5k with optional Polar Plunge to raise funds for Special Olympics of Oregon


2013 Portland Polar Plunge participants having an arctic blast while raising funds for Special Olympics of Oregon

First things first: You do not have to take the Plunge if you sign up for the Special Olympics of Oregon’s Polar Plunge 5k. You can just do the 5k, and then watch all the steam as other runners and Plunge-only folks dip in the icy cold water!

The Polar Plunge provides a huge boost for the programs of Special Special Olympics Oregon. Their 2014 fund raising goal is $350,000 – which goes a long way toward providing sports and competition opportunities for thousands of amazing athletes.

The 5k will be the first event of the day, with a 9a start time. For those of you running the 5k, here’s what you need to know:

  • You’ll park near the start of the 5k near the PDX Airport economy parking lots.
  • There will be a bag transport for your gear to get to the finish line/plunge site, so you’ll be able to put on warm, dry gear after you run/plunge
  • There will be heated changing tents, coffee and hot chocolate, plus snacks for you to munch on at the finish
  • You can plunge at 9:40a if you want to do so after your 5k; or you can wait (with warm gear while drinking hot beverages and noshing snacks) and plunge with non-5k-runner friends at 11a
  • There will be a shuttle to transport you from the finish line/plunge site back to your car at the end of your adventure

Here are the vitals:

What: Special Olympics of Oregon 5k and Polar Plunge

When: Saturday, February 8 at 9a

Where: Broughton Beach at 4325 NE Marine Drive in Portland

Register: Online here with a minimum donation of $25 for the 5k only; $50 for the 5k and Plunge; or day of race starting at 8:30a

Participants need to raise only $25 to sign up for the 5k, and the first participants to sign up will find a pair of Nike running socks in their goody bag. Additional funds raised earn you bonus goodies:

  • Raise $50 and get the Official Polar Plunge long sleeve t-shirt
  • Raise $250 and get a Polar Plunge Nike hat
  • Raise $500 and get a Nike Polar Plunge gym bag
  • Raise $1,000 and get a Nike Polar Plunge hooded sweatshirt
  • Raise $2,500 and get a Nike Polar Plunge rain jacket

When you register, you can set up your fund raising profile on the secure Kintera site, from which you can email friends and ask them to support your cause. Just getting $10 from 25 friends will go a long way in providing sport  and competition for Special Olympics athletes!

The course is a point-to-point 5k, starting near the RED economy parking lot at PDX. Participants will run or walk on the paved path that follows the Columbia River, and finish at Broughton Beach, where the Plungers will take their dip. Now, if you WANT to jump in the Columbia after your 5k, all you need to do is raise $50 instead of the $25 required for the run. This also bumps you up to the long sleeve t-shirt level.

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.