News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Polar Bear Plunge returns to Matthews Beach

December 18th, 2013 by master

Ring in the New Year in your swimwear at the 12th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at nearby Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. N.E.

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Meadowbrook Community Center Advisory Council are co-sponsoring the Jan. 1 event that starts at noon sharp; registration begins at 11 a.m.

From the Parkways post:

A 2014 Official Patch of Courage will be given to all heroic polar bear participants who immerse themselves neck-deep in the lake. The patch will show the world that participants braved the frigid waters. Warming refreshments will be served.

As in previous years, younger polar bears and anyone else who needs a little more room can take part in the Polar Cub Club part of the event immediately preceding the main plunge. For the truly hearty, double-dipping is allowed.

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

· Make the plunge even more special by dressing up in a costume!
· Come early, and carpool or take the bus (you can plan your trip).
· If you have heart problems or other serious medical concerns, we recommend that you consult your healthcare professional before taking the Polar Bear Plunge. If you can’t go in the water, come and watch!
· Don’t drink alcohol–it doesn’t warm you up, and it accelerates hypothermia.
· Stay in the water for no longer than 15 minutes-you lose body heat 25 times faster in water than in air.
· Keep your outer clothing on until you’re ready to get in the water. After the plunge, remove wet clothing before getting into dry clothes.

Will you brave the frigid waters of Lake Washington for this year’s Polar Bear Plunge?

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It's time again for the Polar Bear Plunge!

December 21st, 2012 by master

There’s no need to fret about all of those extra pounds you might be consuming over the holidays — at least not if you’re one of the brave souls who dares to participate in the 11th annual Polar Bear Plunge at nearby Matthews Beach!

Rain or shine, you’re invited to join your fellow polar bears for a plunge into chilly Lake Washington at noon on New Year’s Day. Registration begins at 11 a.m., and costumes are encouraged.

Refreshments will be provided, and swimmers who make it neck-deep will receive a 2013 Official Patch of Courage. The city’s Parks Department offers these 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.

Participants are encouraged to sign the online blog: theofficialunofficialpolarbearplunge.blogspot.com.

Matthews Beach is located at 49th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 93rd Street.

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Ring in the New Year with the Polar Bear Plunge!

December 30th, 2011 by master

With the weather calling for clouds and a high of 47 degrees and a low of 42 on Sunday, Jan. 1, participants of the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach are in for a more balmy day for a dip in Lake Washington than we’ve seen in years past (last year the lake measured a frigid 41 degrees!).


Photo courtesy of Seattle Parks and Recreation

Registration begins around 11 a.m. at the city beach at 9300 51st Ave. N.E., and the swim begins at noon. Afterward, there will be refreshments for the brave swimmers, who also will receive a 2012 Official Patch of Courage if they make it neck-deep in the lake. Need a little extra room? The Polar Cub Club, just before the big polar bears plunge, offers a chance for younger folks or people who need a little bit more room to take the plunge.

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 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 at Matthews Beach was the first official event of its kind in the Seattle area. Janet Wilson, the aquatic center coordinator at Meadowbrook Pool, started the event Jan. 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 the Polar Plunge memory book.

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A couple of healthy options for the New Year

December 30th, 2010 by master

After a month of gluttony, are you thinking about ways to start the New Year with health in mind?

If you’ve packed on a couple of extra pounds of insulation, you may as well put them to use at the Polar Bear Plunge, which takes place at noon Saturday, Jan. 1, at Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. N.E.

Afterward, Seattle Parks and Recreation has yet another option: a six-week boot camp available either once or twice a week.

The classes begin at noon Tuesday and Thursday from Jan. 11 to Feb. 17, and are taught by a certified boot camp instructor who will cater to each individual’s own level. Boot camp meets at the Green Lake Park outdoor basketball courts or, if the weather is bad, in the gym.

Cost is $60 for the once-weekly option, and $120 if you want to attend classes both Tuesday and Thursday.

And here’s what to expect: [Read more →]

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It's time to prepare for the Polar Bear Plunge

December 21st, 2010 by master

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: [Read more →]

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