A group of brave swimmers go in for a quick dip during Metchosin’s annual polar bear swim on Jan. 1 last year. (Photo courtesy of Ed Watson Photography)

A group of brave swimmers go in for a quick dip during Metchosin’s annual polar bear swim on Jan. 1 last year. (Photo courtesy of Ed Watson Photography)

Take a dip at Taylor Beach for polar bear swim

A chance to wash, or freeze, away 2017

It’s a New Year’s Day tradition that some credit to the Russians as a symbolic way to wash away the negative energy that people may be hanging on to from the previous year.

On Jan. 1, dozens of people are expected to dive into the ice cold waters of Taylor Beach for the 30th anual polar bear swim in Metchosin. Before that, residents can also take part in a six-kilometre run or three km walk, ending at the beach in time for the 2 p.m. swim. After taking a dip, residents are welcome to shower, change and enjoy food and drinks at Coun. Andy MacKinnon’s home (504 Witty Beach Rd.)

RELATED: Annual New Year’s Day tradition sees Metchosin swimmers grin and ‘bear’ it

For those who are considering participating in this event, here’s a few tips:

– Don’t take off clothes before just prior to your swim. Stay warm as long as possible.

– If you have a heart problem, check with your doctor before considering this event.

– Children should be accompanied by an adult.

– Don’t think about having an alcoholic beverage; it will actually make you colder.

– Don’t stay in the water longer than 10 minutes.

– Warm up with hot chocolate of coffee after the race.

Finally, let it be known that, should you be mad enough to participate in the swim, you have earned bragging rights into the spring. For queries, email metchosinmacs@gmail.com.


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