They jumped in bikinis and Speedos, Hawaiian-patterned swim trunks and lucky T-shirts.
Whatever their choice of attire, all rang in 2012 with a frigid Sunday morning dip in Lake Minnetonka.
Final numbers are still being tabulated, but the Bayview Event Center in Excelsior welcomed about 900 jumpers from throughout the state and as far away as Columbia to the 34-foot long, five-foot deep test of will.
Reasons for being in Excelsior were as varied as the participants.
“This is the real way to purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka,” Gregg Little of Eden Prairie said, referencing Prince’s popular 1984 movie Purple Rain. “I had an absolutely horrible 2011—I don’t want to get into it—and I just felt I needed to do this today.”
Tim from Minnetonka had Sunday’s ice jump circled on his calendar for months.
“I asked my girlfriend to marry me just before we jumped,” he said after being helped from his icy swim by EMS and fire crews. “I’d been planning it since October. She said yes. We’ll be back.”
For Stacy Vystrom, it was family.
“My dad couldn’t be here this year because of health reasons, so I jumped for him,” she said. “I filled this little bottle of water and am going to give it to him this afternoon as a get well present.”
Sunday morning’s annual ice plunge is organized by the ALARC Fitness and Friends