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Freezing for fun: Polar Bears brave chilly water (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

35 participants hit the water during the 11th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Mountain Valley Splash in Prescott Valley Saturday, January 7. (Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier)
Photo by Les Stukenberg.

35 participants hit the water during the 11th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Mountain Valley Splash in Prescott Valley Saturday, January 7. (Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier)

RESCOTT VALLEY – Coming up out of the water, Ashley Lenzi said she felt like an ice cube following her fourth year of participating in Prescott Valley’s Polar Bear Splash. She keeps coming back to the event because she’s crazy, Lenzi sad.

“It’s just fun being part of the community and being silly,” she said, noting her goal upon the splash starting was jump in, grab one of the prize washers and get out. “When you finally get in, you’re like ‘yep it’s freezing, I can’t think.”

Lenzi’s husband, Eric, participated in and won the Ice Princess Contest seeking “hairiest man” honors. Lenzi said he felt good about winning.

Though he had been coming with his wife to the Polar Bear Splash every time she took the plunge, this was the first year he entered the Ice Princess Contest, he said.

“She tried to get me to do it three years ago and I wouldn’t do it,” Eric said, adding he had a pretty good feeling about his chances from what he saw of the competition and he’ll be back next year to take part. “I got to protect my title, right?”

Though Ashley has participated in the Polar Bear Splash before, the event did see some souls braving the water for the first time, one of which was Ron Corbin, who said he wanted to do it because he had never done so before.

After jumping into the freezing water, Corbin said he wasn’t in a hurry to get dressed because it wasn’t as cold outside of the pool as it was inside.

Daniel Ibarra also said he was participating for the first time, but said he kept wanting to do it in previous years.

“I’ve been trying to do it and this year, I decided to go for it,” he said, adding that when he got in he “just wanted to get out of there as soon as I could.”

Jason Wheeler is a reporter for the Prescott Valley Tribune.

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