Letting it all hang out. BareDare 5k recap.

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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?

baredare5k

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.

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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.

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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… πŸ™‚

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!

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13 responses »

  1. Love the recap and like you said, life is to short to not enjoy and try new things. You never know, you might end up being one of people that retire there! Lol

  2. A group of us were discussing this event (as a ‘never would I ever’) so it was super fun to stumble upon your race recap…and all the humorous details.

  3. Pingback: Broads Favorites From The Blogs v02.08.14 | DisBroads

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