Some were, though, way back.
When I was a young bloke, way way back, a streaker was someone who, typically, gathered a few mates, went to a well-populated sporting event, and drank alcohol to a point beyond mental activity but just short of oblivion.
At that point, just a few seconds before passing out, our streaker would remove his or her clothing, jump the fence that separated the spectators from the playing arena, and then run around the playing surface naked until they were intercepted by security or the more aggressive players of the sporting teams on show.
Laughing all the time as if enjoying the joke on us, all the other, still-clothed members of the audience. You had to laugh if you were the streaker if only to warn the angry policeman that it was all just a joke, really. Fun among friends, all five of them.
I never saw a streaker welcomed by the main body of the audience, namely the rest of us, outside the inner circle of five who came with him. Let’s be honest, it was usually a him.
The modus operandi was, basically, get pissed, get naked, get out there and show them your tackle.
Where’s the harm?
The most notable exception that comes to mind is Ms Helen D’Amico, who streaked across the field during the 1982 Aussie Rules Football Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Check it out below.
The first thing you notice about Helen is that she is pretty clearly female, which puts her among the minority of streakers of the time. Secondly, it was very apparent no one wanted to tackle her; no one was keen to bring her to the ground. You can see for yourself; just watch the video, even the big tough ruckman runs away rather than risk an errant tackle.
Of all the naughty sportus-interruptus style of streakers, Helen D’Amico was probably the naughtiest, and despite the exceptions I have noted with her particular style, I am pretty sure she ticked all the other main boxes, namely, she came with some mates, came to a big event at a major arena, and got herself a bit tiddly, then got naked and finally launched herself into history first and Youtube later. Much later, actually, Youtube wasn’t even invented at the time, but there she is now.
Streaking has changed.
Today, streakers are no longer naughty. They are fit, fast and inspiring. They even do good work.
The term streaking refers to running every day, without fail, by mutual agreement among a group of your fellow runners. So, being a streaker today means, typically, you get yourself a popular running app on your mobile, for example Strava. Next, you find a team with ambitions that match your own, and then every day, you run or walk at least a mile.
Who can’t cover a mile?
One of Today's Streaking Superstars.
The queen of the modern streaking fraternity is another Helen, her name is Helen Ryvar. Helen is pretty special, and you can read about her here by following the link below
Helen's streak is no place for the faint-hearted, she gets out of bed at 4.00 A.M. and runs a half-marathon every day.
Yes, that's correct. Every day, twenty one K. EVERY DAY!! I get tired thinking about it.
More importantly, the purpose of Helen’s current streak is a good one. At the end of her daily running post, she always includes the following note –
I am running 366 consecutive half marathons to raise money and awareness for @mindcharity To donate, please go to www.justgiving.com/Helen-Ryvar1 Thank you so much to everyone that’s supported or donated to date xx
That is pretty self-explanatory.
Personally I find Helen Ryvar inspiring. I don’t know how she does it, but I am willing to give it a go, maybe not the daily half-marathon, but something more than the essential mile.
I am currently up to day 26 of my streak number three. I should mention, my first two streaks since joining the team bombed out badly, when (to quote Helen R) ‘my excuses were stronger than me’. Back on track now, here is a picture I took while out running today.
Of course, with a good supportive streaking group, there is more than just sharing pictures from all over the world. There is information galore. Our team uses the Strava running app, and this is just a small sample of what it told me about my run today.
You can always choose what information is shared with the other members of the streak group, at the very least we can all cheer each other along, and see how much we can achieve together.
For me it has been a physical revival and a lot of fun After all these years, at 73 years old, I am finally a streaker without the need to get drunk or even buy a ticket to the MCG. Also, since I started streak-running in August last year, I have lost ten kilograms and halved my average running time per kilometre. I am really happy with that.
Other than Helen Ryvar, my other favourite streak runner is, of course, Chris Taylor, the crazy streak-running, crime-solving cop in my Jarrajarra series of crime novels. If you want to find out more about these books, you can join my reader’s group here to get regular emails about my books
Thank you for reading