BOSTON - Twenty years ago, when many people tended to get creative when thinking of how to entertain themselves, a group of drunk men in Boston decided it would be fun to sprint as fast as possible down Newbury Street. This was not just any run, though, because the inebriated individuals were wearing Speedos at the time. It seemed like an action that would warrant the arrests of such people, but instead, a tradition has resulted that has become a performative act of sincerely raising money for charity. Who would have thought that a drunken foible could result in such a beneficial tradition?
That's right, this crazy act of tomfoolery has turned into the Santa Speedo Run, which just celebrated its twentieth anniversary in Boston over the weekend. Over the twenty years, over two million dollars have been raised for Play Ball as a result of the Santa Speedo Run. The nonprofit organization, Play Ball, is a charity that helps raise money for schools in underprivileged communities. The money is used to help organize sports teams for the kids who want to play but are unable to because of the lack of funds and resources.
The tradition has taken on the form of having people, who I assume would be sober, pay $250 to participate in the Santa Speedo Run, where they run for a mile down Newbury Street, as well as Boylston Street. The catch is that they have to dress in skimpy red Speedos and Santa Claus hats. After all, what would be the point of the tradition taking place in December if the participants didn't dress like Saint Nicholas?
The 2019 edition, which served as the platinum anniversary of the event, was played in temperatures hovering around forty degrees, which was definitely a boon for the seven hundred participants who expected temperatures to be frigid. Granted, it was still rainy on Saturday, but the weather didn't drop below freezing. The exposed skin as a result of the required outfits was grateful, undoubtedly.
This year, the Santa Speedo Run ended up raising $96,000 for Play Ball, according to CBS News.
Image via Wikimedia Commons