(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
As the first day of 2013 comes to an end, a closer look at some of the people who started it with a brisk tradition – West Seattle’s annual Polar Bear Swim on Alki. Though hundreds dashed into Puget Sound together, for each one, it was a very personal type of triumph. Above, Andrew Kurtz‘s fist-pump; next, Lisa Hayden‘s spirited wave as she emerged:
Charlie Duncan and Steve Douglas were pumped up even before they went in:
More of WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams‘ Polar Bear Swim scenes – before, during, and after – ahead:
Costumes, makeup, and/or masks were the order of the day for some – check the luchadore masks:
Marina Kosenko and friends looked battle-ready:
Pre-swim, Susan Kelleher put finishing touches on her outfit:
And speaking of costumes – that looked like “Orca Man” offshore:
Of course, all you really needed was a bathing suit – Keri Watson and Jamie Blair sported the basics:
… as did many in the water-bound lineup:
Once in, whatever you were wearing – even a Happy New Year tiara – most likely, you decided fairly quickly to get back out:
Andrew, seen at the top of this story, helped Anna Friedman get dried off afterward:
Then it was time to warm up – hot chocolate, clam chowder, or even just a reminder that while a tropical island might be nice, it wouldn’t have scenery like this:
And for those who ask “what’s the point?” – organizer Mark Ufkes summed it up in his announcement last month: “It is a great way to wash away the complexities of the previous year, and celebrate the unlimited potential that awaits each of us in the new year. Year after year, Polar Bear swimmers declare that this ritual creates a sense of renewal, and helps make the new year stronger and more positive.”
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