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Ready, Set, Strip: Naked Races and Nude Travel a Growing Trend

August 12, 2010 by

naked-5k-resize.jpgI’ve run three marathons, a half-dozen or so half marathons, and countless 5Ks and 10Ks. Yet the race that people always want to talk to me about is the Fig Leaf 5K.

Held at a nudist resort called Paradise Valley, about an hour north of Atlanta, the Fig Leaf isn’t your ordinary 5K: Participants are encouraged to run naked.

I finished the race (yes, wearing nothing more than my socks and sneakers) and actually came in second in the overall women’s division. And though I doubt I’ll ever do another clothing-optional race, they’re growing in popularity. In fact, according to the American Association on Nude Recreation, nude travel and recreation is now a $400 million a year industry.

A nude or clothing-optional race is a great way to dip your, er, toe into the world of nude travel. At the very least, you’ll have a memorable weekend trip – not to mention a great conversation piece for years to come. Here, a few races to check out – and, believe it or not, you’ll have a T-shirt to show for your bare bravery:

Caliente Bare Dare 5K, Caliente Resort, Land o’Lakes, FL: October 10
Word is that organizers of this inaugural race are trying to track down Will Farrell and convince him to re-enact his hilarious streaking scene from Old School for the event. But even if that doesn’t happen, you can count on a Caribbean-like getaway at Caliente Tampa, one of several resorts in this clothing-optional chain. No rustic RV parks here – the resort has a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse and a lagoon pool that’s open to runners afterward. Visit www.nude5k.com.

Bare as You Dare 5K, Decatur, TX: October 2
The original nude race in an area of clothing-optional clubs, this 5K marks its 20th anniversary this year at Bluebonnet Nudist Park. Following the race, which is clothing-optional, is the No Tan Lines Hash run (hashing has a cult following in which, basically, a group of runners follows the trail set by a leader and lots of beer is consumed). “I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who is offended easily, but it’s a lot of fun,” said Edy Moss, owner and manager of the Bluebonnet Nudist Park, referring to the hash. (The distance for the hash run, Moss said, is “until the beer runs out.”) Entrants have access to the park for the day, as well as post-race refreshments. For more information, visit www.bluebonnetnudistpark.com.

SunBare Whispers 5K Run & Walk, Pelion, SC
Like most clothing optional races, this one takes place entirely on the grounds of a nudist resort. The race is part of the B.A.R.E. series, which stands for Butts A’runnin’ Race Enterprises. And yes, the race organizer, um, behind it all is named Sue Butts. For more information, visit www.nudist5K.com.

On an unrelated note, on August 14 and 15 the National Park Service is waiving entry fees for its 100-plus parks, landmarks, and historic sites (but make sure you wear clothes).

Plan your next extreme getaway with our Sports & Adventure Travel Deals.

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