By Pete Williams
We’re just one week away from the second-annual Caliente Bare Dare 5K and still well ahead of last year’s registration pace, when 200 runners participated. This year’s over-under is 300, which we believe would be a Florida record for a clothing-optional run.
The race takes place on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 8:30 a.m.
We’ve done a number of interviews with media outlets promoting the race. The most popular question is…why? Why do people run 3.1 miles wearing as little as shoes and sunscreen?
For starters, it’s a bucket-list thing. Competitor magazine recently listed “running a clothing-optional 5K” among its “runners bucket list.” But we’ve found it’s more than that since many runners have returned from last year. We can’t think of another race where runners hang around, no pun intended, the race venue for much of the rest of the day.
It’s also about bragging rights. Sure, you could do an Ironman, which perhaps not coincidentally has its signature event – Kona – the day before the Caliente Bare Dare 5K. You could do a marathon such as the Chicago Marathon, which takes place the same day as our event.
But hundreds of thousands of people have completed a marathon or Ironman. Not everyone can say they’ve done a clothing-optional race. We also find it telling that so many women enter the Caliente Bare Dare 5K. Like last year, this year’s field is about 40 percent female, which actually is greater than the 35 percent female rate of a typical 5K race. Women are more daring – and more likely to dare their girlfriends to do the race.
It’s also about Caliente. If your image of a clothing-optional resort is a rustic RV campground, you haven’t been to Caliente, with its massive 30,000 square-foot-clubhouse with multiple bars, restaurant, and a sprawling pool complex with six pools.
Though it might seem odd, we provide fitted, soft T-shirts for our race. We’re not sure what this T-shirt category is called, but they’ve become very popular. The top 25 male and top 25 female finishers each get commemorative mini-bottles of wine and we’ll again have refreshments and a post-race party poolside.
Online registration closes on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 11:59 p.m. That’s the last chance to register for $30. It’s $35 on race day and registration opens at 6:15 a.m. This race comes along just once a year. It will be your most memorable.
Will you take The Bare Dare?