Naked mystery runner cruises into small-town notoriety
At the original Olympics, athletes often competed naked. Epic lacrosse games were played in the near-nude by various Native Americans, weather permitting. Europeans, god love them, don’t mind a little naked trekking.
One town in North Carolina might now have its own naked night runner, as FOX Charlotte reported this week:
Waxhaw, population 3,672. Including – possibly – one naked runner. . . The “sightings” started about two months ago always between midnight and 2:30 am. The stories are running rampant: “I heard it was an old guy wearing beads.” “A guy with a pony tail.” “She had on a coat and was running buck naked!” “With only her tennis shoes and some beads!” The details of the naked runner change depend on who you talk to and now, there’s even talk that the naked runner isn’t even human. . .The police have been notified of the naked runner and are keeping an eye out. Neighbors are talking about camping out one night in hopes of catching a glimpse.
The Runner’s World blog wondered if this might be a natural extension of barefoot running, and also questioned the semantics of “running naked” versus streaking — are they distinct actions or one in the same? The comments on this blog swing between “live and let live” to “nudity is BAD!” (The photo here is not of the actual runner, but a public-use image slugged “Anonymous Naked Runner.”)
I probably go running more than I go fishing, but I do so as an act of physical maintenance. I don’t necessarily think of it as a pleasure — it’s simply part of my workout. I don’t read Runner’s World, and probably should, just to find out what I’m doing wrong. I don’t compete. I’ve no desire to.
I also can’t imagine trying to run or jog naked because I’d be afraid of injury, mostly to my feet, given how much trail running I do. If someone else does so, however, I can’t say I’d care one way or another. But we’re otherwise such an uptight, Puritanical society that surreptitious public nudity sets everyone a-buzz.
So if this naked runner is for real, I’d give him or her points for gutsiness and say keep streaking through the Waxhaw darkness. Give your neighbors something to talk about, and see how long it takes to get caught. But please wear good running shoes — knees don’t last forever.