Half-naked Santa Claus runners take part in race despite subzero temperatures

A cheeky bunch of semi-naked runners dressed as Father Christmas have braved freezing temperatures to take part in a shirtless fun run.

More than 40 jolly joggers stripped down to their underwear and left their Santa hats on as they tested themselves in the annual "Naked Santa Run" in Budapest on Sunday (December 12).

The festive event, also known as the 'Santa Speedo Run', sees participants run 3.5 km (2.17 miles) around the streets of the Hungarian capital to raise money for a local charity.

It has returned for the 18th time after a two year absence, having been cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of the male and female runners wore little more than thongs and wrote various messages on their bare bellies, while others opted for the comfort of a full Father Christmas outfit.

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Some were seen stopping midway through the run to burst into singing and dancing.

The average temperature high in Budapest for December is only 4C, and have barely been above 0C in recent days.

Founder Krisztian Mehes was inspired by the Santa run in the US city of Boston and decided to bring the tradition back home.

Every year the runners collect donations for a different children's charity, with this year's chosen foundation being named Better Childhood.

Earlier this month, thousands of Christmas-mad Brits took to the streets of Liverpool dressed as Santa Claus for the biggest Saint Nick-themed run back in the UK.

Revellers could be seen enjoying themselves as they celebrated the yearly event, with boozy Father Christmases downing pints after they finished.

The 5k run – which once bagged the Guinness World Record for biggest Santa gathering – raised cash for the city's Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Former Liverpool FC star Jamie Carragher, who spent the first six weeks of his life in the hospital’s neonatal ward, officially started the celebrations.

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