Budgie Smuggler Run for mental health

Round & About

Well done to the 20 brave men who have bared (almost) all for an outdoor winter fundraiser in Virginia Water raising more than £2,500 (so far) for the Mental Health Foundation.

We’ve all been feeling the cold in recent weeks. So praise is due to the local runners who braved the chilly trails of Virginia Water Lake togged up in just a pair of running shoes and “budgie smuggler” briefs.

The Budgie Smuggler Run 2023 event was founded by Brian Turner, Josh Lappin, Paul Dash and Jordan McDowell from Hampshire and Surrey in 2021 when they wanted to raise money and awareness for charity.

Since then, others have joined in the January spectacle, with 20 runners taking on the 7km route last Sunday (29th January) raising more than £2,500 for the Mental Health Foundation.

Brian said: “It started off as a bit of a laugh, but with a serious aim to raise money and awareness for charities that are close to our hearts. It certainly does turn heads, and after the first run I was surprised to find more people than just me willing to strip down and run the 7km route in the middle of winter.”

The Budgie Smuggler Run is now set to become an annual mass participation event in aid of raising money and awareness for men’s mental health.

World record holder Darren Hardy, a charity fundraiser and former British Army officer who was medically discharged from the army with PTSD in 2017, joined this year’s event. “It’s such a great event and certainly turned heads,” he said. “Despite the frosty January start we all rose to the occasion and drew quite a crowd at the finish line. I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone wanting to do something a bit different for charity.”

“It certainly does turn heads”

Over the last two years, runners have raised £2.5k for BulliesOut, an anti-bullying charity, and £1.3k for Cancer Research UK.

To find out more and donate please visit 7k Budgie Smuggler Run 2023 (gofundme.com).