SALISBURY — Just over a thousand runners braved the chilly air and warmed up in the Atlantic to welcome 2013 in the 32nd annual Winner’s Circle Running Club New Year’s Day Classic 5K and 10K races at Salisbury Beach yesterday.
“I was surprised that we had over a thousand (people) with the storm we had this weekend,” said race director Nick Paquette. “But people love this race and it is building momentum.”
It seems the hardest part of the race for many was coming out of the ocean after an impromptu polar bear plunge, as the water was much warmer than the air outside.
“The water is about 48 (degrees) and the air temperature is about 33,” said Roy Dennehy, 68, of North Andover, who was on his 20th New Year’s Classic. “It’s warmer inside the water than getting out.”
“This is like Miami Beach today,” continued Dennehy, who runs with the Gate City Striders out of Nashua, N.H. “You can’t believe what it was like at some of these races. There’s rain and wind hitting you in the face, cutting you to ribbons. Today is nice. Normally, the tide is higher (too). You’ve got to go a long way into the water today.”
Just about to make that long trek into the wet was Brian Carmody, 43, of Peabody, who was out for his first New Year’s Classic and felt it was a nice way to start the new year.
“It was fun,” said Carmody. “It’s a nice day. I like the weather. I was expecting it to be a little cooler, so it should be a good day to jump into the ocean.”
Amy Delorie, 41, of Stratham, N.H., was on her fifth Classic accompanied by friend Jeff Alvarez, 31, of Manchester, N.H., who was on his third.