So. I ran a nude 5k. Will and I were at FitNiche a month or so ago and I saw this ad in the race calendar. I was laughing and horrified all at the same time. My friends tell me that I’m a little crazy and have a “fondness for the absurd” and this definitely fit the bill. After a lot of back and forth, I made a decision last night to go run it. What the heck, right?
Actually, it was a “clothing optional” 5k at Caliente Resort. I exercised my option to wear clothing because a) I’m a conservative southern gal at heart b) motherhood changes the body and c) the girls appreciate a supportive sports bra.
There are at least a dozen other reasons, but those are the biggies.
This is going to be a different kind of race recap because, hey, this was a different kind of race. I arrived at Caliente around 7:30 and the race was at 8:30. Apparently nudists don’t like running at the crack of dawn like most other runners. Score one for the naked kids! I did race day registration and walked up with no line and signed up. It was like a normal 5k set-up: volunteers were fully clothed sitting at the tent taking care of registrations and packet pick up. $35 scored me a race bracelet, goody bag, and super soft race shirt. The irony of handing out shirts at a nudist resort wasn’t lost on me.
At that point I figured I’d hang out around the start line til it was time to go. It was a little chilly out and I started getting cold in my Brooks skirt and Old Navy tank top. And then I looked around. There were men wearing light jackets to combat the cold. But they didn’t have pants on. At this point a nervous giggle escaped so I decided to head back to my car and wait til the start. I sat in the driver’s seat and kept glancing in the rear view mirror. It was like watching an accident: you didn’t want to look, but you couldn’t look away.
Around 8:20 I headed to the start line and joined the crowd of about 200 runners. I’m guessing 90% were nude. Found some people wearing kilts and hung out with them for a bit then moved to the very back as I didn’t want to slow anybody down. At that point they played the national anthem and the absurdity of the whole thing hit me. As I stood with my hand over my heart amongst a sea of naked bodies, I realized this was going to be a race to remember. After the anthem my shoes felt a little loose so I kneeled down to re-tie them. Big mistake. Putting myself eye-level with the goods of a 70+ yr man probably wasn’t my most intelligent moment.
I didn’t hear a gun or a start but suddenly we were off and running. The course started by the pool and took off all around the resort. Here’s what surprised me: Caliente was gorgeous!!! It’s a tropical resort with a hotel, condos, and even regular houses. The landscaping is beautiful, the houses are really nice and there’s a lot of $$$ put into this place. We ran on the streets and a paved footpath around a small lake. People sat out on their porches eating breakfast and cheering us on. It was like a perfectly normal Sunday morning scene: people were out walking dogs, watering their gardens, working on their cars… they were just naked.
I ended up sticking to a 3:1 interval and pushed myself. The sun was really starting to hit me but it was so nice knowing it was only 3 miles (the last 5k I ran was back in November) so I kept up a good pace for me. Ended up setting a pretty massive PR! Finished in 35:48 which actually was over 7 minutes faster than my previous best! Hooray! And this was a USATF certified course and my Garmin verified the time. After that, I grabbed some water and decided it was time to go. While the race registration included use of the resort and pool for the day, I refrained. Jumped into the car and headed out of there past naked people walking around in sombreros, laughing to myself that I actually did it. And had a great time! The people were friendly, the course was beautiful and I got a PR… not bad! Now, if only I could erase some images from my mind… 🙂
Instead of doing my normal good, bad, and takeaways, I’ll just post some random observations:
* There were no race bibs. I was disappointed because I wanted to see how that was going to work.
* There were varying degrees of nudity. While most just wore sneakers and a smile, others mixed it up. Some wore pants and no shirt. Some wore sports bras with no pants. And one gentleman wore some sort of device/strap that appeared to hold his, umm, equipment in place.
* Acne can show up in really unfortunate places.
* I was expecting more barefoot runners.
* Gold Bond seems to do good business there.
* I still don’t understand how the guys managed to run with, umm, appendages swinging around. I had to bite my tongue not to laugh because it was so absurd looking.
* The course was out-and-back so I had the frontal view as well as the rear view. In hindsight, this probably helped propel me to a PR as my eyes could only handle so much.
* There was quite a mix of people there: I definitely expected a lot of older gentleman and young, beautiful women. And they were there. But there was everything in-between: young, old, big, small, black, white, you name it. Seemed to be a lot of college age kids.
* I used KT Tape on my knee even though it was a short race and it definitely seemed to help. Once again, zero pain. This stuff is a miracle.
Next up on the list is a half marathon in June that’s off-road with obstacles thrown in. Looking forward to it! In the meantime, I’m glad I did this today! Life’s too short to waste an opportunity for a little fun and absurdity!