Look out, sporting goods stores, there’s a new trend in running attire!

OK, so maybe it’s not a trend. But I couldn’t help but sit up and take notice when the New York Times’ running newsletter showed up in my email inbox this week with the intriguing title “Naked Came the Runners”.

I’ve always believed that one of the many positive benefits of running is the minimal investment required. (Financial investment, that is, not physical investment.) Compared to nearly every other sport, all you need is a pair of running shoes. Well, you also need to get up off the sofa, put on your running shoes, open the door, and then put one foot in front of the other, but that’s it. No need for expensive gear. Who needs a sporting goods store?

The truth is, of course, that once you get hooked, there are endless opportunities to drop scads of cash at any number of welcoming sporting goods stores to make your runs that much more comfortable – and stylish. There’s gear for cold weather, to help you stay warm, but not too warm. There’s gear for hot weather, to help you keep from overheating. There’s always something new that you can be convinced you can’t do without. There are sports watches to tell you how far you’ve gone, how fast you’ve gone, and where are you; they can map your every move and keep track of your heart rate. There are specially designed belts to hold your phone and ID, to clip your music onto, and hold your power gels. There are specially designed holders for your ever-so-important supply of water, the runner’s elixir. And that’s all before you you realize that several pairs of running shoes would be better than one. Not to mention planning for the races you’ll undoubtedly enter. Once you start down that path, you’ll need to add an extra room onto your house in order to store all your race t-shirts and finisher’s medals.

Fortunately, it now turns out that there’s a way to avoid most of this consumerism – clothes optional running! The NY Times August newsletter author, Jen Miller, opened my eyes to the benefits of naked running as I read about her experience at the recent Bouncing Buns Clothes Optional 5K, held at the Sunny Rest (nudist) Resort in Pennsylvania. This may be one of the few running newsletters that even non-runners would find entertaining!

The 2020 Bouncing Buns Clothing Optional 5K Road Run on Aug. 22 at Sunny Rest Resort, a nudist resort in Palmerton, Pa. Michelle Gustafson for The New York Times

Answers to some questions that may come to mind:

  • Yes, sports bras were allowed as a clothing exception for anyone who would otherwise experience considerable pain from the bouncing.
  • Yes, running shoes were allowed, as were hats.
  • No, men wore no “supports”. Apparently, a natural protection mechanism kicks in. You learn something new every day! 🙂
  • Yes, they maintained social distancing and, yes, they had to wear masks when they checked in and when they were near other people. No clothes, but masks, please!
  • Yes, everyone felt a sense of freedom and would do it again. A good time was had by all.
  • No, it is not legal to run naked except in places where it’s allowed, like a nudist camp for example.

NY Times Running Newsletter author Jen Miller sporting her finisher’s medal. Michelle Gustafson for The New York Times

So, what do you think? Time to try something new?! Add a naked run to your bucket list?!!

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34 Responses to Look out, sporting goods stores, there’s a new trend in running attire!

  1. Kristel D says:

    Bouncing Buns!! Love it. But not for me, thanks. I bet a lot of Glide to avoid chafing was sold at the event. Oye.

  2. iidorun says:

    A nudist colony of runners in PA?? I am shocked and intrigued….I feel comfortable with my body to walk around nude but running with the bouncing and the chafing and the sweating…no thanks!! Plus, where would I carry my keys, ID and water?? 😂

  3. alesiablogs says:

    Everything is fun naked!

  4. I don’t know. Why not? 😉

  5. Jean says:

    Oh sure, that would secure more running enthusiasts. 😉 😀
    They must running somewhere in Florida where it’s more warmer more often.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      This Run was in Pennsylvania, but I agree that it must be temperature dependent. I don’t think it would work too well in New Brunswick in January! How about nude biking, Jean?! The attraction seemed to be to find something to take your mind off the pandemic and provide you with a “safe” race venue. 🤷🏼‍♀️😊

  6. Interesting that, from the photo angle, there seems to be a lot more men participating than women.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Lol, yes, I noticed that as well. I know from the newsletter and article that there were a number of women running, so I wondered if they said thanks but no thanks when asked if they could be photographed!

  7. Oh, dear. Not even when I was an actual track runner in high school could I imagine trying that. I do wonder what that “natural protection mechanism” since exposed parts jumping around are bound to be experiencing trauma! – Marty

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Lol. I’m pretty sure your track coach would have had something to say about it if you tried that in HS, Marty! Hmm, re the protection mechanism, you should have more knowledge about this than I do!! I was of the understanding, from the NY Times author (female), that certain bouncing bits would go into “protection mode” once trauma begins. I did receive some informal male confirmation that this is true. Or these naked male runners are just tough dudes! 😏

  8. Inkplume says:

    Nope, this won’t make it to my bucket list! It was fun to read about, though.

  9. jane tims says:

    if I could run, I would not run naked. I could not get over 66 years of negative reinforcement (or is it positive punishment)? It might prove definitively that my Mom ( dead 17 years) is still watching me.

  10. NOT IN THIS LIFETIME!!! Jiggling body parts do nothing for me and would scare their pants OFF if I ran that way!!! 🙂

    • Jane Fritz says:

      😂😂 I’m with you, Rita. It’s quite the mental image. It shows how desperate people are to find something to help them forget about the pandemic; there have to be other options! But reading about it was a fun change from everything else going on in the world. 😊

  11. dfolstad58 says:

    What a wonderful fun post! Bouncing buns indeed. i used to love running in 5 and 10 K races, when I get lighter I would love to resume running again. Terrific exercise. I suggest your link for Jen Miller’s article be tweaked so it opens in its own window as when I clicked it I left your inspiring post! I have enjoyed skinny dipping and the water feels great. An acquaintance told me his family were nudist around their home and it gives confidence – maybe so, I can’t say if this is true but I think in your own home and privacy would be an appropriate place to practice. I applaud the people who do this for a giggle or fun on private property.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Happy if I could put a smile on your face, David. Thanks for the tip on the link. I’m not sure that I want more self-confidence enough to practice going nude at home. I’m pretty sure my husband would not be overly enthusiastic about such a suggestion, although if he didn’t have to sign on he might not mind at all!

  12. AMWatson207 says:

    This is the first time I can remember you using a teaser; “natural protection mechanism”? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Lol. Hmm. I’m not exactly an expert on this subject (!), but I think it refers to certain parts of the male anatomy being able to retract to protect them (from things like extensive bouncing). If I have this wrong male readers should feel free to correct me!! 🤷🏼‍♀️

  13. No thank you! But oh this made me giggle as I pictured the jiggling. And if people want to gather at a nudist camp and run in nature’s own, then more power to them. 😉

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