A Hillsborough Street foot race with a racy theme was cancelled Thursday, following complaints from the community.
Former Raleigh police captain Paula O’Neal told City Council members she questioned the message the race sends, especially with the problems of rape and violence against women in schools and on college campuses.
The Sexy Schoolgirl 5K was scheduled to take place August 9, with a bar crawl to follow. Proceeds from the race were to benefit the MATHCOUNTS Foundation, a national middle school coaching and competitive math program.
The UK’s Daily Mail reports that MATHCOUNTS is distancing itself from the race, and asks that the Sexy Schoolgirl 5K remove all reference to the organization from its website and marketing materials. The race organizers have yet to comply with the request.
Race participants were encouraged to “dress up as a school girl or nerd and run your way to an awesome bar crawl after crossing the finish line,” according to the event’s website. Races in Charlotte and Wilmington are also scheduled.
The Raleigh City Council gave the event its approval in March, but now some members are siding with the community complainants.
“I am pleased that this race has been cancelled,” wrote city Council member Wayne Maiorano on his Facebook page this afternoon.
“I regret that it was approved in the first place. As the father of two daughters, I find this offensive and troubling. I am embarrassed that I failed to catch this when it went before the Council for approval. I am sorry.”
Foot races in Raleigh have been a controversial topic. Last year the City Council limited the number of races in downtown Raleigh to 100 per year.