Taking the Polar Plunge at Klineline

100 brave cold as part of Turkey Trot

By Dameon Pesanti, Columbian staff writer

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The Lunds started a new family tradition this year — jumping into a frigid pond after a long run on Thanksgiving morning.

After participating in the 10K run at the 16th annual Turkey Trot at Salmon Creek Park, Tracey, Eric and Chase Lund joined more than 100 other people and jumped into Klineline Pond to take the Polar Plunge.

“It was cold, but it was good — kind of exhilarating,” Eric Lund said while drying off on shore and wearing a hat with turkey head proudly standing out at the front. “First one I’ve ever done. I’ve always wanted to do one. I almost backed out, but we did it.”

Running down the gently sloping beach into the water might have been even worse than just jumping straight in, according to Tracey Lund.

“(Running in) you’re feeling the cold creep up,” she said with a laugh.

The Lund family was three of hundreds of people who ignored the rain Thursday morning and came to burn off a few calories before a big holiday meal later that night.

Salmon Creek Park was mobbed with tutus, running shoes, and holiday-themed hats during the Turkey Trot.

The proceeds of the event — the Polar Plunge and race registration fees and T-shirt sale revenue — all went to the Clark County Food Bank. According to a news release on the event, the proceeds are enough to provide tens of thousands of meals to people throughout the county.

The event sold out days before the start of the race. More than 1,200 people registered to run or walk the 5K or 10K, but the actual number of participants was likely much higher, said Vandella Jasso, who’s with the food bank and is one of the event’s organizers.

“I know for a fact more people actually ran or walked it,” she said. “We cap it at 1,250, but we say you can still come out and run or walk with your dog, friends and family.”

Around 90 people signed up to take the Polar Plunge, who, for their bravery, were awarded a towel and a small squishy polar bear. Anyone who was brave enough to strip down and jump in when the horn blared was welcomed.

Many went in but only a few were brave enough to submerge themselves.

Tristan Deasy, 19, was one of the few who completely submerged himself.

Why’d he do it?

“Because my mom told me to,” he said. “But it was very interesting, actually. It was pretty cold, but almost refreshing.”

But whether he’ll be back next year was a big maybe.