What’s it like to run a naked race? Find out at Chilly Cheeks 5K

A runner crosses the finish line during the 5k Bare Buns Run on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at the Star Ranch in McDade, Texas.
Catalin Abagiu for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

 

A year and a half ago, I laced up my shoes, shucked off my clothes and ran the Bare Buns 5K race as part of my self-proclaimed Year of Adventure.

Aside from a little awkwardness when I first stripped down, I enjoyed the run. I know it sounds absurd, but once the starting horn sounded, it felt just like any other timed run – only with better airflow. It also marked the first (and only) time I won the overall women’s division of a running race, probably because most of the competition was male.

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Runners participate in the 5k Bare Buns Run on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at the Star Ranch in McDade, Texas.
Catalin Abagiu for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

That race takes place in the spring, when flowers are blooming and butterflies are fluttering. Now Star Ranch Nudist Resort, a private residential community located east of Austin in McDade, has added a second naked run to its schedule. This time, leaves will be falling from trees as the runners take off.

The Chilly Cheeks 5K (gotta love that name!) is scheduled for Oct. 13, and pre-registration is open at www.starranch.net/5k-bare-buns-run.html.

Chances are it’ll still be warm then, and the course carries runners over the same pine needle-covered hills, sandy expanses and a hay field as last time. When I ran before, I wore running shoes and a straw cowboy hat, which blew off my head at one point. That attire should suffice this time, too.

Runners wait for the beginning of the the 5k Bare Buns Run on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at the Star Ranch in McDade, Texas.
Catalin Abagiu for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Although runners can wear whatever clothing they want (sports bras for women, for example), most go nude except for shoes. The year I ran, the race drew about 120 runners, most of whom didn’t live at the park. The residents were enthusiastic, though, handing out timing chips and directing athletes along the course. Afterward, everyone gathered by the newly-renovated swimming pool for a celebration and burger cookoff.

Gates open for the Chilly Cheeks 5K at 9 a.m. The chip-timed race starts at 1 p.m. A 1K kids fun run is set for 10 a.m. Entry fee is $30 for adults and $10 for children. Sign up online here.

A runner warms up before the 5k Bare Buns Run on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at the Star Ranch in McDade, Texas. Catalin Abagiu for AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Star Ranch opened in 1957. The resort is member resort of the American Association for Nude Recreation. The Bare Buns 5K and the Chilly Cheeks 5K are part of a series of naked races in the organization’s southwest region.

For more information, contact the Star Ranch office at 512-273-2257, go to http://www.starranch.net or email info@starranch.net.

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