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Uninhibited runners will lace sneakers, lose clothes for Caliente Bare Dare 5K

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darebareRunning can get boring, so race directors try all kinds of bits to keep things interesting. Glow runs. Mud races. Costume contests. Obstacle courses. Color runs. If you’ve tried all that stuff, well, this might be something new.

It’s a clothing-optional race north of Tampa called the Caliente Bare Dare 5K, also known as the National Championship of Nude Running. More than 400 people are expected to run in the fifth annual race on May 4. That gives you two weeks to summon up the courage to step out of your clothes at the starting line.
“I was nervous the first time,” says Ryan Simonson of Sarasota, “but that nervousness evaporated getting out of the car. It’s a great feeling. You’re seeing hundreds of people stripping down to whatever they’re comfortable in.”

Mainstream race
Pasco County, in case you didn’t know, is one of the hotbeds of nudism in the United States. For years, the Caliente Resort in Land O’Lakes has hosted recreational events. Pete Williams, a distance runner and former sports writer, got the idea for the Bare Dare in 2009.
“There were already some races in the Tampa area,” he says. “The goal with this was to attract mainstream runners and the triathlete community.
“It’s clothing-optional, not nude, and we require shoes, by the way,” he continues. “Our course is completely on asphalt and sidewalk, so that’s a good idea.”
The 5K race is entirely on the grounds of the resort, so it’s a private party. Photography is forbidden, so people can relax and be themselves.
Runners from 20 states have already signed up for this year’s race. The entry fee of $25 includes admission to Caliente, which has five swimming pools and a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse.
Williams calls it a bargain.
“Most people go to a race and leave right after,” he says, “but this is an all-day affair.”

darebarelogoThoughtful nudism
Simonson, a 33-year-old consultant, is a Pine View School graduate who puts some thought into his nudism.
“One of my motivations, originally, was the idea that we as a society have given in to commercialism,” he says. “We’ve sort of become defined by what we wear and not who we are.”
Simonson likes to tell the story of meeting a Swiss couple at a nude resort. They talked about all sorts of things and had a great time. Only later did he realize that they were fantastically wealthy people who owned ski resorts. Nudity strips away preconceptions.
“You feel communal with people,” he says, “in a way that you don’t in most situations.”
Simonson has taken friends from Sarasota to the 5K race at the Caliente resort. He tells them that running naked is very comfortable.
It seems that, um, support is not an issue. Sometimes friends say they’ll tag along, but won’t run or take off their clothes. That usually doesn’t last.
“By the time it’s time to run,” Simonson says, “we’ve never had anyone not participate — or, more importantly, not enjoy it.”

 

Interested?
The Caliente Bare Dare 5K will begin at 8 a.m. May 4. Entry fee of $25 includes all-day admission to the nude resort. baredare5k.com.
Last modified: April 17, 2014
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