Welcome to Florida!
Runner’s World put out an interview with Pete Williams, a triathlete and journalist who “launched a business organizing clothing-optional runs in Florida.”
As locals to Tampa Bay know, there are nudist/clothing optional resorts in our backyard. Paradise Lakes and Caliente are the two largest (that I know of) and are located in Land O Lakes.
My favorite part about William’s idea is that these are fun runs with professional race management.
Think about it, ever show up to a race event that wasn’t well structured? Perhaps the bids weren’t in place, or the race chips weren’t ready, or the path was poorly marked.
Now think of dealing with that in the nude.
Kills the thrill pretty quickly, doesn’t it?
Plus, a professional race event would ensure runners’ privacy by prohibiting amateur photography. Very important!
If you’re interested in trying this out, there’s a race schedule May 22 called Streak the Cove 5-K (site is SFW) at Cypress Cove Resort in Kissimmee, Florida.
A few tips for stripping down and enjoying the experience:
- Bring a towel. Never sit bare bottomed on anything, always sit on your towel. It’s good form and polite.
- Back to politeness – be nice. No judging, ogling, rude comments, or pictures. But, of course, you knew that already.
- Wear sunscreen! Enough said.
- Be comfortable.
- Remember, it’s co-ed.
- Have fun!
I suggest you read the published interview on RW’s site. But a few other things to know.
RW: Is a “clothing-optional” race different from a “nude race”?
PW: Actually, there’s not much distinction. There’s much debate in the nudist industry about the use of “nudist” versus “clothing-optional,” but for the purposes of this race it’s clothing-optional. Some women are more comfortable wearing sports bras. Some people wear normal shirts and shorts, but 80 percent go fully nude, aside from shoes, sunglasses and perhaps hats. Oh, and definitely sunscreen.
RW: You’ve said that women make up such a high percentage of your entrants. Any idea why?
PW: Women tend to be more adventurous and more likely to dare other girlfriends to do a race like this. We had instances of two or three women signing up together, a few mother-daughter entries. Women tend to control family budgets and when couples registered, it often was the woman doing the registering. Part of it is no doubt due to the boom in women’s running overall.
RW:What are some factors a race director must consider for a clothing-optional race that he wouldn’t have to worry about in planning a “normal” event?
PW: Photography is a no-no at nudist resorts. People do a good job policing themselves. One of the big rules at nudist resorts is to always sit on a towel when nude. And unlike other races, we don’t have to worry about race numbers.
So, are you in? Something you have done or want to try?
Let me know in the comments.