Short review of Sunshower Resort and their 5K race here. It took some six hours to drive down there from the Detroit Michigan area. Like many naturalist resorts, it’s pretty hidden from the road. It’s a couple of miles south of Centerville Indiana. They generally only cook lunch there by the pool, so you have to either bring breakfast or go into town. If you camp, store food in the car. The raccoons open tent zippers and open ice chests.
Location advantages of Sunshower is how far south it is, which makes for a longer nudist season, and the terrain. Members said there are almost no bug bites in this area, as there are no lakes or swampland. They actually can make a one lap of 3.1 miles inside the 120 acres, but the White Loop is VERY steep and would have a run with about 100 feet of elevation change! This system would make a very cool trail run, clothed or not, or a mountain bike race. There are enough trails to make a loop away from the RV campsite areas.
Each resort eventually gets it’s own personality from it’s membership, and at the Friday evening campfire I was welcomed as a first time visitor and listened to how much the members enjoy staying inside the fences of Sunshower. I met Ed who also comes down from Michigan, visits lots of other resorts, and helped set the race course.
At this point I should mention that it was now in the 60s, and it got down to the 50s overnight before race morning. Everyone at the campground was clothed, and I mean jeans and hoodies. Talking about other resorts in conversation, I was surprised to learn that their nude policy, NOT being clothing optional, actually seems to reduce swinger activity. Nobody there wants it. They really don’t enforce it in cold weather, and they did not enforce it for the 5K race as they consider running clothes to be sporting equipment.
Race morning was cold, but the 10:00am start time let the sun heat things up. Not one, or two, but THREE couples showed up who travel across the country doing as many runs inside naturalist resorts. This seemed to be the first races all six showed up at the same time, and they just loved how friendly both the resorts and the runners were. We also talked about this site, what stories and reviews they would like to read and report, and the problems of an up to date calendar.
Of the race itself, it was now warm enough to certainly run a 5K pace naked. This was the 5th year, and the entries were 54. The late start allowed runners from Indianapolis and Dayton, the closer city of Richmond, and even Cincinnati and Ft Wayne. Sunshower is smaller than Turtle Lake and the run is the main event. The start/finish is right in the center of the activity area, in front of the lodge and by the pool. You get two beer tickets with your entry, but no shirt this year. I had a choice of bling and got a beer cooler.
Much of the run is on grass, or on forest cart trails. This should be considered a light trail run. Regular running shoes would work, and lighter trail running shoes might work better on the grass. It was mild roller coaster in some sections in the woods, but the dips were short. It was a lap and a half, more than a two lap race.
The race was not chip timed. It was a mass start, and hand punched on the timer as observers got your number. Plenty of members supported this run, so there were no wrong turns, and they had several fluid station. Kelly Smith’s company did the race timing as a last minute replacement in 2016, and said he had never experienced such a well behaved and friendly race crowd as this and last year’s Bare Butt’s 5K. He times about 150 events every year, and works with the other timers.
In short, the run was a hoot. It was nice that the runners were allowed to be around the resort members, and most of the runners stayed around to talk with each other. Of the 54 runners, 11 were women. Those women that ran with a sports bra or shorts too, not only took everything off for the awards and beer party, all talked about how safe they felt being nude inside these resorts. The biggest topic of conversation after was how to get more runners to come, especially women.
More on the race later.
This is a stock photo, taken elsewhere, but it’s very close to what the Sunshower Bare Butts looked like.