Archive for March, 2009

2009 Polar Bear Plunge and Short Run

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

On February 28, 2009 a group of us from Gold’s Gym in Lawrenceville who train in karate together plunged into the Atlantic Ocean.

The goal of the Seaside Polar Bear Plunge is to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics of New Jersey. Our team was comprised of 22 members and together we raised $5,787 to benefit the Special Olympics of New Jersey (SONJ). We’ve done this event about six years running and each year is more fun than the previous. Overall, the event raised more than 1.1 million dollars for SONJ. Donations continue to be accepted; please help support the individuals who compete each year:

At 1pm, 22 of us and about 4,000 other brave souls ran into the water. Some ran in and sprinted right back out. Others lingered for a bit longer. Personally, I lingered, trying to keep people from leaving the water 🙂  I ran into the ocean four times, each time trying to bring more people back into the water. The first time in, I waded around for a bit, capturing video of the other plungers from the ocean.

I used my Canon SD850 IS with its underwater waterproof case (WP-DC15) to capture the video and photos from the ocean.

Each year, our group secures five or six rooms at the Aztec Hotel, which is situated right in front of the plunge spot. They party the whole weekend and they really know how to throw a party. They have food catered, lots to drink and parade as a group out to the plunging area about 30 minutes prior to plunge time. Here’s our group photo from last year:

2008 Polar Bear Plunge Gold's Karate Team Group Photo

I didn’t stay long to enjoy the three-day party though, since I’ve got lots of work to do. I arrived a few hours before the 1pm plunge time, so I went for a run along the boardwalk and on the beach. I only put in about three miles. While on the beach, I imitated the scene from Rocky where he runs on the beach with Apollo; of course they ran on the beach on a warm day. My socks and shoes got soaked from the cold water as I was right where the water ran up the beach. I returned to the hotel and left my shoes and socks behind so I could return to the beach for a barefoot run. I headed back along the boardwalk and made my way to the ocean. This time I decided to be crazy and run in the water. The water was cold, but it felt great.

I ran back to the hotel again, and was able to convince Marci to come for another run with me on the beach, barefoot. If you know Marci, then you would be surprised to hear that she agreed to do this. This time, during my run I hit a pothole in the water and took an early plunge — and this was right in front of some spectators. It was pretty funny.

Fun was had by all and we’re anxiously looking forward to next year.