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It's time to prepare for the Polar Bear Plunge

December 21st, 2010 · 1 Comment

Want to feel a little less guilty about having that extra helping (or two) during your upcoming holiday festivities? Think of it as fuel as you prepare to ring in the New Year at the ninth annual Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. N.E.

The plunge, co-sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Meadowbrook Community Center Advisory Council, begins at noon Saturday, Jan. 1, with registration beginning at 11 a.m. Participants will receive refreshments and a “2011 Official Patch of Courage” — as long as you make it neck-deep into the lake, “to prove to friends and loved ones they actually braved the frigid waters, which in 2008 measured at a chilly 41 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Members of the “Polar Cub Club,” younger folks or people who need a little bit more room, will have a chance to dive in before the noon event (some people actually choose to double dip!).

Participants are urged to dress up in a costume and to sign the memory book at Seattle’s Official (Unofficial) Polar Bear Plunge Site!

Parks offers a few tips for enjoying a fun, safe swim:

  • Come early, and carpool or take the bus.
  • If you have heart problems or other serious medical concerns, we recommend you consult your health care professional before taking the Polar 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.

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