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Naked Run 5: Marshall’s Beach, San Francisco

Naked Run 5
Marshall’s Beach, San Francisco

Suddenly, unexpectedly, tragically, I found myself in the San Francisco Bay Area. After 10 days of little physical activity or movement of any kind, I managed to dedicate a half day to getting to and experiencing San Francisco’s famous naturist (nudist) beach: commonly known as Baker Beach, the northern-most section is more accurately called Marshall’s Beach.

One of the most remarkable and enjoyable aspects of Marshall’s Beach is that it is within the city limits of San Francisco. OK, it is not particularly accessible – especially by public transit – requiring a long walk or cycle ride or at least a 15-minute drive by private car plus a 20 minute descent/climb to/from the site. But, unlike many other naturist sites close to cities, it is in the city. It is accessible. This is a city beach. Not quite like Barcelona’s Mar Bella, where the city is a few meters away. Or Miami Beach. Despite its relative inaccessibility, few cities in the US have beaches at all  and those that do mostly do not permit nudity. Marshall’s Beach is exceptional.

After a period of heavy fog, it was a glorious clear, warm sunny day.
Given all of my naked runs – with the stark exception of the professionally-photographed BH5K run – have been alone, I have never been able to photograph myself running. I was determined to resolve my lack of naked running selfies at this stunning location, using my proper digital camera rather than my smartphone.

Moreover, I was keen to video this run, rather than take still photographs. It would produce more material and be easier to do: I could leave the camera running without operating the shutter. However, still being alone, I was very nervous about propping up my camera on a rock and leaving my belongings and valuables unattended while the camera did its magic and I went for my run.

I was determined. I compromised. Rather than run the full length of the beach multiple times, as I might have done if I was comfortable leaving my stuff unattended, I decided to set the camera up and run a shorter distance – I could always return another day if the weather co-operated to do the proper, full-length run. As it was a weekday, the beach was surprisingly quiet. Not deserted, but quiet.

Here is the resulting video:

The most pleasing aspect of this run was observing, as I was departing, another naked runner appear on the scene. He ran the full length of the beach, then went for a swim. And repeated. Patrick, a recently relocated Frenchman, claimed to come to Marshall’s weekly to satisfy his naked running fix. Wow. I was jealous! I certainly could do with a weekly opportunity to run naked on one of the most beautiful naturist beaches.

This will be a regular naked running site for me –  in different circumstance – hopefully soon!

Naked Run Facts
Date: 24 August 2015
Location: Marshall’s Beach, north of Baker Beach, The Presidio, San Francisco, California


Time of Day: 15:00
Air Temperature: 22c
Conditions: crystal clear deep blue sky, light wind
Run Length: approximately 400m (4 x 100m)
Duration: only about 2 minutes in total
Barefoot or Shoes: barefoot

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