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Where to take the (polar bear) plunge New Year’s Day in SLO County

Swimmers take the plunge at the annual Carlin Soule’ Memorial Polar Bear Dip in Cayucos in 2016. The event returns to the Cayucos Pier on Jan. 1, 2018.
Swimmers take the plunge at the annual Carlin Soule’ Memorial Polar Bear Dip in Cayucos in 2016. The event returns to the Cayucos Pier on Jan. 1, 2018. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Looking for a fun, refreshing way to kick off 2018? Take the plunge.

On Monday, hundreds of brave souls will wade into the chilly waters off the Central Coast to celebrate New Year’s Day, with three such events planned in San Luis Obispo County.

Participants are encouraged to don their craziest costumes and dive into the Pacific Ocean at the free Avila Beach Polar Bear Plunge, which kicks off at 11:45 a.m. Monday on the south side of the Avila Beach pier.

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Roberto Ruiz of San Luis Obispo shared his drone footage taken just after the 2017 Carlin Soulé Memorial Polar Bear Dip in Cayucos on January 1, 2017.

Plungers can also brave the cold water in Cayucos at the annual Carlin Soule Memorial Polar Bear Dip. The free festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, with a dip at noon.

Also on Monday, Pismo Beach is hosting Pier to Plunge 5K, a 5-kilometer run, tot trot and polar plunge at the Pismo Beach Pier emceed by record-setting runner Jordan Hasay. The former Mission Prep and University of Oregon track star, who grew up in Arroyo Grande, placed third in the Boston Marathon in May and the Chicago Marathon in October.

Hasay’s massage therapist, Michael Moore of Moore Sports Recovery in Pismo Beach, will also be on hand.

Registration for Pier to Plunge 5K, which closes Saturday, costs $30, or $20 for ages 12 to 18; runners under 11 are free. (Proceeds benefit local nonprofit Transitions Mental Health. Prizes are available for best costume and fastest male and female runner.)

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For information about the Avila Beach Polar Bear Plunge, go to visitavilabeach.com. Details about the Carlin Soule Memorial Polar Bear Dip are available at www.facebook.com/events/306087763231156.

For info about Pier to Plunge 5K, call 805-295-5000 or visit pismopiertoplunge.com.

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