In 2014, why not get a running start on the new year? At the Polar Bear Dash, you’ll get the thrill of a 5k race PLUS – if you’re daring – a sprint into Lake Michigan after crossing the finish line.
Below, race director Chris Ponteri tells us a bit about the upcoming race.
For more details about the Polar Bear Dash, visit our Featured Races page.
Can you tell us a bit about the Polar Bear Dash? What makes this race different/unique?
This is unique in a few ways. First, it’s on New Year’s Day, which is a great day to race if you’re not too hung over. And second, there is the optional polar plunge where you can jump into Lake Michigan after you finish.
This is the race’s second year – Is there anything new or different happening at this year’s race?
Much of the course is the same; the only change is at the end. Last year runners had the choice of running through the lake before they finished or running along the shore. This year everyone will run along the shore and finish, and then they can jump into the lake if they wish. Also, we have a charity partner this year – the MS Society of Wisconsin. We will be raising funds for them, and are very excited about partnering with this worthy cause.
Do you expect many participants to take the plunge?
Last year about half of the participants did the plunge; I expect the same this year.
Can you tell us a bit about the course? Do you have any tips for runners hoping to PR at the race?
It is actually a very fast course. Most of it is on Grant Park Drive, which is fairly flat. Then it finishes with a huge downhill to the beach parking lot. If it’s not too cold or the roads aren’t snow-covered, it will be super fast.
Is there anything participants should know about water stations, etc.?
Last year it was 8 degrees at the start of the race so we didn’t have a water station. It would have frozen before the runners could get any. It will depend on the weather this year. We do have a rescue squad from the South Milwaukee Fire Department on hand at the beach in case anyone has issues with the cold water.
New Year’s Day can be one of the coldest days of the year. Is there a heated space for runners to hang out before and/or after the race?
We have reserved the clubhouse at the Grant Park Golf Course for runners to hang out before and after the race. If numbers get high enough, we may also bring in a heated tent.
Any other comments?
We are excited about making this event a New Year’s Day tradition for Milwaukee-area runners.
Are you ready to take the plunge?
We’re giving away a free entry to the Polar Bear Dash! To enter:
- Tell us if you plan to take a dip in Lake Michigan after crossing the finish line.
For additional entries do the following and let us know you did each action in separate comments:
- Like Keep Running MKE on Facebook
- Like Polar Bear Dash on Facebook
- Follow Keep Running MKE on Twitter (@KeepRunningMKE)
- Share this post via Facebook or Twitter and tag Keep Running MKE in the post
Good luck! We’ll pick a winner at random on Wednesday, December 11 and announce the winner the following day. Be sure to check back on Thursday morning to see if you’re our winner!*
Keep Running MKE – you’re doing great!
*Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize by emailing email@example.com. If the prize is not claimed within that time frame, we will select a new winner.