Movember is a campaign that raises money for cancer research and the Vancouver Undie Run is one of the Movember Foundation’s fundraising events in November.
The run took place in 2019, and before that too. As of 2022, it hasn’t happened in Vancouver since, at least not to our knowledge. Hopefully it’ll happen again in a future year.
Mustaches and Cancer Research in Movember
Movember is a famous excuse for men to grow mustaches in the month of November. Although lesser known, it’s also a fundraising initiative that gets grown men to run in their underwear in the streets of Vancouver (as well as other cities like Toronto).
What, When and Where is the Undie Run?
The Undie Run is a fundraising event where anyone that wants can pay a fee, get a free pair of fancy underwear, and run for a couple of kilometres. They can also then hang out at a bar with their friends (still in their underwear).
In 2019 the event took place on Saturday, November 9th (so the same weekend as Remembrance Day). Check-in started at 11:00 am and the run began shortly after 12:30 pm.
It appears that the event didn’t happen in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully it returns in 2022.
About the Run
In 2019, between the start of check-in and the run 90 minutes later, participants signed in, put their belongings in storage and then drank beer. After the 2 to 3-km run around False Creek and the Olympic Village neighbourhood of Vancouver everyone returned to the Brewhall Pub for some more drinking.
The running route for the Movember Undie Run in 2019 started along 2nd Avenue, crossed the Cambie Street Bridge and went along the False Creek Seawall. It went by BC Place Stadium, past Science World and back to the Brewhall Pub.
By 5:00 pm the after-party finished and everyone put their clothes back on and stumbled home with smiles on their faces knowing that they had done something ridiculous and helped raise money for a good cause.
If you want to participate in the Undie Run you don’t have to worry about wearing your best tighty-whities or fanciest pair of Jockies, Calvin Kleins or Fruit of the Looms. All participants get a free pair of matching underwear in their gift bags (which they need to pick up in advance). As a result, all runners get to wear the same underwear (or, rather, more accurately, identical and matching pairs of the same brand).
Undie Run Costs and Benefits
It costs about $50 or so to participate in the Movember Undie Run. For that you get the privilege of being able to tell your friends you ran around the streets of Vancouver in nothing but your socks, running shoes and a brand new pair of ginch. But that’s not all.
As compensation for your support of Movember and their fundraising efforts, Undie runners also get a gift bag full of swag (including a fancy new pair of underwear worth over $30). They also receive a drink ticket and after-party snacks. Most importantly, participants get the satisfaction of knowing that the proceeds from their entrance fee benefit Movember and the work they do.
What is Movember?
The Movember Foundation is a charitable organization that raises awareness about men’s health issues including testicular cancer, prostate cancer, depression and suicide. It’s the not-so-well-known organization behind “Movember” which is a very well-known event that takes place in November each year. During Movember men grow mustaches to help raise awareness about men’s health issues (like cancer and anxiety).
Movember doesn’t raise money for cancer research (like some other Cancer-related organizations do, like the Terry Fox Foundation and their Terry Fox Runs, for example). Instead, Movember’s objective is to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment, and by doing so help save lives. They are an educational organization and focus on awareness.
At Movember events, like the Vancouver Undie Run, male participants are encouraged to get annual check-ups, check themselves, and be aware of their family histories with respect to cancer and depression. They are also encouraged to adopt healthier lifestyles (like running in fundraising events). Women too can participate in the Undie Run and a few do.
Facts About Movember, Men and Cancer
Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer among men between the ages of 15 and 39. It has a survival rate of 95%, meaning that if caught early you have a very good chance of beating the disease.
Close to 15% of men are diagnosed with prostate cancer over the course of their lives. It’s facts like these that Movember wants men to be aware of, as well as the importance of early detection.
According to Movember, the organization raised over $18 million in Canada in 2018 and around 72% of those funds are allocated to men’s health projects. The other 28% goes towards administration, fundraising, running their fundraising events and other expenses. At events like the Vancouver Undie Run things like the complimentary beer and free underwear are all donated by corporate sponsors.
To learn more about the campaign promoting male health and encouraging men to grow mustaches in November, see the Movember website.
For more information about the event where people get to run around town in their underwear to benefit a worthwhile charity, click Canadian Undie Runs.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Terry Fox Run
- False Creek Seawall
- Vancouver’s November Calendar
- Remembrance Day Weekend in Vancouver
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver’s Best Bars and Restaurants