carries on in his absence (Van Sicklin quit running -- naked or clothed
-- after a heart attack in 1997. He is still listed as "Fearless Leader" on Bare To Breakers' Web site).
The inaugural nude contingent literally ran into problems. While there were no laws against nudity on the streets of San Francisco, those hoping to parade au naturel in Golden Gate Park require permits. So when the "nudipedes" hit the park, the cops moved in.
Van Sicklin et al. may not have had pockets, but they did have a lawyer. SF Weekly tracked him down in Ramah, N.M., where's he's lived and worked for the past 14 years. Obviously, he remembered this case ("nudipedes" don't come up in the legal canon all too often).
"I can't recall the name of the judge we went in front of, but he dismissed all the charges," said the lawyer.
By the way, that lawyer's name: Will Stripp. Yes, Will Stripp represented the nudists. When asked if he was chosen for his legal acumen or name, Stripp answered honestly: "I think it was both."
Van Sicklin's days of whizzing through San Francisco sans apparel are through. But when asked any advice for would-be nude runners, he responded enthusiastically. "Oh God, absolutely do it," he said without hesitation. "Absolutely -- and get like-minded people if you can."
Photo of nude runner | Jim Herd