, Newburyport, MA


January 2, 2013

A New Year's tradition

Runners take a dip after finishing Winner's Circle race


“It’s good weather,” said Alvarez. “I’m looking forward to the plunge. The water is not that cold, it’s getting out (that’s the problem.) That’s when it hits you. It’s cleansing for the new year. Out with the old, in with the new.”

Dave Short, 32, of Dracut was dripping wet from the plunge after his first Classic .

“The weather is worse than the water,” said Short. “It felt good after drinking 20 beers last night, though. I would say it’s a baptism of sorts.”

Taking the plunge with Short was Leah Varnal, 33, also of Dracut.

“I couldn’t breathe when I came out,” said a shivering Varnal. “Happy New Year.”

Joanne Regan, 49, of South Boston came up to run and swim with her friend, Jill Ciccotelli, 49, of Methuen. Both women will turn 50 in 2013 and are looking to take the year by storm as well as see the Patriots win the Super Bowl this year.

“It was fun,” Ciccotelli said of the race. “This was our goal, when we turn 50. It was my best time (too at 39:06.)”

Firefighter Mike Soucy, 39, of Manchester ran in his turnout gear to remind people to support their local fire departments and said that the gear slowed him down more than people might think.

“It acts more like a sail,” Soucy said of his coat and gear. “There’s a lot of weight. (But) people were really cheering me on. It was nice.”

“It’s a fantastic day,” said Paquette. “The proof is in the eating. We’ll see how people finished up. The roads are a little slick, so there were no personal bests. We’ve got a good DJ this year and we’ve got great sponsors. That’s what we want to do, is have a good time.”

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