Naked in Riverside: The Bare Burro Nude 5k

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photo courtesy Don Reddin

Today clear across the country is the fabled Boston Marathon, but here in southern California, we’re getting ready for a truly left- coast kind of run:  The third annual Bare Burro Nude 5k, to be run on the grounds of a nudist resort in the Inland Empire on Sunday.  Surprisingly, it’s the only naked run in our area (although you might be more surprised to know there’s a whole circuit of such races, not to mention countless other recreational opportunities, for so-called naturists the world over.)

The view from Olive Dell (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Organizer Don Berrin says it’s hard to find a nudist resort with ample space for a run.  “You’d end up running loops to get enough distance,” he said. “You’d think with our great climate we’d have more nude recreation but California is behind many other states and way behind Europe in attitudes towards nude recreation.”

Defending champion Patrick Sweeney of Manhattan Beach had an open mind toward the notion of running naked, perhaps because he generally runs without shoes.  He offers an insider’s glimpse into his first nude run experience on his website, from the initial awkwardness on arrival: Do you take it all off at your car, or after registration?  He chose the latter:

“I stripped down to my birthday suit and next thing I knew I had a naked lady bent down in front of me painting my number on,” he writes,  for there was nowhere to pin a bib.

And as he made his way through the resort, he discovered the allure of running, shall we say, wild: “When you shed your clothes you get  rid of the pretentiousness that we all carry.  Everyone is defenseless.  And when you let your guard down  It’s easier to embrace the kindness and positive energy that unites us.”
Just be sure to wear enough sunblock.