Running of the Hairy Legged Brides – Hot to trot

November 6, 2010

‘Brides’ charity race leaves men hot to trot

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By Mechele Coopermcooper@centralmaine.com

Staff Writer

GARDINER — Men in wedding dresses racing down Water Street?

Sounds like fun.

And cold.

Sweet Love Bridal Boutique is hosting Running of the Hairy Legged Brides, a fun charity race onSaturday, to raise money for Camp Sunshine. The event also helps promote Reny’s “early bird sale,” which starts at 7 a.m.

Kara Wilbur of Sweet Love said the first team to run or walk 100 times between her bridal boutique and Reny’s will win the race. Each team must have at least one wedding dress, to be worn by the running bride. Because the race is taking place downtown, all rules of the road must be followed, including staying on the sidewalk and obeying traffic signals.

“It’s a spoof on the running of the brides at Filene’s Basement,” Wilbur said Wednesday, referring to an event in which more than 1,000 brides-to-be flock to Union Square Filene’s Basement in Boston twice a year to find their dream dress at bargain prices. “We’re hoping to make it an annual thing if it goes well.” Wilbur said about a half-dozen teams have signed up for Saturday’s race.

The winner of the race, “best in show” and top fundraising teams will be awarded prizes, she said.  Used wedding dresses can be found at local Goodwill stores, she said. She also will help any team find a gown they can wear.

Nate McKenna, a 35-year-old Gardiner real estate agent, is recruiting members for his team. He said Wilbur found him a donated wedding dress to wear in the race. “My wife wouldn’t give hers up,” McKenna said. He said the event sounds like a good time while supporting good causes: children with special needs, the community and downtown businesses. “I think it will definitely be humbling and a little embarrassing,” he said, “but if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? Especially if it’s for the right reasons.

Camp Sunshine supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Ashley Riley, event coordinator for Camp Sunshine, said the funds will go toward the 2011 Family Sponsorship Program. She said 1,000 families are sent to camp each year. “The support offered is greatly appreciated,” Riley said.

Wilbur said Reny’s holds its early bird sale once a year, in November. For details, Wilbur said, call 512-5859. She said team registration will take place at Sweet Love, 289 Water St. Teams should arrive in time to complete registration by 7 a.m.

Mechele Cooper — 623-3811, ext. 408

mcooper@centralmaine.com

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