Twenty-seven degrees and breezy in Boston on a sunny Saturday in December. Time to put some layers on and venture out in the city?
Venture out? Yes. Put layers on? No. At least not for some fearless and fit locals, or perhaps those imbued with a few holiday spirits—of the liquid variety.
It was time once again for the annual Santa Speedo Run!
What began in 2000 as five guys clad only in Speedo shorts, Santa hats, and running shoes taking a short sprint to spread Christmas cheer has evolved into an annual tradition involving up to 700 hardy men and women.
Today’s expanded group still spreads plenty of cheer. But they also raise serious funds for a worthwhile local kids charity (Play Ball! Foundation) while hilariously cavorting along the one-mile roundtrip down Boylston and up Newbury Street at midday.
The sheer ridiculousness of the spectacle is absolutely enticing: scantily clad men and women—many of whom obviously spend a fair amount of time in the gym each week—hooting and hollering through the Back Bay. Some even enhance their appearance with festive body paint or decorations (tinsel, ornaments, battery powered Christmas lights, jingle bells, etc.) in various subtle and not so subtle places.
It’s all good sexy insanity.
I have never come even close to considering making the run. (I happen to operate an electric blanket in bed every night for 10 months of the year—truth!) But as far as I can tell, this event is just as much a fun time for the onlookers as it is for the runners. I try not to miss this outrageously merry experience.
And as numbingly cold as it can be, I’ve never seen anyone have to slog his or her way to the finish. Whether it’s the crowd or the runners, it’s all smiles and all laughs all around. (The pre- and post-run libations at the start/end point Lir Tavern and Whiskey’s undoubtedly help fortify many of the runners too—er, and a few spectators.)
So bravo to all the participants for raising significant joy—and cash for charity—each year at the Santa Speedo Run. Well done!