Soldiers and civilians quickly run out of frigid waters during the 2012 Polar Bear Plunge. Hundreds participated in the 5K run and Cub Crawl at Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area either in costume or in running attire.

If you're looking for a healthy, exciting way to jump into the New Year, plan on running the 5K and dipping in to Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area at the third annual Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Polar Bear Plunge and Cub Crawl Jan. 12.

The run, which begins at 8:30 a.m. at LETRA, will be a 3.1-mile road run on Deer Creek Canyon Road. Strollers and dogs must line up in back. Runners may plunge into the brisk, chilly water of Lake Elmer Thomas after the run at around 10 a.m. Participants will warm up with refreshments at the awards ceremony following the event.

"This year we have the Cub Crawl once again for the kids," said Jay Hunt, Family and MWR sports director. "The Cub Crawl is for kids 10 years and under which is a free one-mile fun run and will be entirely contained on LETRA."

The Cub Crawl starts at 9:30 a.m. and the plunge will immediately follow that start. For the Cub Crawl, kids can just come the day of the event and register for it.

"Several hundred people have participated the other years we have hosted the Polar Bear Plunge, and I think it's because it's a fun family-oriented fitness event that could appeal to any age group," he said. "It's a way to fit fitness into your lifestyle and still have fun doing it."

Race registration is $15 for ID card holders and $20 for civilians. Register at by Jan. 10 at 11:30 p.m. Pre-registered participants can pick up their registration packet Jan. 11 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m at the FMWR Sports Office, Building 4744 Mow-Way Road or the morning of the race at LETRA.

On Jan. 12, day-of registration will be from 7-8 a.m. at LETRA Lodge. Registration on event day increases by $5. Pre-registrants are guaranteed a T-shirt. All registrants will receive refreshments and a chance to win door prizes. Some shirts will be available for same day registrants, but shirt size is not guaranteed. All participants must read and sign a liability waiver prior to participation. Participants under 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

"If you're too chicken to plunge, you can still participate in the 5K run and the costume contest," said Hunt. "Wear a costume and win awards and door prizes. The first place prize for the best costume is a $250 gas card from EZ Go, an event sponsor."

Awards will be presented to male and female winners in four categories: 19 and under; 20 through 29; 30 through 39; and 40 and over.

"This event is a lot of fun for the participants and those who come to watch," said Hunt. "It's something fun for the entire family which brings families together and provides an opportunity to build healthy habits."

"Without the outstanding support from our commercial sponsors, this event would be difficult to put on," said Andrew Duffy, Family and MWR sponsorship coordinator.

Duffy said Jim Glover Chevrolet is sponsoring the event, and will bring a brand new truck to display.

"There will also be plenty of fruit provided by Country Mart. Other sponsors who enhance the event are Sun and Ski Sports, Fort Sill Federal Credit Union, Fairfield Inn and Springhill Suites, Red Bull, and our radio sponsor, Town Square Media," he said.

The event is open to the community and is part of the Presidents Challenge. To sign up for the President's Challenge and log your exercise, go to

For information, call Hunt at 442-3269.

Page last updated Thu January 10th, 2013 at 13:51