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Santa Speedo Run raises more than $300,000 for Play Ball! foundation

Posted by Justin Rice  December 10, 2012 10:35 AM

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Santa Speedo Run runners start the race at the Lir Pub on Saturday before running down Boylston Street. The event raised more than $300,000 for the Play Ball! foundation, which runs middle school athletic leagues in Boston public schools. (Jay Connor for The Boston Globe)

Licking his wounds on Monday morning from running Saturday’s Santa Speedo Run, Mike Harney at least took comfort in the fact that the event raised more than $300,000 for Play Ball! — a foundation he started to fund and help run interscholastic middle school athletic leagues in Boston public schools.

“Still some bumps and bruises,” Harney said during a telephone interview, “but all things considered I’m hanging in there.”

Runners still have till the end of the week to reach minimum fundraising goals of $400. But after sponsorships and donations, Harney said they could gross about $350,000.

About 700 runners, including about 20 members of the Play Ball! team, braved the cold and tiny Speedos to run in the annual race down Boylston Street Saturday.

The race has benefited Play Ball! for the last three years and Harney said they raised $275,000 last year.

“So it’s a huge number for us,” Harney said. “It gets a lot of feet on the field.”

Play Ball! funds more than 1,000 students who play in four different leagues: football, baseball ,girls’ volleyball and Double Dutch.

“This money will go a long way toward funding those programs,” said Harney, noting that they are looking to expand their leagues. “It will definitely go toward improving the programs. It gives us a lot of running room to improve the programs, coaching and offer additional things around it [such as] clinics.”

The foundation ran a golf tournament to raise funds in the fall and has done a summer boat cruise gala in past years. Harney said they are still working out plans for their summer event.

In the meantime, he’ll keep licking his wounds from Saturday's run.

“I’m getting accustomed to what it entails," he said. "The run never gets shorter and the Speedo never gets bigger.”

Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.
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