Nude Running Champ Hails from South Tampa
Whit Lasseter began running a few years ago.
For the third year in a row, Whit Lasseter stripped down and ran for her life.
The nude running champion competed on Sunday in the Bare Dare 5K at Caliente in Land O'Lakes. She hoped to regain the first place position she held for the past two years, but came in a respectable fifth at this year's race.
Lasseter, a South Tampa business owner, says the hobby means more than just calorie burning.
A few years ago, she was a self-described "party animal" whose fast lifestyle - smoking and partying - caused her to gain weight.
"I had an awakening in 2008, and I opened my eyes one day and said, 'I'm miserable," she said. "I discovered running. I was still smoking cigarettes, and I went out and took control of myself. I started running on my own."
Eventually, she joined the local YMCA. She began shedding the pounds and running local races.
"I wanted to lose weight and feel better, and I realized I was actually pretty good at it," she said. "I was placing overall in my age group. I started meeting amazing people. It was such good positive energy that you don't get anywhere else."
Now, Lasseter, who runs Tampa Cross Boot, isn't shy about sharing her life experiences - or baring all in front of a group of fellow runners.
"I think it felt good to let go and be free," she said, "and to be comfortable in your own skin."