The Nude Marathon Runner Poses

She ran, she won awards, she posed naked with her medals. It’s become popular.

This has become so popular with the masses that even famous athletes are starting to flock to the concept. ESPN now publishes a body issue, (link: In Ireland there is a bike race with thousands competing, all in the nude. Olympic teams are creating nude calendars to raise money to compete. There are an astounding number of all nude marathons across the US.

Amanda Beard, 4 time medalist, poses nude for PETA’s “Be comfortable in your own skin, don’t wear Fur” poster campaign. She is also one of several Olympians to pose nude in Playboy. (link:

It fascinated me that in the ancient original Olympic Games all the athletes competed nude. Not a surprise I suppose since the word gymnasium come from the Greet root gymnos meaning nude, back then the literal meaning of gymnasium was a “school for naked exercise.”. The Greek tradition of gymnos or athletic nudity started way back in 720BC, so nude athletics has a long history.

But I am starting to wander. Although it should be mentioned the first Olympic games started as an annual foot race of nude women competing for the position of the priestess for the goddess Hera.  I do get a kick out of this stuff.

It’s not a real surprise that athletes want nudes created though. As Sara Lee put it, “I have worked hard for every muscle sinew to pop, I am not going to cover up an inch of them!”. When her shy friend saw how amazing her body looked under the lights she promptly undressed saying I want the same!

The medals won are displayed with great pride. Sometimes we use them to turn the nude into an implied nude with the large medals cleverly hiding private bits. I am surprised how big the medals are for those just competing, let alone winning.

Women posing with their partner’s trophies are also popular. The first time we did that was with a WWF championship belt. It was stunning to work into her photo session.  Oh, I wish I had a release to show off that image, she was as breathtaking as the belt was. The World Wrestling Federation makes a wicked hot Championship belt.

Not all of the runners we have photographed are the trim stereotypical marathon runner. Some finish in the middle or end of the pack with a normal body shape. The result of training always improves their body but it also improves their outlook of their body. They become more aware of it, more prideful of it.

This body pride gives them the push to step in front of my camera. They want a memory of the moment, of the achievement. Yes those famous athletes with those impossible bodies are doing it, but I believe that is a reflection of where society is comfortable and also wanting it.

I think it’s more of the athletes getting in front of a popular trend than actually leading it or creating it. I am not sure if the athlete posing nude inspires women to get their own fitness reflective nudes done. I think it’s their own body pride kicking in. The nude photo shoot becomes the right of passage that invisibly moves them into a different class.

Posing nude has become a popular sport for marathon runners.

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Posted by: Mark Laurie

World-renown photoartist Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography specializes in Female Portraiture: nudes, boudoir, prenatal & fine art. His empowering images of women reveal their heart & soul.