Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Meadowbrook Community Center Advisory Council are co-sponsoring the 10th Annual Polar Bear Swim at high noon on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012 at Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. NE. Registration starts at around 11 a.m. by showing up to get your official Polar Bear Plunge wrist band ceremoniously attached to your paw (wrist).
There will be refreshments and a 2012 Official Patch of Courage for all heroic polar bears who immerse themselves neck-deep in the lake, to prove to friends and loved ones they actually braved the frigid waters, which in 2010 measured at an exhilarating 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the plunge even more special by dressing up in a costume! Sign our memory book at www.theofficialunofficialpolarbearplunge.blogspot.com, and feel free to link information about the event on your Facebook page, blog, YouTube or Twitter accounts.
Once again, we’ll feature the new Polar Cub Club, a special time just before the big polar bears plunge, for younger folks or people who need a little bit more room. Some people actually choose to double dip.
Parks offers a few tips for enjoying a fun, safe swim:
- Come early, and carpool or take the bus.
- You can plan your trip at http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/
- If you have heart problems or other serious medical concerns, we recommend you consult your health care professional before taking the Polar Bear Plunge. If you don’t go in the water, come and watch!
- Don’t drink alcohol – it doesn’t warm you up, and it accelerates hypothermia.
- Don’t stay in the water for longer than 15 minutes – you lose body heat 25 times faster in water than in air.
- Don’t take off your outer clothing until you’re ready to get in the water, and remove wet clothing before getting into dry clothes.
The Polar Bear Plunge was the first official event of its kind in the Seattle area. Janet Wilson, the Aquatic Center Coordinator at Meadowbrook Pool, started the event on January 1, 2002. About 300 people participated in that first Polar Bear Plunge, and since then the attendance has soared to more than 1,000 brave bears of every age. The plunge has inspired other, similar events in the Seattle area.
Witnesses to history will, at each participant’s request, record the names of the bold souls who complete the mission by signing our online blog. www.theofficialunofficialpolarbearplunge.blogspot.com
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