Winter relents for warm 5K Run to the Plunge

The weather shifted from unseasonably cold to unseasonably warm Feb. 1, as runners participated in the 5K Run to the Plunge in Rehoboth Beach. Shown are (l-r)  Frankie Jordan, Zach Krause, Brett Cordrey and Jayson Bak. BY NICK ROTH
February 7, 2014

There was still snow on the ground, but the scene at the 5K Run to the Plunge Feb. 1 was juxtaposed with runners in shorts and T-shirts. Mother Nature offered a reprieve from the recent snow and frigid temperatures to provide a mildly warm weekend for the Lewes Polar Bear Plunge events in Rehoboth Beach.

More than 500 competitors took advantage of the warmer weather to run the 3.1-mile course and support Special Olympics Delaware. Steve Eshelman, 20, cruised to the win, crossing the finish line on Maryland Avenue in a time of 17:40. He was followed in by William Schaffer in 18:06, David Marshall in 18:53 and Adam Marshell in 18:54.

Rebecca Lewandowski finished fifth overall and was the first female competitor to complete the course, in 19:25. Rounding out the very competitive women's top five were Christine Marks in 20:18, Jennifer Lucas in 20:22, Leanne Carson in 20:42 and Jen Cawthern in 20:52.

More than $725,000 was raised during the whole Polar Plunge weekend. On Feb. 2, 3,252 people plunged into the 34-degree Atlantic Ocean off Rehoboth Beach. In its 23 years, the event has raised more than $7.525 million for Special Olympics Delaware.

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