Some Cullman County residents plan to start 2010 with a splash, even if it is the middle of winter.

The Cullman Wellness and Aquatic Center is hosting the Frosty 5K run and Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday, Jan. 9, with registration for the run opening at 8 a.m. The 5K will begin at 9 p.m. and the plunge will be at 11 a.m. at the aquatic center’s outdoor pool.

Registration is $10 to plunge, $15 to run, or $20 for both. The fee also includes a long-sleeved event T-shirt.

For the plunge, the regular pool dress code — swimsuits only — will be in effect, and emergency personnel will be on site in case of an emergency.

“So, no cheating with wet suits,” city parks marketing director Nicole McKeever said.

McKeever said the event will serve as something new and unique in the winter.

“We’ve had success with the midnight run and thought it’d be a good idea to do a winter event,” she said. “We’re hoping this will pump people up.”

Considering the frigid temperature this weekend, McKeever said she believes they have definitely picked the right time for the event.

“The only reason the outdoor pool isn’t frozen is because it’s moving water,” she said with a laugh. “We think we’ve picked the perfect weekend of the year. I think it’s going to be a really fun time.”

City parks director John Hunt said the event will be a unique, new way to kick off 2010.

“This is an exciting new event to start the year for our department.” he said. “It has been fun to plan and we hope it will be just as fun for the community to participate.”

In addition to the adrenaline rush and T-shirt, everyone who jumps in the pool will be entered in a drawing to win a free one-year family membership at the center, valued at approximately $780.

“You may be really cold for 10 minutes, but you could win a yearlong membership,” McKeever said. “I think this will really be a different kind of event.”

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 225.

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