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Polar Bear Run

The date is drawing near for the 39th annual Lake Waramaug Polar Bear Run which is scheduled for Sunday starting at Hopkins Vineyard, 25 Hopkins Road in Warren.

The 7.8-mile loop of picturesque Lake Waramaug attracts hundreds of area runners and benefits Guiding Eyes for the Blind. The race is limited to 700 participants and, so far, has raised $24,000 with a goal of $40,000.

The scenic course travels counterclockwise along the shoreline of the glacial lake while passing through Washington, Warren and Kent. The route is primarily flat with a few gentle rolling hills. The final .2 miles provides a true test for all as runners ascend Hopkins Hill to the finish line at Hopkins Vineyard.

The top three male and female finishers receive prizes. First place overall wins a $100 TrailHeads gift card and a bottle of wine from Hopkins Vineyard. Age group awards are presented for the top three in each category.

Race organizers Ed and Stephanie Raftery, co-founders of TrailHeads, a Kent-based enterprise, have been at the helm of the event since 2018. That year also marked the start of a partnership with Guiding Eyes for the Blind as the event's charitable beneficiary.

"Our family has been involved with Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s puppy socialization program for 12 years," said Stephanie Raftery. "We’ve hosted more than 90 puppies during that time."

Ed Raftery has a degenerative eye disease and his experience with vision loss was one of the key factors that led to their partnership with Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Click here for pre-registration.

Race day registration takes place at Hopkins Vineyards starting at 9:30AM.

Race day parking is available in the lot located 200 yards north of Hopkins Vineyard (access via Hopkins Road). Additional parking is available near the intersection of North Shore Rd and Hopkins Road. Please consider carpooling with fellow runners.