Photo Vinny DuPre
On December 4, dozens of residents of Astoria and Long Island City participated in the first annual Santa Streak run along the East River in Astoria Park. A one-mile non-competitive run in which the participants wore only Speedos, briefs or a revealing holiday costume, the event was organized by Astoria’s civic organization, Why Leave Astoria? The run is the first of its kind to be held in New York City and was inspired by Boston’s Santa Speedo Run. At the registration location, Hellgate on the Park, runners donated a used coat or canned food item as payment for their entry in the run. The donations were given to NY Cares and City Harvest charities. Participants lined up at the corner of Ditmars and Shore Boulevards and, at the stroke of noon, runners stripped down to their Speedos. Some even wore Santa Claus caps. The NYPD escorted the half naked runners down Shore Boulevard until they reached the finish line at the local bar, Hellgate Social, where they celebrated their chilly dash with a private post-event holiday party.
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