The 2,270 participants in Salt Lake City's recent Utah Undie Run set a world record for "largest gathering of people wearing only underpants/knickers," according to Sara Wilcox, a spokeswoman for the London-based Guinness World Records Inc.
The event, officially dubbed the "Utah Undie Run 2012 Protest against Utah being so Uptight," drew far less than the 12,000 participants who had indicated in Facebook responses they would strip down and run in the downtown Salt Lake City event late Saturday afternoon, Sept. 24.
Still, there were enough who jogged from Gallivan Center in bras, panties, nightgowns, swimwear and boxer shorts to earn the Guinness mark, Wilcox confirmed on Thursday.
The previous record was set on June 5, 2010, by 547 participants at an event organized by the PIL Rally Club (UK) in Weston-on-Trent, Derbyshire, United Kingdom.
Undie Run organizer Nate Porter said the goal of the Utah event was to organize people frustrated by the conservative nature of the state's politics. Some participants ran with messages written on their chests, backs or legs in support of causes like gay marriage, which had been opposed by the state's predominant Mormon faith during California's Prop 8 ballot battle.
Utah's conservative Republican establishment also had tended to run against the grain, as it were, in its opposition to lotteries, relaxed liquor laws and in adopting some of the nation's toughest immigration laws.
From the Gallivan Center, the scantily-clad runners bounced toward the state Capitol and back, roughly 5 miles, then concluded with a rally that included food, drink and music late into the evening.
The event proved a big success for Porter, and not just because it ended up being a record-setter.
"I think so many people have all these misconceptions about Utahns because the angry, uptight ones are so vocal. And I'd like to see that change, even just a little. I am so sick of hearing all the crazy things Utah is known for, like the liquor laws, and don't even get me started on Prop. 8," he said at the time.
Technically, Utah can lay claim to no less than 79 world records, according to Guinness (see http://bit.ly/pTsY2R). Here are just a few of those other accomplishments:
— Skid marks made by the jet-powered Spirit of America, driven by Norman Craig Breedlove, after the car went out of control at Bonneville, Utah, on Oct. 15, 1964, was nearly 10 km (6 miles) long.
— The most snowmen built in one hour was 1,279 and was achieved by Clearlink on the 18th fairway of the Mountain Dell Golf Course in Salt Lake City on Jan. 15, 2011.
— The most people to sign up as organ donors in eight hours was achieved by 765 participants in an event organized by The Quest for the Gift of Life Foundation at the Springville City Arts Park in Springville on Aug. 28, 2010.
Click here to read full story published in THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE.