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Originally published Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Dive in to new year with Polar Bear Plunge

The 10th Annual Polar Bear Plunge returns at noon Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, for those who choose to make a new year's statement by jumping into frigid Lake Washington at Matthews Beach in Seattle. Also at noon Sunday, the Point Defiance Marina in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park will host its maiden Polar Bear Plunge. And at 11 a.m. Sunday, the Polar Bear Dip at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Fit & Fun |

The 10th Annual Polar Bear Plunge returns at noon Sunday for those who choose to make a new year's statement by jumping into the (frigid) lake.

The event, at Matthews Beach on Sand Point Way Northeast, is co-sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Meadowbrook Community Center Advisory Council.

The original plunge in 2003 attracted about 300 people. About 1,000 could take a dip this time.

Also at noon Sunday, the Point Defiance Marina in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park will host its maiden Polar Bear Plunge. Participants will receive a $3 coupon to see real polar bears just up the hill at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Hot drinks and heaters will be provided at both events.

And at 11 a.m. Sunday, the Polar Bear Dip takes place at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd., Renton.

Safety tips:

First consult a physician if you have a history of heart problems.

Don't stay in the water longer than 15 minutes.

Don't drink alcohol before immersion.

For more information:

•www.seattle.gov/parks

www.metroparkstacoma.org

www.rentonwa.gov

Fit & Fun is a weekly notice about active recreational opportunities in the Greater Seattle area. To suggest a future item, contact Richard Seven: rseven@seattletimes.com.

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