Speedo-wearing Santas are scheduled to descend upon New York’s capital this Saturday in a sexy, seasonal charity event intended to raise funds for local HIV/AIDS programs.
The underdressed runners will sprint 800 meters up and down the city’s hipsterriffic Lark Street. The money they collect from sponsors will go to Albany Medical Center’s HIV/AIDS program and the Albany Damien Center, an organization whose mission is to help people affected by HIV/AIDS in upstate New York.
The 2016 run will mark the tradition’s 11th year in Albany. A few other cities, including Chicago, Denver, Atlanta and Annapolis, are also holding Santa Speedo events.
Last year, Albany’s Santa Speedo Sprint raised over $17,000, according to organizer Jim Larson.
Larson said that when he witnessed his first Santa Speedo Sprint in Boston, his immediate thought was, “Albany needs this.” So he teamed up with the Albany Society for the Advancement of Philanthropy to bring the tradition to New York.
In addition to helping the needy, the event promises to be a great time for all involved. “You’re in a pretty good mood because you’re pretty naked,” said Michael O’Brien, a bartender at Oh Bar, a local gay bar serving as one of the registration sites for runners. “If the world could be like Santa Sprint day, it would be a better place.”