New Year polar plunge

Hundreds of folks from near and far started off 2009 on the cold foot as they plunged into the 45-degree waters of Lake Washington New Year's day. "I'm really scared," said Renton resident Julie Balza, who was dressed in a bikini, before the countdown to dash into the water. During the Polar Plunge event, a wacky Kirkland tradition, participants took a quick dip into the chilly lake at Marina Park. Afterwards, they warmed up by bonfires and enjoyed a free cup of soup, compliments of the Wilde Rover Irish Pub.

Several hundred dash into the frigid

Several hundred dash into the frigid

Hundreds of folks from near and far started off 2009 with a shiver as they plunged into the 45-degree waters of Lake Washington New Year’s day.

“I’m really scared,” said Renton resident Julie Balza, who was dressed in a bikini, before the countdown to dash into the water.

During the Polar Plunge event, a wacky Kirkland tradition, participants took a quick dip into the chilly lake at Marina Park, under an overcast sky. Afterwards, they warmed up by bonfires and enjoyed a free cup of soup, compliments of the Wilde Rover Irish Pub.

Cody Jansen, of Prosser, Wash., sat on an overturned bucket next to the fire, rubbing his foot with a towel.

“It’s actually not that bad,” he said, after his dip into the lake. “The worst part is that your feet get really cold. Next year I’ll wear my aqua socks.”




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