The weather could have been a bit better, but that didn’t stop around 250 people from celebrating the start of a new year by taking part in the seventh annual Newport Resolution Run & Polar Bear Plunge held on Saturday, Jan. 5, in South Beach.
And a good portion of those participants capped off their 5K, 10K or half-marathon run with a plunge into the surf of the Pacific Ocean.
“It was really good. We had a super great turnout despite that the weather forecast was kind of sketchy,” said Ed Cortes with Ardor Adventures, which puts on the event. “We didn’t know if it was going to be windy or rainy or what. We had a little bit of both. Even if it rains, though, people still are running and people still plunge in the water.” He said the inclement weather can actually be more of a challenge for those who are standing around waiting for the runners to return.
Of the three distances offered during this event, the half-marathon (13.1 miles), was actually the most popular. “We had over 100 people,” Cortes said of that distance. About half of the course was along flat, paved surfaces, but then the participants earned their bragging rights. Runners left the pavement at Idaho Point off of SE 35th Street, and then ran on gravel roads and single-track trails in the hills behind the Wilder subdivision and the Oregon Coast Community College campus.
Sending people off into the woods to run along the trails is always a concern, said Cortes, but the trail was well marked. “No one got lost,” he said. “I had a lot of compliments on the trail. That’s always my concern with people going on the trail, (but) everyone came out. Everyone had a good time.”
In many cases, a resolution run will take place on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Cortes was asked about the decision to hold this event on Jan. 5.
“I really like the long distance … I think you get a very different crowd. I hate to say this, but I think I’m a little prejudiced when it comes to (the distance).” That was the reason he added the half-marathon option a few years after the first race was held with just the 5K and 10K distances. “I wanted to have a half, and let’s be real, most of us stay up late and drink (on New Year’s Eve) and who wants to run a half-marathon the next day? You can pull off a 5K, no problem, but I really wanted to have a half.”
The plunge portion of the event took place in Yaquina Bay for the first few years, but when the Port of Newport was doing work on its old boat launch, the means by which runners had been accessing the water, Cortes changed the course to use the ocean instead. Now, races in all three distances start and finish the run portion at the end of the South Jetty Road. Those hearty souls who want the full experience and decide to take the plunge (it is optional), then drop down onto the beach and hit the surf. Some just go in knee or waist deep, while others go for the full body experience. Cortes said people prefer plunging into the ocean rather than the bay — it just seems a more appropriate finish somehow for an event held on the coast.
With another race in the books, Ardor Adventures is already gearing up for its next event. It will be held close to Valentine’s Day and is called Run, Love, Run. For this event, participants have the option of either a 15K (9.3 mile) or 30K (18.6 mile) distance. “I like that one. It’s just the crowd, the type of runners you get,” said Cortes. “Myself, I’m an ultra runner, that’s one of the reasons that I like those distances.”
And Ardor Adventures puts on a number of other races throughout the year.
“My goal is to make Newport a mecca of running,” Cortes said. “Many other cities really embrace running in the community. I need to get some type of group that can help me rally the community and come out. It’s fun to come out and cheer on the runners even if you don’t want to participate.”
Ardor Adventures also offers fundraising opportunities for local groups. “Like this year I gave some money to the Newport High School Cross Country Team because they came out and helped out,” said Cortes. “I’m already working with the Newport High School Cheerleading Squad. They helped at a couple of events, (and) the Newport High School Band. I would love to work with as many groups as want to come out and get involved and raise some money.”
Any groups wanting to learn more about fundraising opportunities available through Ardor Adventures can email Cortes at [email protected]. Information about upcoming events can be found online at www.ardoradventures.com.