10 ways to get ready for the Polar Bear Plunge [Pictures]
If hurling yourself into frigid water is your idea of a good time, then this is the weekend you've been waiting for. Some 12,000 hardy souls will be launching themselves into the Chesapeake Bay off Sandy Point State Park this weekend as part of the 17th Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge, an annual example of mass hysteria that last year raised $2.6 million for Special Olympics Maryland.
The rules are simple. Pay at least $50 for the privilege -- either your own money or contributions from others -- and you get to run into really, really cold water in the middle of a Maryland winter. For thousands of plungers annually (some 12,000 showed up last year), that's their idea of a good time.
We asked Linda Ellingsworth, director of communications and marketing programs for Special Olympics Maryland, for 10 things plungers should keep in mind. A repeat plunger herself -- she's done it four times -- Ellingsworth was glad to offer these suggestions as a public service.
-- Chris Kaltenbach
• Also see: Polar Bear Plunges through the years [Pictures]
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Bring two towels: one to stand on and one to dry off with( Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun photo / January 28, 2012 )
You'll want to get dry as soon as possible once you're out of the water, so a drying towel sounds like a no-brainer. But since you could be milling about on the beach, in the cold air, for as long as 10 minutes before the final countdown, one to stand on is just as necessary.