Manitoba

Winnipeggers dress down, bundle up for 2 New Year's Day 2020 runs

Several dozen hardy Winnipeggers doffed most of their clothing to kick off the year, while several hundred others opted for a more modest, comfortable look for their morning run.

Whether you like running half-naked or dressed more in tune to the weather, there was an event for you

Several dozen donned not much more than underwear or bathing suits for a quick, but brisk, run on New Year's morning. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Several dozen hardy Winnipeggers doffed most of their clothing to kick off the year, while several hundred others opted for a more modest, comfortable look for their morning runs.

Keeping with tradition, two annual events helped those sweat out the previous night's celebrations. 

Polar Bare Run 

Several dozen runners opted for a 700-metre loop around the Assiniboine Park Duck Pond early Wednesday morning in nothing more than bathing suits or tight briefs. 

"It's a better year when you've got crazy friends to do crazy things with," said Jared Spier, who despite the wind making it feel close to –20, was among those who dressed in attire more suited to a swimming pool or a beach. 

"You keep coming back and doing this every single year because it's a tradition. It's just the way to start the year," he said. 

Coral Wiebe, left, completed the Polar Bare Run for her sixth time on Wednesday morning. (Riley Laychuk/CBC )

The 2020 edition of the Polar Bare Run, which has been annual event since the early 2000s, was much warmer than previous New Year's escapades. The 2019 event was done in temperatures close to -30 C.

Still, it's become an annual event for many who show up and undress. 

"Awesome, fantastic, invigorated, a little cold," is how Coral Wiebe, who participated in the run for her sixth time, described it.

"When you're running it's actually not too too bad," remarked Chris Wiebe, standing beside her shortly after both crossed the finish line.

The event also raised money and donations for Siloam Mission. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Organizers also collected donations of food, hygiene products and cash for Siloam Mission.

"It's just a fun event for a lot of people to do," said Aldo Furlan, an organizer with the Polar Bare Run.

"It's unusual, it's a bit challenging, it's fun," he added. "It makes people raise their eyebrows." 

Resolution Run 

Across the city, more than 250 also opted for an early New Year's run.

But those taking part in the 35th annual Resolution Run were dressed a little more modestly and little more in line with the conditions.

Chris Walton, an events co-ordinator with the Running Room in Manitoba, said participants could either take part in the regular five-kilometre event or a one-kilometre kids' run. 

"I thought it would be a great opportunity to start off the new year," said Mary Coleman Pelletier, who took part for the first time this year.

More than 250 people took part in the 2020 five-kilometre Resolution run. (Travis Golby/CBC)

"I've wanted to do this for probably the last 10 years and just haven't had the opportunity to actually do it," the marathon runner said. 

The Resolution Run raises money for the Children's Hospital Foundation and the West Portage YMCA, Walton said, noting a tally for this year's event is not yet in.

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