|For the 7th year in a row, the Fort Collins Polar Bear Run and Plunge event enjoyed perfect Colorado winter weather. Participants celebrated mild temps and frigid waters in what was for many not only their first race of 2021 but their first in-person race in almost a year.
The event had a much different feel this year without the post-race party, live music, beer garden, and energy of a large positive crowd. However, while it might have seemed less festive than previous years, it didn’t matter because everyone was just so thankful to finally run a non-virtual race. A new event format with a limited number of race entries and COVID-19 precautions in place made it possible to hold a safe event. While it’s not the same competitive or social environment we once enjoyed, the small wave starts every 15 minutes gave runners a different experience of racing mostly alone but in the same vicinity of their long-lost running community. And even without the motivation of racing from a mass start, the competitive fires were burning resulting in a consistent ring of the PR bell and happy runners at the finish line.
The Polar Plunge into Horsetooth Reservoir, a greatly anticipated and feared event, is still a community favorite and we cheered for the 100+ brave souls who kept our January tradition alive. High 5’s to event beneficiary, The Larimer County Dive Rescue Team, who stayed in the water for almost 3 hours so everyone could take the plunge!