CHICAGO — Don't be surprised to see shirtless -- and pantless -- Santas running around town this weekend. Two Speedo Santa runs for charity will be happening Saturday -- one in Old Town and one in Lakeview.
The Most Fabulous Santa Speedo Run starts at Sidetrack bar, at North Halsted and West Roscoe in Boystown. It's the event's second year benefiting Vital Bridges, a nonprofit supporting families impacted by HIV/AIDS, said Karl Stonholtz, one of the event's organizers.
A combination of charity, drinking and bare skin makes it an affordable and fun charity event, Stonholtz said of the Boystown run. Runners pay $25 to register, but supporters can hang out in the bar. Door prizes include gift certificates to local businesses and two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the U.S.
Runners take off at 2 p.m.
"It’s a lot of partying, kind of kicking off the holidays in a goofy way," Stonholtz said.
The other run, Santa Speedo Run Chicago, which is not affiliated with Stonholtz, also starts at a bar — Shenanigans at East Division and North Dearborn in Old Town — and benefits the Chicago Diabetes Project. After a a few hours of drinking, runners clad in festive holiday gear — and little of it — will run a mile in their respective neighborhoods.
The Old Town run costs $40 and includes an open bar from 11 a.m. until runners take off at 1 p.m. The bar will also have a flip cup tournament and prizes.
Both events emphasize that Speedos and swimsuits aren't required — just recommended. The twist may be to bare skin in the cold, but runners this weekend lucked out. Saturday will have a high of 56 degrees, according to Weather.com.
"It’s going to be like a sauna," Stonholtz said. "It would be great if it was cold and it was snowing, but what can you do?"