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Orlando’s Polar Plunge

by Meghann on January 22, 2011

We did it!


The Second Annual Polar Plunge raised over $190,000 for Special Olympics!!

Now that’s something to get excited about!!!



Millions of thanks to everyone who donated to my fundraising page. All of the money raised truly went to a great cause. Being there today, surrounded by so many Special Olympic athletes, inspires me to do more with the wonderful organization. Those athletes truly are the real heros here. πŸ™‚

The Polar Plunge took place this morning at Aquatica Water Park near Sea World.



It was breezy this morning and very chilly considering how sunny it was.


I owe Megan big time for tagging along as my spectator/ photographer for the day. She was a trooper despite the cold.



I think the best part of any type of event like this is the people watching. And boy did we have some people to watch! Loved all the costumes! Next year I plan to go all out with a team and costume theme. Anyone down for the “Running Ice Queens”?



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At 11:00 they started the ceremony to announce all the costume winners and top fund raisers. I found it very inspiring that all three of the top fund raisers were Special Olympics Athletes and all three were so excited to be there raising money for the cause. They enjoy competing so much and wanted to make sure everyone else experienced the same thrills they do. πŸ™‚

The organizers queued up all 500 plungers and sectioned the line off to 40-50 plungers at a time.

I was placed in the second group of plungers and made sure to wait until the very last possible minute to lose my outer layer.


Like I said – next sure I’m bringing a costume… or a wetsuit. Both will work just fine. πŸ˜‰



Oddly enough the water temp had been brought down to 65 degrees, meaning the water was warmer than the current temperature in the air. I mean, you can say that all you want – that water was still cold to me!


The DJ counted us down and before I knew it I was chasing all of the other crazy plungers into the water.


I ran out as far as I could, splashed around for a bit, then hightailed my butt out of there.



Brrr…. It was definitely worst coming out than it was going in. Luckily Megan had a towel waiting for me as soon as I exited.


I owe Megan. Big time. πŸ™‚

We didn’t stay to chit chat. Instead we ran to a bathroom to change into dry clothes and headed straight home.

It was a fun experience, but I’m not sure how those crazies do it up north. Plunging in the snow and negative temps? I think the FLorida version is just about what I can handle. πŸ˜‰

Megan and I were both starving when we made it back to my place, so I made us a quick lunch.


A grilled wrap using crumbled Vegan Sausage Balls from last night, spinach, tomato, cheese, ketchup, and mustard.


And on the side some carrot sticks and apple slices.


We also split a mini Heath Cupcake from Sweet!


I’m on my way to Tampa now. Derek and I have tickets for Beauty and The Beast tonight! Please hold while my inner 10 year old self squeals. πŸ™‚

1 Faith @ lovelyascharged January 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Ahhh! You’re so brave! I did that once when I was a kid at Buccanneer Bay over @ Weeki Wachee (IDK if you’ve ever been down to that part of Florida, but it was my favorite water park as a kid!). SOOO cold, I cringe just thinking about it!
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2 Christina January 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Ahh! I grew up in Spring Hill! This makes me excited to hear that someone else in the world has gone to Weeki Wachee and Buccaneer Bay!! I spent every summer of my childhood at that park. πŸ™‚

3 Faith @ lovelyascharged January 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

No WAY! That’s crazy! I lived there till I moved for college!

4 Kara January 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm

You’re awesome for raising money for the Special Olympics! My brother used to compete in that and he liked it so much. I’m not sure I’d be able to force myself into that water…at least without someone chasing me! πŸ™‚
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5 Megan January 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Yay! Good for you! I’m all for fundraising, but I sure don’t have the balls to jump into an ice cold pool like that. So awesome how much money was raised though!

Enjoy Beauty and the Beast. If it’s anything like The Lion King, you’ll LOVE it!
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6 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day January 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Congrats for doing the plunge and more importantly, raising money for a great cause. I’m now going to go snuggle in a blanket, because this post made me cold πŸ˜‰

7 allyson January 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Oh my 65 degree water would be wonderful, thats the ocean temp memorial weekend! On our way to run this morning, the bank clock temperature said 8, and i thought last weeks 26 was cold. The high this weekend in Philly PA is a balmy 16 degrees (without the wind chill). Me and the husband talk about moving to a warmer State all the time, think my mom would kill me though!

8 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun January 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I’ve never heard of one of these before. How cool though for a good cause. And that temp is all I could handle too thats for sure.
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9 Kim @ girlevolving January 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I volunteer with Special Olympics in the summer, but I’ve never had the balls to do a polar plunge up here – yesterday we didn’t even hit double digits! I’m glad you were out supporting Special O!
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10 Carolyn @ lovinlosing January 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm

There’s a polar plunge on the 5th in Virginia Beach consisting of 5k then the dip in the ocean. No thanks. I’m sick of running on the boardwalk and I certainly don’t wanna do it in the windy winter months. Unless it’s a freakishly warm day you can count me out. Good for you for braving the cold!
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11 Kath Younger January 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm

LOL. Hilarious that everyone else is in full costume and you’re in a bikini!!! Looks COLLLLDDD!
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12 Kate January 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Heh! I just love that a polar plunge in Florida is 65 degrees. Our polar plunge is usually about 45 πŸ™‚ And wetsuits in tris aren’t compulsory above about 60.

Great work on the fundraising, and participating in such a fun event!
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13 Krista @ Journey to a Healthy Berg January 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Up here in Michigan, our polar plunges consist of jumping into a lake that has a big chunk of ice cut out of it so there is an opening just big enough so you can jump in and get out πŸ˜‰
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14 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday January 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

That’s a real polar plunge!

15 Marina January 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

wow congrats! You are so awesome πŸ™‚
Make sure you stay warm the rest of the day πŸ˜‰
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16 Jennie @ Designed to be Fit January 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Ah Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie! We saw the mini theatre show at Hollywood Studios!
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17 Steph January 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Creepster moment: was Derek at the Seasons 52 race today? I thought I recognized him but I’m obviously not going up to a stranger out of the blue to tell him I read his girlfriend’s blog. LOL!

18 ashley January 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm


We have a Polar Bear Plunge here in Wyoming. I have never personally experienced it…I’m not brave enough…or maybe dumb enough. BUT we definitely do it a little differently. They jump into a lake…that’s frozen over! They have to drill through the ice layer. I’ve only seen pictures of this event. So you are pretty lucky to have 50* weather and 65* water temps.

19 Eliz@The Sweet Life January 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

So, so fun. What a great and memorable thing to do. Stay warm!

20 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm


I used to date a guy who did polar plunges! Better you all than me…id freeze my butt off πŸ™‚
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21 Sarah January 22, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Way to go! My friend did a polar plunge last year with a bunch of people from her college in Wisconsin. I was really hoping to do it with her this year, but unfortunately I can’t afford the trip over there πŸ™ Congrats!
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22 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles January 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Looks like a fun event!

23 Kelsey January 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm

What a great cause! In Kansas they always do the polar bear plunge and there is snow on the ground! I would be shivering for days after something like that!
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24 katie January 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm

So awesome they raised that much money!!!

Congrats on doing it and yay for Megan being such a great friend!

Have fun tonight, Beauty and the Beast is my fave disney movie!!!!!! I bet the play is just amazing! I always wanted to be Belle ! lol!
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25 Valerie from Love and Running January 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm

What an amazing event! I love the Special Olympic causes!!! I eventually want to be a public health nurse and do lots of work with special olympics!! You go girl thi was so amazing!!!!

Have fun tonight I love beauty and the beast πŸ™‚ xoxo
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26 Katy (The Singing Runner) January 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Have fun at Beauty and the Beast! I wanted to go so so so bad, but my mom and I decided to go to Billy Elliot in Feb instead! Let us know how B&B was! πŸ˜€
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27 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) January 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm

That looks like absolutely hell, but at least it’s for a good cause πŸ™‚
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28 Lauren @Hungry Dancer January 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Good job taking the plunge!! So jealous you are seeing beauty and the beast!!
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29 Lacey @ Lake Life January 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I kind of had to giggle at this “plunge”. We have to have tons of medics here for our Polar Bear plunge because there really is the chance of going into shock and/or hypothermia. Either way, congrats on being part of such a great cause!

Have fun at B&TB! How exciting πŸ™‚
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30 Lauren January 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Awesome job! They do a Polar Plunge at the big lake near me in March, and I think the water is only 40 or so degrees, maybe colder. I could never do it!
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31 sarah (sarah learns) January 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm

that’s awesome that you did a polar plunge (even if it was a florida version!). i’ve worked with developmentally disabled individuals for a long time, and special olympics is truly one of the highlights of some of their lives. they are always so proud to compete and get their medals. it’s a cause i 100% believe in!
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32 Ashley January 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm

OMG OMG OMG!!! I love Beauty and the Beast! I’m squealing right along with ya!

33 Lee January 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Tale as old as time…I love Beauty and the Beast and am jealous. I saw it years ago in DC.

You’re right, if you are going to do a Polar Plunge, Florida is the place to do it!
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34 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Okay that seriously does not even LOOK like fun! πŸ™‚
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35 Bess January 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm

And I got you on video today! Congrats on a brave plunge!

36 Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat January 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I’ve had friends do the Polar Plunge here in Minnesota. I’m with you–I could never be THAT crazy!!
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37 Whitney January 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

It ain’t legit unless your head goes under. πŸ˜›
Seriously, though, great cause! I used to do it in college – we had a polar plunge in the pond and always had to break a hole through the ice. I remember that the plunge almost wasn’t as big a deal as trying to get back to your shoes through the snow and not wipe out on the ice!
If you did it all four years of undergrad you’d get a “golden towel” with your name embroidered on it, heh.

38 Kiran January 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Congrats on the plunge, you did it πŸ˜€
My brother in law does winter plunges in freezing temps in the Amsterdam!!! Unbelievably cold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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39 RunningOnCoffee January 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Hooray for raising money for the special olympics! My first half marathon last spring was a fund raiser for the Special Oympics of NJ. I could never do a polar plunge! When my sister and I were kids, we’d go in our backyard pool when the water was in the 60s, but as I got older there was no way that was happening! Have a great time at Beauty and the Beast.
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40 Matt @ The Kitchen of a Runner January 22, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Props for getting in the water! No way I could do that πŸ˜‰

41 Grace January 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Wow! That looks soo fun…I think I could handle it plus I love any chance to dress up! It was definitely cheating with wetsuits though…Have a great time at Beauty and the Beast! P.s. Heath is my second favorite from Sweet=)
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42 Emily January 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I think the New England plungers would have killed for the Florida version πŸ™‚ Looks like a great time though, go you for going out there for such a great cause!!
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43 Maren January 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Your face coming out of the water is priceless. I couldn’t do it in the arctic either. Brrr!
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44 Aleyta January 22, 2011 at 11:16 pm

You seriously keep paying it forward. You have some pretty awesome karma going on πŸ™‚ Way to go!!!
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45 Christin@purplebirdblog January 23, 2011 at 12:00 am

Woo hoo!! You go crazy girl!! πŸ˜€
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46 Richelle January 23, 2011 at 12:00 am

That looks cold, but if you stay in for awhile you get used to the temperature!

47 Allie January 23, 2011 at 7:16 am

You did it! Haha awesome! I am from the north and I don’t know how people jumped in the river in Pittsburgh just last month… CRAZY. Lunch and the cupcake looks awesome πŸ™‚ Wraps are so yummy for lunch… or any time ;p
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48 Jessi @ Quirky Cookery January 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

It made me giggle to see you both wearing purple jackets, for some reason….so coordinated, hehe. And great job taking the plunge! Such a great cause. πŸ˜€

49 Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm

brrrrrrrrr I am cold just thinking about it!!
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50 Tracy @ Commit To Fit January 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

That is fantastic! Good for you and congratulations on raising that much money for a great cause!
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51 Lauren @ Team Giles January 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Meghann! I cannot stop laughing! I LOVE the look on your face when you’re in the water. Like I said you’re a brave crazy soul! I love it!
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52 fitfunfoodorlando January 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I love this idea! So fun and it raises money where did you find out about it?


53 Lauren @ Running Examiner January 24, 2011 at 9:26 am

I’m impressed! There is literally no way in hell that I would jump into cold water in the wintertime. At least not up here in New York. πŸ™‚ Florida water still gets pretty cold in the winter, too!
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54 Sarah January 24, 2011 at 10:26 am

I grew up in Ontario – when our pool hit 65 in the summer it was perfect for doing the first swim of the season! As for the polar bear jump, it’s done in Lake Ontario on New Year’s Day, usually when the outdoor temps are below 0 celcius (under 32 F). Sometimes, they have to cut out a section of the ice for everyone to get to the water. Now that’s cold!

55 Katie G ( January 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Cute suit! Where is it from?
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