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Polar Bear Dash 5k

Longrun Athletics

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM (CST)

Polar Bear Dash 5k

Registration Information

Registration Type Sales End Price Fee
5k Registration Ended $30.00 $0.00

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Event Details

Start your New Year on the right foot....then the left.  The Polar Bear Dash is a 5k race on New Year's Day at beautiful Grant Park in South Milwaukee.  What sets this race apart from any other 5k race you have done: an optional polar dip into Lake Michigan at the end of the race.  Yes, we will have a separate division for those runners daring enough to take the plunge into the lake before crossing the finish line!



Results can be found by following this link

Pictures will be posted at Running In the USA.


Schedule of Events:

Registration/Packet Pick: 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Grant Park Golf Course Clubhouse, 100 E. Hawthorne Ave., South Milwaukee

Start of Race: 11 a.m. in front of Clubhouse on Grant Park Drive

Awards Ceremony:  Noon in Clubhouse

*Parking is available in the two golf course parking lots and also in beach lot. Enter Grant Park off N. Chicago Avenue to Hawthorne Avenue or Oak Creek Parkway.  Both streets are located on each side of the Dairy Queen on N. Chicago Avenue.  You will not be able to access Grant Park off Lake Drive.


Course Information:

The course will travel north along Grant Park Drive.  Runners will turn around just before Lake Drive and head south.  The course will go past the club house and then turn left into the Grant Park Beach parking lot for the finish.

Participants will go through the parking lot and run across the beach toward Lake Michigan.  Those doing the polar dip will continue ahead to the water and run parallel to the beach for about 75 yards before heading to the finish line in the parking lot. Those doing the regular 5k will run on the beach next to the water before heading to the finish line.

The last half mile of the course is downhill.  The hill to the beach parking lot is very steep.  Also note that all participants will have to go off the pavement when running on the beach. This will just be for a short distance but it will be somewhat rugged terrain.

See course map below:



Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Polar Bear Division?

The Polar Bear Division will run the same course as the regular 5K runners and at the same time but with about 100 meters to go, will run across the beach and into lake Michigan.  These brave souls will then run into about knee deep water, run parallel to the shore in the water for about 75 yards before heading to the finish line.   Timing chips will be on the race numbers to prevent getting wet.   Awards for the first 3 male and females to finish in the Polar Bear Division after taking the polar dip.  Those runners doing the polar dip will also be eligible for age group awards in the regular 5k.

When is the registration deadline?

Online registration will close on December 29.  Race-day registration will be available.

What is the price?

$25 until December 15, $30 until December 29 and $35 on race-day.

What time does the race start?

11 a.m., which leaves plenty of time to sleep off that New Year's Eve hangover!

Where does the race take place?

Grant Park, 100 E. Hawthorne Ave., South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

What is the course like?

The course is entirely on a parkway except for the finish in a parking lot. There are a few gradual hills including a major downhill finish. Grant Park is one of the most scenic parks in the Milwaukee area with spectacular views of Lake Michigan.

What should I wear if I am doing the polar dip?

That is completely up to you. One thing you might want to wear is an old pair of running shoes if you plan to wear them into the water.

What should I do about my wet clothes after the race?

It is highly recommended that you bring some warm, dry clothes and place them on the tarp near the finish line.

Will the race be timed and how can I get my results?

Prime Time Timing will be timing the race and results will be available in the club house or on their website at

Will you give out awards and for what age groups?

The top three overall male and females will receive awards as well as the top three males and females in the following age groups: 0-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+.

There will also be a special award for the first three male and female finishers in the Polar Bear Division. Those runners are also eligible for overall or age group awards.

Where do I pick up my packet and what do I get?

The packet pickup will be from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Grant Park Golf Course Club House. Participants will receive a goody bag with a long-sleeve t-shirt (adult sizes only, guaranteed for pre-registered runners only).

Will there be a water station on the course?

Due to the race being held in winter and the safety concerns about water freezing on the course, water will not be provided.  Please bring your own hand-held water bottle if you feel that you will need water on the course.  If it is an unseasonably warm day, water will be provided. Water will also be available in the club house after the race.

Is there an age limit?

No, bring the whole family.

Are strollers permitted?

Absolutely!  Please bring the little ones along.

Are walkers are allowed?

Sure, walkers can participate.

Do I have to run into the cold water of Lake Michigan?

No, there is not requirement that you do a polar dip and in fact you must be 18 to jump in.  You can even decide during the race if you want to do the dip or not. There will be members from the South Milwaukee Fire Department on hand to ensure that everyone enters and exits the water safely.

What if the weather is inclement on race-day?

The race will go on unless conditions make it impossible to hold.

Can I get a refund if I am unable to participate?

No, there are no refunds for the Polar Bear Dash.

How do I contact the event director?

Email us at

Have questions about Polar Bear Dash 5k? Contact Longrun Athletics

When & Where

Grant Park
100 E. Hawthorne Ave
South Milwaukee, WI

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM (CST)

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