Steve Shay
Mark Ufkes, at right, seen here at the 2012 Polar Bear swim at Alki Beach is calling for 1000 participants to plunge into the icy waters of Puget Sound at 10am on New Years Day.

UPDATE: 1000 people being requested for Alki Polar Bear swim Jan. 1; Currently 400 expected

UPDATE Dec. 31 12:15pm
Alki Polar Bear Swim organizer Mark Ufkes shared this update on the event set for New Years Day at 10:00am

We have grown from 30 friends to over 300 last year. We do not have early sign up, folks just show up ready to jump into the water together.

We expect at least 400 swimmers this year who are happy and excited about their lives in 2013. Viva (Long live the) West Seattle Polar Bear Swim!"

NOTE: The West Seattle Herald will have photo and video coverage of the swim.

Original post Dec. 17
A goal of 1000 participants has been set by organizers of the annual New Year's Day Polar Bear swim on Alki Beach.

White Center Chamber of Commerce President and multiple Polar Bear swim veteran put out the call for participants on Dec. 17.

"On January 1, 2013, West Seattle will attempt to reach 1,000 swimmers participating in a Seattle area January 1 Polar Bear swim. We meet at Alki Beach across from Dukes and Christos restaurants on Alki. Last January, we had about 325 swimmers on January 1, 2012. Swimmers gather at 9:45 am, fan out into a long line along our beautiful Alki beach, hold hands, and then, with a loud cheer, run together into Puget Sound sharply at 10:00 am. Swimmers should bring a towel, good water shoes and dry clothes to change into.

Traditionally, Dukes restaurant generously provides free clam chowder and local families bring hot chocolate for the crowd. Afterwards, Alki beach is full of hundreds of smiling swimmers and their families and friends. Come join the fun. Do the West Seattle Polar Bear swim. You will have a great time!

For more information please contact Mark L. Ufkes, Polar Bear Swimmer and M.C.
(206) 595-7124 c

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