City Commission to Weigh Annual Santa Speedo Sprint
By Garry Pimpelton
Published December 22nd, 2014
ALBANY – Despite frigid temperatures and gray skies, enthusiastic participants earlier this month showed up in droves for Albany's 8th Annual Santa Speedo Sprint downtown.
But while this year’s annual charity race was another overwhelming Christmastime success, a panel has been established to review the future of the event after city officials say they received a handful of “obscenity” complaints.
“Let’s be clear: no one is alleging that any obscene behavior took place or anything like that,” said city events commissioner Burl Holcum. “What people actually objected to, though, were the many grotesque physiques of some of the participants. We’re talking some obscenely out-of-shape humans. Does anybody hit the gym anymore?”
Sprint participants traditionally strip down to their Speedos or similar undergarments before taking a shivery jaunt down Lark Street before hundreds of cheering onlookers who line the sidewalk.
"We understand the tradition surrounding the event,” said Albany police sergeant Tom Patella. “But that doesn't give participants the right to expose parts of their body that shouldn't be exposed in public. Really, some of these people shouldn't even be exposing those parts in private."
Event participant and occasional footwear copyright lawyer, Samuel Fruglebutt, told The Albany Smudge that "the law so provides that the exposed must have intent to offend or insult the other person. That just didn't occur here. Yes, there may have been some bellies, and even some male breasts, that you could say were of catastrophic proportions. Still, there was no intent to offend. I mean think about it: Santa is fat."
Fruglebutt vowed a legal challenge on behalf of Sprint organizers should the city impose any unreasonable or unfair changes to the event. And in spirit of both the holiday season and charity event, he said he would knock 10 percent off his usual rate, which, coincidentally, had just been raised by 20-percent a week ago.
"Someone complained about my breasts. They actually called them ‘man-boobs,’ bro. That hurts,” said one race participant who identified himself only as ‘Patrick H.’ “I've worked hard to lose weight and now I probably have to start wearing sports bras again. This is madness, bro. I'm gonna sic Frugelbutt on their ass.”