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Plunging into 2007

By Todd McClamroch in News on Jan 1, 2007 9:25PM

Hundreds of Chicagoans rang in the New Year with a polar plunge into Lake Michigan. Safely on the shore of North Avenue Beach, the swimmers were supported by hundreds of camera and towel toting friends and family. All it took to get the party started was one loud kamakazee-esque run into the 39 degree waters of Lake Michigan. The lone swimmer started a chain reaction that resulted in a full-out assault of the lake. Most made it in and were back out well under a minute. Many marveled at one man, who seemed impervious to the cold and spent several minutes swimming.

To officially have completed the challenge of the New Year polar plunge you not only have to enter the frigid waters but must completely submerse yourself. There were a few that did not have a choice as they were picked up and dumped into the lake. Chicagoist overheard many a participant explaining that this year’s challenge was easy compared to previous years when they had to run over the icy beach to reach water on days when the air temperature was below freezing. The air temperature and water temperature were both 39 degrees for today's event.

If you missed out on the action and jumping in freezing water sounds appealing, or if you just like watching others suffer, you can mark on your calendar March 4, 2007 for the 7th Annual Chicago Polar Plunge. Check out the action that Chicagoist captured today on YouTube or in our photo gallery on Flickr.