The last Saturday of February is looming, which means for the 25th straight year, thrill-seekers across the Mid-Atlantic will flock to local beaches, brave the elements, and plummet into icy waters for the Polar Plunge.
But with this weekend’s predicted almost record-high temperatures for late winter, participants may just be in for a relaxing, summer-like dip.
“It’s going to be warm, but you know what? That’s okay, I’ll take it,” says Ellen Head, a director at the Virginia Special Olympics who organizes the Plunge in Dumfries. This will be her seventh, probably warmest, plunge–”two years ago we were cutting ice,” she says.
Head doesn’t think the uncharacteristically beautiful weather will ruin the spirit of the event. While the event may not quite match its advertising this year, the Plunge is a charity fundraiser with all proceeds going to the Special Olympics. “Since the event is outside, we’ll do better, [the weather] will scare less people off.”
And to be fair, the water will still be cold. Just not Jack-dying-of-hypothermia-after-the-Titanic-sunk-level cold like it often is this time of year. So if you want to take part in the (more aptly named) Solar Plunge this Saturday, register here (it costs $100) and head to Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant & Crabhouse in Dumfries at 10 a.m., or one of five other Virginia locations.