Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bouncing Buns 6K 6/20/15: Evening out those tan lines

Running in the nude wasn't really a thought that ever really crossed my mind for an actual race.  I'd done it in college (spraining my ankle in the process) while streaking the frat across the street from mine as was tradition at the end of "hell week," but I'd seen this race advertised by PCS before and it intrigued me.  I almost signed up for it last year but chickened out and signed up for a different race.  Running buck naked for an extended period of time, and sober, was a bit outside my comfort zone and leaving that zone is something I challenge myself to do more and more frequently.  So I said "screw it" and signed up.

For a while leading up to the race I was a mix of excited and nervous but the prospect of bailing wasn't an option.  I was committed. 

I arrived with a bit of wonder about how this all goes down.  Is there a transition area for us clothes wearers to cross, like a checkpoint?  Do I park and just strip and get on with the day?  Yeah, pretty much.  That's how it goes.  There's no transition period at a nudist camp.  You are either clothed or not- pretty straight forward.  I rolled in through the gate to Sunny Rest Resort, greeted by a friendly "guard" and up into the camp.  I parked up near the starting area, lined with campsites and RV's of the semi-permanent residents, a few milling about with their morning coffee, preparing to watch the road portion of the race, which they seemed excited to see as it's been an annual race for several years.  

The crowd was what I'd expected: about 80% dudes.  And people of all running ability.  So basically, a cross section of a sports bar that just happened to be naked.  I wasn't expecting the playboy mansion and I was here for a race, anyway.

I was curious if I'd see any familiar faces at the race.  I did.  I saw the Pretzel City duo of Ron and Helene.  "Nice to see you!" said Helene.  I laughed and said, "Yeah!  All of me, right?!"  I returned to my car to drop off my race goodies and my clothes.

The race T.  Probably will wear this out often.
I have a habit of arriving early to races.  I passed the time easily sliding into a conversation nearby with other first-timers.  All of us in the same semi-awkward polite conversation about running sans clothes and the usual where-ya-from banter.

Race time rolled around and Ron gathered us up for a typical PCS race course preview and we were lined up to race off.  I saw a few fast looking racers so I claimed a spot in the 2nd row.  Oddly, everyone gives each other a lot more breathing room in area behind the starting line, respecting each other's ultra-personal space.

Wearing only my Garmin, socks and my New Balance 810's, I chased the first 5 or 6 runners through the first half mile of the course before we split off onto trails.  Much of it flat or downhill, I slowed myself seeing I was working on a 6-minute first mile, FAR faster than I'd expected or wanted.  Staying close to the lead pack, I drifted back so I could survive any climbs and the last few miles.
Splits and map of the course
A few runners started overtaking me and I tried to keep up.  I had exerted too much too early.  I swear, I'll never learn.  I was run/walking hills knowing I had likely dropped out of my age group for an award.  I did my best to move forward and finish as strong as I could.  I hammered through the last part of the race and coming in much later than I'd hoped but in 19th place.  Not too bad.
Strava's race analysis. Mile 3 was rough.

Strategically placed Garmin to remain family-friendly

Some resident's sweet little golf cart for zipping around the resort.
I refueled with some Hammer Recoverite and some of the snacks available at the finish line and waited for the race to end and enjoy a beer and the awards ceremony.  I was hopeful I was still up there, but doubtful.

Sunny Rest Resort has a pool area which seems like the main hub of the camp.  A large pool, dominated by a pretty intense water volleyball game was going on, a beach volleyball court was next to the pool, a large hot tub off in the corner and a large bar opposite a night club and restaurant.  I rewarded myself with a beer and waited for the awards while a live band tuned up.  The place was pretty fun.  I really wish I'd placed because the trophy is pretty sweet.  Next year...
I'm sticking around for karaoke next time
Maybe next year, anyway.  It was a lot of fun, I'd do it again if my wife lets me next year.  Or if she joins me!

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