Heads up! Massive Sale on Garmin, Suunto, Polar, Trainers and more! There’s two huge sales going on – first is a major Garmin sale, including $100 off new Forerunner 945 and $150 off the Fenix 5 Plus. Along with the Varia Radar, Garmin Edge 130 & 1030, and plenty more.
Plus there’s the big semi-annual 20% off sale, with virtually all major trainers and power meters included. Wahoo KICKR’s, Tacx NEO’s, Elite Direto’s and Suito’s, Saris H3, Kinetic, R1 4iiii Fliiiight, Stages, and many more. Not to mention the GPS units from Garmin, Polar, COROS, Lezyne, Suunto, Apple and others.
Sometimes it’s easy to get friends to join in my adventures. Yet other times, the crowd seems to disperse a bit. Take for example, the Polar Bear Plunge. I heard all assortment of reasons as to why a few in the small group wouldn’t be able to make it (perhaps last year scared them off). No worries though, they just wouldn’t get the uber-stylish sweatshirt.
But luckily…at least two friends had no particularly good excuse for avoiding the plunge. So, we loaded up the car just after lunch on Saturday and headed towards Annapolis, about 45 minutes away. Once there you transfer at the United States Naval Academy Football Stadium to an army of waiting school buses, which transfer you to the actual plunge site.
The reason for the extra transportation was the sheer number of folks participating. By some counts nearly 15,000 folks had registered – pretty massive really. Our arrival at the site re-enforced that the water was indeed cold in these parts:
After disembarking we hit up the registration tent to confirm our registration and sign a waiver prior to getting a wristband. The wristband ensures that if you freeze to death you can’t blame them for it.
After picking up the all important wristband we went a few tents down and received our epic sweatshirts. I don’t actually have a good photo of the sweatshirt by itself, but no worries – just imagine something from the 1980’s with lots of wild colors…then imagine it on a sweatshirt…now you’re done imagining.
Because the event is HUGE, they even give you a map covering the whole grounds – like a giant fair or festival – check it out:
As we were trying to find our way to the water (primary mission objective), we stumbled into a ramp with snowboarders on it. Given the lack of normal ski hills for snowboarding in this region, we could only assume this would end badly for the participants. So logically we stayed to watch.
We’ve even got some of them on video crashing…but we’ll keep that for the private collection.
Following the face-plant action, we soldiered on in search of the beach. Along the way we stumbled past some Ms. Maryland USA folk…
…and then we stumbled on some folks that…well…I don’t know what:
On the bright side, after watching her almost fall into the trash can we turned around to find the beach – just prior to everyone bombarding it:
Yet just a few minutes later, pure craziness:
I spent this time getting Mr. Duck all inflated. Of course I took him all the way home from Jordan. You didn’t think I was going to leave him behind did you?
Soon he was all set- just like the never ending line of rescue folks in dry suits that formed a human water-wall a few meters into the bay.
As we were just finishing up our preparations, they signaled the start of the 3PM plunge. In one of the most confusing displays of human behavior I’ve seen to date, thousands of people ran a few feet into the water…and then bolted back the opposite direction towards dry land – all screaming like little 5 year old girls.
We meanwhile, prepared to go in. Me in the duck, Lindsay in the Pink Hat, and The Girl behind her in the Bear Hat.
We approached the water – with The Girl’s sister taking control of the all important video and photo tasks (and somehow wisely avoiding the actual plunge component herself).
And with a burst of otherwise foolish energy, I bounded into the very cold bay:
Not very long after that…I came running back out…very…very…fast:
(P.S. – It is of my opinion that merely plunging to your knees while wearing a ski outfit does not quite meet the full definition of ‘plunging’…but to each their own I suppose.)
One might think that departure from the sea would equal warmth…turns out – that’s not the case. In fact, I’m relatively certain that after Mr. Ducky and I went our separate ways, I was actually colder. Specifically – my feet were colder. I suppose the snow covered ground probably didn’t help.
Oh – and don’t worry, Mr. Ducky survived to leave another day…another adventure.
And so to did the The Girl (aka…The Fiancée):
A mere 11 minutes after the plunge began…the beaches were empty:
And with that…the 2011 Plunge was over. We grabbed our complimentary hot dogs and headed on out past the giant polar bear towards the buses:
Oh…and we even got a sticker!
Thank you again to all those who have donated thus far! In total the event has raised over $2,100,000US towards the Maryland Special Olympics – that’s enormous! Fear not though, you can still donate here – remember, a couple bucks goes a long way towards making the dream come true for Special Olympic athletes. Thanks all!
You probably stumbled upon here looking for a review of a sports gadget. If you’re trying to decide which unit to buy – check out my in-depth reviews section. Some reviews are over 60 pages long when printed out, with hundreds of photos! I aim to leave no stone unturned.
I travel a fair bit, both for work and for fun. Here’s a bunch of random trip reports and daily trip-logs that I’ve put together and posted. I’ve sorted it all by world geography, in an attempt to make it easy to figure out where I’ve been.
The most common question I receive outside of the “what’s the best GPS watch for me” variant, are photography-esq based. So in efforts to combat the amount of emails I need to sort through on a daily basis, I’ve complied this “My Photography Gear” post for your curious minds! It’s a nice break from the day to day sports-tech talk, and I hope you get something out of it!
Many readers stumble into my website in search of information on the latest and greatest sports tech products. But at the end of the day, you might just be wondering “What does Ray use when not testing new products?”. So here is the most up to date list of products I like and fit the bill for me and my training needs best! DC Rainmaker 2018 swim, bike, run, and general gear list. But wait, are you a female and feel like these things might not apply to you? If that’s the case (but certainly not saying my choices aren’t good for women), and you just want to see a different gear junkies “picks”, check out The Girl’s 2018 Gear Guide too.