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  • Nude Running

    Whenever I go for a run, I arrive at the finish in shorts that are drenched with sweat. When we think of nude recreation, we usually think of beaches, lakes, and swimming pools, and how going without a soggy swimsuit makes things so much better, but anyone who runs could say the same thing about soggy running shorts.

    An added advantage of running nude is that there is probably a speed advantage. My all-time fastest 5K might have been at White Tail Resort. White Tail's 5K has been on hiatus for the past two years due to COVID, and I sorely miss the event.

    When I mention nude running to friends, there often is a question regarding whether having certain body parts flopping around unrestrained is a problem. The answer I give is that humans evolved without clothes. Furthermore, the ancient Greeks competed in the early Olympic games without clothes.


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    The genesis of the marathon is an interesting case as it wasn't in a stadium but on the roads between Marathon and Athens. The courier Philippides ran from Marathon to Athens to deliver news regarding the victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. Philippides had actually run from Athens to Sparta (130 miles) to request help and then had run back to Athens during the previous days. He then ran to Marathon (26 miles), learned the news, and ran back to Athens. After delivering the news to the Athenians, he dropped dead. There is a statue of him along the route to Marathon that shows him running while wearing a pteruges (skirt) and carrying a shield. This is obviously wrong. No courier would have bogged himself down with such gear. Most artwork depicting his run shows him nude.


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    Several years ago, I was in Greece with some friends at the ancient stadium at Nemea. This was the location of regional feeder games to the Olympics. The base for the starting mechanism is well preserved, and the museum features a mock-up of how the starting mechanism worked. There was the inevitable discussion over the fact that the runners would have been nude. Our group was the only one present in the stadium, so I took the liberty of posing on the starting line in the authentic manner.

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    My favorite nude running experiences have been on beaches. When competing in the White Tail 5K, shoes are necessary though I have seen at least two competitors go barefoot. My feet aren't tough enough for that. On a sandy beach, going barefoot is not a problem.


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  • #2
    This is a really nice and informative discussion. Thanks.

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    • #3
      Yes, interesting.
      As for body parts bobbing about, I suppose I'm fortunate in having a 'fully-retractable undercarriage', which causes everything to draw up against my torso during heavy activity like running. (Same effect as immersion in cold water.) But funnily enough, I don't think this is a universal reflex, since I've often seen photos and videos of nude male runners with no evidence of retractability at all. It looks somewhat uncomfortable, or at least ungainly, to me - although they themselves don't seem to be bothered by it.

      As for our female compatriots, there are those with lightweight breasts who have no obvious problem running naked but I don't think that applies to all women by any means. There are some who are clearly not designed to run without some kind of mammary gland support. I think this is odd too, since you'd imagine women ought to have been designed to run without artificial aids like bras, just like their sons and brothers(?). ... But I suppose that's not the case.
      Maybe mature females really did hang around the cave looking after children and foraging for fruit and vegetables while the males ran after and killed game for dinner.

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      • #4
        Regarding the level of floppiness, this is a function of body weight.

        The penis is anchored deep in the body by ligaments. As a man gains weight, the protruding length of the penis is reduced.

        Breasts contain fatty tissue. As a woman gains weight, the volume of the breasts increase.

        If a man wants a larger penis, he should lose weight. If a woman wants bigger breasts, she should gain weight.

        Regarding humans being hindered from running by floppiness, I have participated in several nude 5Ks, and I have never heard a man say his penis required support in order for him to be able to run; however, I have observed several women who felt the need to wear a sports bra even if that was their only garment other than socks and shoes.

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        • #5
          I enjoy running nude, but it is not something I get to do often. Usually on a deserted trail. If I'm being honest, having "certain body parts flopping around unrestrained" is a big part of the enjoyment. The freedom feels good to me. We don't get to flop as much as nature intended in our society that takes a generally unsupportive view of nudity.

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          • #6
            The nude 5K at White Tail is one of my favorite runs. I too can't wait to have it back. A group of us usually go out for the weekend and have a great time with everyone. As for the flopping issue, after about 3 seconds it's not a problem.

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            • #7
              I used to run nude at nude beaches a lot, back in my running days. Also on remote trails in wilderness areas. Never had an issue with flopping body parts, but women friends often ran wearing a sports bra

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              • #8
                I recently returned from a trip to California where I realized I hadn't previously appreciated the running opportunities at Blacks Beach just north of San Diego. The southern boundary of the nude area is nebulous but seems to extend at least as far south as the main trail down from the Torrey Pines Gliderport. The northern end is about 1.5 miles away at the rocks where the beach narrows at a place where the cliff face is close to the high tide line. Due to COVID, my local nudist park, White Tail Park in Ivor, Virginia, did not host their annual 5K, so I was overdue for a long nude run. I had parked my towel just north of the volleyball nets and ran north to the rocks, and then ran south past the main trail until I stopped seeing nude people and was approaching a beach patrol vehicle parked on the beach, and then ran north back to my towel. I recorded the run on Strava via my sports watch.


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                I highly recommend Strava for anyone who runs or bikes. The basic service is free. Strava allows for "Segments" to be defined for which a "Leaderboard" is automatically generated that records the best times. I found that there were no segments defined for my run, so I returned the next morning and generated northbound and southbound segments for the stretch within the nude section from the volleyball nets to the rocks. I should have checked the spelling of "Volleyball" before creating the Strava segments.


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                Strava automatically populated the leaderboards with previous results. The records are as follows

                Northbound
                Men: 6:22 (5:46/mile)
                Women: 8:00 (7:15/mile)

                Southbound
                Men: 6:39 (5:54/mile)
                Women: 7:27 (6:36/mile)

                Of course, Strava can't record whether the runners were nude, so we will never know that detail.

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                • #9
                  I used to run that beach the whole 2 yrs of my navy time in San Diego. Loved blacks beach so much, my place of sanctuary for that time in the navy

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                  • #10
                    it is for this reason that I came to hiking. But, once this question simply did not exist for me in principle. Everything was so natural, and there was no discomfort. Now, too, it's not a problem. . But, all the same, not as much as in my youth.

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