LAND O’LAKES, Fla., May 3, 2015 – More than 300 runners representing 22 states, along with Canada and Ecuador, enjoyed postcard-perfect weather and finished the sixth-annual Caliente Bare Dare 5K. The seventh-annual event will be held on Sunday, May 1, 2016 with registration to open in late December.
The race again determined the National Championship of Nude Running and featured the most competitive field to date. The women’s record was shattered by more than 90 seconds as a first-time participant finished fourth overall with a time of 17:53. Though the men’s record of 15:49 did not fall, the record holder won his record third Caliente Bare Dare 5K with at time of 16:23. In the interest of privacy, race organizers never reveal the names of participants or finishers, though the 2014 women’s winner, who finished second this year, blogged about her 2014 experience HERE.
Towels for the winners
The field was noticeably more competitive in 2015. The top 25 male and top 25 female finishers received complementary Caliente Bare Dare 5K beach towels and the 25th-place times were 22:17 for men and 28:19 for women.
Though media coverage is prohibited on race day to ensure the privacy of runners, the 2014 race received substantial coverage in the week leading up to the event, including articles in the Tampa Tribune and Sarasota Herald-Tribune, an interview on WFLA News Radio 970, and a segment on ABC Action News in Tampa (below). The race also was listed by BuzzFeed among the “15 Themed Races You’d Actually Want to Do” and was ranked No.1 by BloodSweatandCheers among America’s “Six Best Naked Runs.” The Caliente Bare Dare 5K also was ranked among the “29 Most Incredible Themed Races of 2014” by Greatist.com and listed prominently in the terrific new book The Runner’s Bucket List.
The race is held just north of Tampa in Land O’Lakes at Caliente Resort, the most upscale clothing-optional resort in North America. The one-loop course takes runners from the Caliente clubhouse through the scenic, well-manicured, 125-acre resort and back. Refreshments and awards are poolside and most runners spend the day at Caliente, which can attract more than 1,000 visitors on sunny weekend afternoons. Entry fee includes access to Caliente for the day.
Perennial top finishers
Also attracting top runners and triathletes from Florida, the USA Track & Field-certified Caliente Bare Dare 5K features a competitive field that has produced course-record times (15:49 male, 17:53 female) comparable to any 5K race. Though running nude is not a requirement for the race, the national champions will be the first nude male and nude female finishers and will receive special awards for their accomplishments.
At a time when race entry fees have escalated rapidly in the endurance sports world, with some events now charging for parking and offering little in terms of free refreshments, the Caliente Bare Dare 5K might be the best value in the industry. The race entry fee also grants runners admission to Caliente for the day, along with post-race refreshments poolside, awards to the top 25 male and top 25 female finishers, and soft, fitted T-shirts.
Caliente, a destination resort in Pasco County with a 40-room hotel and dozens of condos, villas, and single-family homes, is a natural site for the event. The Caliente Bare Dare 5K, which debuted on Oct. 10, 2010 (10/10/10), has attracted an average of 275 runners in each of its first six years, with more than 80 percent running fully nude.
Thirty-eight percent of participants have been female, higher than the 35 percent rate for 5K events overall, and 61 percent have been 45 or younger. Seventy-eight percent of the field comes from beyond Pasco County, including 10 percent from out of state.
In its first five years, the Caliente Bare Dare 5K has attracted runners from Canada, Europe, South America, and 38 states beyond Florida: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Poolside at Caliente
Jessica Sebor, the editor of Women’s Running magazine, became the inaugural female winner of the National Championship of Nude Running in 2012 and wrote about the experience.
“I know it’s going to take more than one Sunday morning to cure my self-consciousness,” she wrote about running nude. “But running the Bare Dare did teach me this: If you don’t challenge yourself, you will never have the chance to be crowned a champion.”
Will you take The Bare Dare in 2016?