FORT SILL, Okla. (Dec. 19, 2013) -- If you're looking for a healthy, exciting way to jump into the New Year, plan on running the 5K and dipping in Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area at the fourth annual Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Polar Bear Plunge and Cub Crawl Jan. 11.

The run, which begins at 8 a.m. at LETRA, will be a 3.1-mile road run on Deer Creek Canyon Road. Strollers and dogs are welcome. Runners will have a chance to plunge into the brisk, chilly waters of Lake Elmer Thomas after the run and cub crawl at about 10 a.m. Participants can warm up with refreshments at the award ceremony following the event.

"This year we have the Cub Crawl once again for the kids," said Mark Houseman, manager, Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area. "The Cub Crawl is for kids 10 years and under, It is a one-mile fun run and will be entirely contained on LETRA and it's free."

The Cub Crawl starts at approximately 9 a.m. and the plunge occurs immediately following it. For the Cub Crawl, kids can just come the day of the event and register for it. All children who participate in the Cub Crawl will receive a participation ribbon and dog tags.

"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 pre-registration is $15 and $20 on the day of the event. Pre-registration is done through Pre-registered participants can pick up their registration packet at the LETRA office, 7463 Deer Creek Canyon Road, after Jan. 9 between 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at the LETRA Lodge the morning of the race.

On Jan. 11, 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 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 Houseman. "Wear a costume and win awards and door prizes. There will be three categories for costumes: best overall costume, best team costume and best kid costume. The first place prize for the best costume is a $250 gas card from EZ Go, an event sponsor. There will be prizes for all three categories."

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 watching the event," said Houseman. "It's something fun for the entire family which brings families together and provides an opportunity to build healthy habits. It's a great way to start the year right and be a part of Operation Live Well, the initiative to get all military service members, their dependents, retirees and civilians to make healthy living and eating choices."

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

According to Duffy, Jim Glover Chevrolet and Lawton Chrysler Jeep Dodge are sponsoring the event and will have brand new vehicles on display. "There will also be plenty of fruit provided by Country Mart. Other sponsors who enhance the event are Academy Sports + Outdoors, Fort Sill Federal Credit Union, Sun and Ski Sports, Total Nutrition Superstores, Red Bull, Hilton Garden Inn Lawton Fort Sill and our media sponsor, Townsquare Media."

The event is open to the community and is part of the planned Operation Live Well events. For information, call Houseman at 580-442-5858.