The annual Santa Speedo Run in Boston, now in its third decade, is the best-known such event in the US. However, smaller runs have followed in its wake. Chicago’s Santa Speedo Run Northalsted, organized by partners Jeff Colgan and Karl Sponholtz, is one such get together.
The annual calendar highlight, celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2021, took place last Saturday at beloved gay bar Sidetrack. Those wishing to take part turned up around midday to register.
After a rendition of ‘Jingle Balls’, the run began at 2pm. Around 400 participants ran a mile through Lakeview East (where the temperature barely scraped up to 40F). Most wore little more than Speedos and Santa hats.
A post-run auction of underwear helped generate more dollars, while those wanting to sprint had to raise a minimum of $35 each. In fact, many raised more. One participant, David Roberts, managed a staggering $12,500, which won him some travel vouchers from one of this year’s sponsors, American Airlines.
In total, around $85,000 was raised (and counting), bringing the total generated over the last ten years to approximately $600,000.
Proceeds from the event go towards The Center On Halsted, the city’s long-running and groundbreaking LGBTQ center.
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