Thursday, January 01, 2015

#Toronto Polar Bear Dip 2015

The warm spell couldn't wait around for New Years Day, instead the thermometer plummeted and the wind chill picked up in time for the annual Habitat for Humanity plunge into Lake Ontario. Gathering beside the pavilion for the noon time, 10th annual Polar Bear Dip into the frigid waters within the inner harbour at Sunnyside Beach. Joe and I grabbed some hip waders so that we can get some photos as the runners hit the water.
Over 600 swimmers were announced prior to their gathering into the roped off area, arrayed in a long lin and  waiting for the order to head south at a full gallop. Released from the agony of bare skin and strong winter winds, the group ran past the ice built up at the shore line and ran quickly into the deepening, rocky waters that play havoc with footing. Past the initial line of buoyant shoes thrown off by the violence of the entry, some dippers fell into the water earlier then they intended, others continued out to waste deep water and jumped in or returned to shore after a nice wade.

This year's efforts succeeded in raising over $66,000 for charity building projects in the Greater Toronto Area.

Posted by Joe Hamilton and James Hamilton. See more photos after the jump.

The rope line before the dip begins

The line begins to build and the swimmers start to freeze
The devil made him do it
And the dip begins

Swimmers going out meet those that are already coming back in
A lone swimmer returns to shore
The founders group heads out

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