Santa Speedo Run 2008

December 14, 2008 at 7:23 AM (Friends, Happenings) (, )

Today, I enjoyed spectating at my second Santa Speedo Run.  For two years, one of my friends has participated in the run for Cradles to Crayons, a charitable organisation that aims to provide life’s essentials for children through age 12 (www.cradlestocrayons.org).

Last year, I was a passive spectator at the balmy 33-degree weather spectacle (given the time of year, my adjective choice is in fact appropriate), but this year, I went one step further and took part in sponsoring my friend in his charitable (and, admittedly, aesthetically hysterical) endeavor.  Not only did I take care of my good deed for the year, but I was also happy to support one of my friends.  I’ve been blessed with a great group of people in Boston who have proven themselves to be incredibly caring in a very short while, and I was glad to be able to show one of them even a fraction of my appreciation.

This year, the weather was a bit harsher, with the thermometer barerly hitting 27 degrees, and raw winds making it “feel” like 22 degrees.  I was reluctant to leave the warmth of my apartment even for two hours, but I had paid good money to watch and record my friend gallivant through Boston, slightly intoxicated, in a red Speedo and Santa hat.  I bundled up in as many layers as I could manage while still looking remotely put-together, and made my way out to the merciless elements.  I lasted for maybe 45 seconds before I sprinted into the nearest coffee shop . . . across the street.

Equipped with my no-water chai latte, I strode back outside to wait for the train (or bus, whichever came first).  After two minutes of waiting my latte was tepid, at best, but I persevered: 1.) walking would have taken me forever and I would have missed the run entirely, and 2.) I’m too cheap for cab fare.  In short, I didn’t really have a choice.

After an uneventful train ride into town, I walked towards the bar/ starting point for the run in hopes of catching my friend.  After all, he had said that he planned on prepping for the run with some holiday spirits.  When I arrived at the bar, I tried calling him, but received no answer.  Rather than wait outside and freeze my posterior, I decided to visit another coffee shop in the area to warm up and kill time.  After all, I had 20 minutes to spare until the fun and games began, and I was usually lucky enough to score free caffeine at this place.

Nineteen minutes and a mild case of the jitters later, I stepped outside to a completely different scene than that from which I’d just left.  The street was lined with spectators, police officers, and stray vehicles that had missed the memo about the roads closing down for a bunch of half-naked philanthropists who’d be jogging through shortly.  At the head of the street, maybe a thousand people decked out in their best Speedos, Santa hats, cowbells, garlands, body paint, and assorted winter accessories were cheering wildly as they jumped up and down to keep from freezing before their run.  It was pretty astounding to see it all – again.

The atmosphere was electrifying, and despite the fact that I could not feel my fingers because they were so cold, I could not help but beam as I shot pictures and skimmed the Santas in search of the one participant I knew.  I found him doing jumping  jacks with a few other runners, but couldn’t get his attention: I’m 5’4″, and he was in the middle of a BIG crowd of  underdressed enthusiasts.  I moved further up the street beyond the starting point in hopes of catching my dear acquaintance on a portable medium as he chasséd past me.

There was no gun start, but it was easy enough to decipher when the Santas (and reindeer, and elves, and general loonies) were let loose: the cheering exploded.  I tried to shoot pictures while keeping an eye out for MY lunatic, but I couldn’t pick him out of the stampede that roared by.  Mildly frustrated, but not discouraged, I ran (okay, I walked briskly) back to the starting point, then walked against the itinerary to situate myself on the last leg of the run.

I cursed my barely average height as I struggled to get a view of the runners as the approached: everyone was stepping further into the street in order to see who was running towards us first, which of course left me either staring at the back of someone’s head or standing directly in front of the police car that headed the pack of Speedo-clad runners.  As I chose not to turn into roadkill, I prayed that my friend was running on the side of the street nearest me.  What also distracted me was that my camera battery was beginning to fail.  I had yet to document the adventures of anyone I cared to acknowledge.

Almost done!

Almost done!

ESP, luck, God, Chuck Norris, whatever, must have been on my side: sure enough, my buddy was trotting maybe six feet away from me.  I shouted to him, and when he saw me, he cut over to the curb to give me a big, sweaty, Speedo-tastic hug.  Then and there, I had accomplished my goal for the day.

Sure, it was a bit nippy, and I really could have used the time to get some end-of-semester work done, but being even the tiniest part of the whole production was worth it (and now I have some GREAT pictures for Facebook).  I think it’s pretty safe to say that the Santa Speedo Run is turning into one of my holiday traditions . . . who knows?  Maybe one year I’ll actually be one of those silly people you see running down the street in a Speedo for charity.

But I would not count on it.

No, really.  I wouldn’t.  Do not bet money on that.

 

Tonight’s Tunes
“Lovers In Japan / Reign Of Love,” Coldplay
“Into the Night,” Santana
“Closer,” Ne-Yo
“Under the Bridge,” Red Hot Chili Peppers
“I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz
“Wanna Love You Girl,” Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams
“Secret,” Maroon 5
“The Show,” Lenka
“Sun King,” The Beatles
“Fields of Gold,” Eva Cassidy
“Adia,” Sarah McLachlan

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1 Comment

  1. Schevus said,

    Wow, I don’t know if that event is awesome or disturbing. Probably both. I don’t think I could convince myself to take part in that even for charity!

    – Schev

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