that they have,” Koomar said.

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