PHOTOS: Santa Speedo Run 2013

Snow started to fall just as the last of the clothes came off during Saturday’s race down Boylston and Newbury Streets.

santa speedo run boston 2013

The 14th annual Santa Speedo Run took place Saturday on Boylston and Newbury Streets. (Photo by Margaret Burdge)

On Saturday, the snow began to fall just in time for the clothes to come off. At a nice brunch on Newbury Street, the last thing you expect to see is someone shooting by in a Speedo, but that’s exactly what many shoppers got this past weekend. Plus a few Santa hats.

At 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, scantily clad runners lined up outside Lir Tavern and Whiskey’s on Boylston Street for the 14th annual Santa Speedo Run. Beginning and ending at the pub, a hoard of runners–the event gets capped at 700 every year–jogged down Boylston and back up Newbury Street in nothing but “Speedo-like” attire and other holiday flair.

The annual Santa Speedo Run began in Back Bay in 2000 when a group of friends decided to put on some Santa hats and take off everything else, bringing holiday cheer to the streets in Speedos. The event now includes hundreds of runners and has helped raise more than $1.4 million for people in need. It began as an offhanded conversation among five friends at the Sevens Bar on Charles Street about shaking up their everyday routine. Now it’s a million-dollar campaign for charity.

Online donations can be made to individual runners, teams, or a general pool, and go to charity. Over the years, the Santa Speedo Run has benefitted various local children’s charities, but beginning with the 2012 race, the run has become specifically aligned with a single cause. All the money raised from the race now goes to the Play Ball Foundation, an organization striving to teach Boston middle school students about teamwork, communication, and discipline through sports.

As of Saturday, the Santa Speedo Run had raised $193,252 dollars of their $250,000 goal. Santa’s Reindeer, The Play Ballers, Straight As a Candy Cane, Hairy Fat and Stupid, and Wrecking Ballz came in as the top five fundraising teams, and Felipe Venegas raised more than $11,250 in donations as the top individual donors.

Check out some photos from the day below. And don’t worry—thongs were not allowed.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

A singing train rolled through as a group ran through and started a “Jingle Bells” singalong outside Lir.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

This runner stopped for a quick selfie before the rest of the runners joined him on Boylston Street.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

Crutches and wheelchairs couldn’t stop the holiday cheer, as multiple runners still showed up despite their handicaps.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

The group started a “Let’s get weird!” chant just before the race.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

Though the official start time was 1 p.m., the runners couldn’t stand the wait (and the cold) and started running just after 12:50.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

Despite the 17 degree chill on Saturday and the beginning of what shaped up to be a strong winter storm, crowds still lined the streets to cheer on the runners.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

The runner above from “Wrecking Ballz” was a part of one of the top-five fundraising teams. More than 60 teams registered for the race, including team “Seattle Sistahs,” which included runners who came all the way from Seattle to join a Boston friend in the race. 

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

Apparently green paint is a real speed booster. This runner zoomed ahead of the pack and was the first to turn down Gloucester Street.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

Another runner participating despite his crutches. His one-legged trot didn’t slow him down, as he was the second around the corner to Gloucester.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

The energy of the run proved to be too much for these two, who continued down Newbury Street past the final turn.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

We may have a new Pats recruit on our hands with this Santa Speedo racer.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

An excited bunch, the runners were happy to pose for pictures.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

This runner gave a whole new meaning to “hold onto your hat.”

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

The mass of the group paused in the middle of Newbury to warm up with a round of jumping jacks before the final stretch to the finish.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

This runner was one of many who showed off, shall we say, “perfect crafted” abdominals?

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

Santa hats and jingle bells weren’t the only attire in the race this weekend. This unicorn added another costume to the event.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

The Jew Crew was one of a few teams who got their Hanukkah on at the race. One team even sported “Thanksgivukkah” Speedos in honor of the newly coined holiday.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

“Ballz of Holly” was another team participating in the event.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

This pair participated in the race together, donning another creative costume.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

This runner took holiday flair to heart and brought a Christmas tree along for the run.

santa speedo run boston 2013

Photo by Margaret Burdge

One of the most enthusiastic participants in the event, this Ninja Turtle sped along with the crowd.