Ted Shue took a quick peak over his shoulder near the finish of the inaugural Polar Bear Dash, and happily realized he had time for a plunge.
With the temperature barely in double-digits, Shue dove into Lake Michigan, slogged his way out and covered the last 50 yards on the Grant Park Beach to win the race on New Year’s Day. It’s a fit alternative to the Polar Bear party at Bradford Beach, and drew more than 200 runners. About half of them chose the wet finish, while the less courageous stuck to dry land and warmth.
Khia Kurtenbach pondered her options over most of the 5K course, then bravely took a plunge on her way to the finish.
“You have to have bragging rights,” said Kurtenbach, winner of the under 19 age group. “It was so fun. Exhilarating.”
Shue used the same word to describe his first 5K with a plunge at the finish.
“This is an outstanding idea,” Shue said. “A great way to start your New Year. It was more about the experience than the time today.”
Check out the complete results here.