I ran a naked 5k barefoot all over it’s true. I wasn’t planning on running a 5k. We try to keep a list of clothing options 5ks on the site, since most of the races we hear of are hosted at naturist or clothing optional venues. We asked several people who did to write a report but none did. When the opportunity presented itself I figured I better do it myself. Signing up for the 5k run or 2k walk Turtle Lake Resort was easy. The online registration asked for a few details age group etc and payment information. The $35 run registration included a day pass to resort so runners could stay all day after the race and enjoy the facilities. That a real bargain discount off the usual day pass rates especially if you are not a member of one of the national naturist groups
I wasn’t planning on running barefoot but the race at 10 a.m. and was a 2 hr drive. I got running late and forgot to grab my barefoot running shoes. I thought about not running, this was my first time running a 5k, Still I arrived just in time. I got hustled through the office to the runner registration area. I didn’t have time to think about backing out. I am a longtime bare-footer, so I figured I would give it a try. Here’s what happened.
After getting to the registration area to confirm my participation I was handed a stick with a timing chip attached. Instructions on how to hold the stick at the start and end of the race came next then it was off the the start line. Turns out there were other who arrived later than I did. It was a record turn out for the event with 130 runners and walkers participating. This delayed the start by ten minutes. While waiting a few runners commented on my intention to run bare foot. They had encouraging words, however I could tell some thought I was crazy. “You know it’s a gravel run right?” I nodded yes. Following the brief delay, we summoned to the starting line and given final instructions. Different starts for walker and runners, then off we went.
I started strong and faded fast. Not because I was barefoot but because I was running with absolutely no preparation. The effect of that kicked in and I decided my goal was to finish, just finish. Remember the advice of an online friend who ran a 5k a month ago “Walk when you have to” I made it a walk run experience. After the first loop around the run route I wasn’t sure I would make it. My determination and the fascination of the spectators at may bare feet kept me going to finish. I couldn’t let all the bare footers and bare foot runners down.
I didn’t have many issues with running barefoot. It requires a technique that brings back the way we wear designed to run. Before NIKE and other shoes companies convinced us that running shoes should have lots of padding and promote heel impact first. Turns out they were wrong. The ball of the foot has lots of padding to absorb impact and should hit first. Using this technique I did pretty well. But my legs especially my calves were fatigued. As I approached the last fifty yards and attempted to finish strong the fatigue made one last move to deter me. I lost my form, my heel came down first right on a sharp stone and my calf muscle pulled tight.
For a moment I thought I might have torn my Achilles or strained my calf muscle but I was determined to finish. I pushed through. As I passed through the line I heard one the timers say I think that was our only barefoot runner. Later I heard that a woman may also have run barefoot. But I finished! I ran a naked 5k barefoot all over! Final time of 38 minutes and 45 seconds. My feet were a little tender but not overly so.
Would I do it again? I think so, with more preparation next time. I would also like to see what difference there is running in barefoot running shoes. Thanks to the folks at naked5k.com For listing, and promoting all the clothing optional runs and races and inspiring us to run. Their sicker is featured (with a modification) in the cover image for this post.
Have you ever run a naked 5k? Would you do it barefoot? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comment section.