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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Want to run a 5K and get a perfect tan at the same time?

The first-ever clothing-optional run in South Florida will be held at Sunsport Gardens Naturist Resort in Loxahatchee on Saturday.

The event will be hosted by Aqua Sun, an event company started earlier this year by Santa Fe College student Daniel Phillips, 25. He said he expects 65 to 80 runners.

There will be a pre-race registration party at Run and Roll in West Palm Beach on Thursday evening. The party and the race are both open to the public.

The registration fees are $20 for students, $25 for the public before Thursday's registration party, and $30 the day of the race. Participants can register online at aquasunevents.com.

Aqua Sun will donate a portion of the proceeds from the 5K to Vita Nuda and Florida Young Naturists, two Florida naturist groups.

Phillips, a naturist, said he started Aqua Sun because he wanted to organize some runs and volleyball games, and it's easier to get attention for those events with a company name.

"We want to let people know that there are naturists out there who aren't old and crippled," he said. "We're young and we do fun activities."

"Not only can you not knock it till you try it, but it's an experience that will pretty much change your perception of a lot of things," Phillips said. "It'll make you never want to wear a swimsuit ever again."

Marion Paige, a UF philosophy and religion junior, is a member of Florida Young Naturists and has been trying to start an official Naturist Gators club with Phillips on campus. However, the club can't get going without a faculty adviser.

Paige said she has participated in numerous Florida Young Naturists and Vita Nuda events.

"It's more about not having to hide anything about yourself," Paige said. "You see everybody for who they are. They're all equally vulnerable and equally open."

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