Lehigh Valley

Brave souls make New Year's Day trek into icy water

'Roadrunners' make New Year's Day trek across frigid creek

There's snow on the ground, and it's barely above freezing. Perfect weather for a swim? For some people, it's the only way they'll spend New Year's Day.

"Great way to start the new year," said Ken Broadway, of Alburtis, Lehigh Co.

Broadway and nearly 80 other runners traded trainers for trunks to sprint across the icy Little Lehigh River in Allentown.

"The water temperature we measured earlier was 38 degrees," said Neal Novak, with the Lehigh Valley Road Runners, which has held the event for 12 years.

"It's so cold that when you get in, getting out of the water seems like a holiday," said Mike Sosnowski, of Allentown.

For some, this is old hat.

"Eighth year," said Ted Wismer, of Walnutport, Northampton Co.

But for many, this was a new experience.

"First time!" said Lindsey Graybill of Macungie, Lehigh Co.

"Dad twisted her arm," said her dad, Jim.

It's an experience they might not repeat.

"This is a bucket list kind of thing, so I can check it off now," said Jim.

Not to be outdone was a rag-tag group from Easton.

"We had about 20 people say, 'Okay, we're going to do this New Year's Day,'" said Scott Fuls, of Martins Creek, Northampton Co.  "And there's -- what? -- four of us here, and we're going to do this!"

They headed straight into the Delaware River -- and straight out seconds later!

"It was exhilarating!", said one swimmer called "Duke."

So, whatever floats your boat -- no matter how cold the water is -- here's wishing you a happy (and warm) new year.

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