FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
General 5K/10K & Polar Plunge Event Questions
WHAT IS THE SAN FRANCISCO 5K/10K & POLAR PLUNGE?
The San Francisco 5K/10K & Polar Plunge is a unique community event where individuals, the community, schools and businesses support Special Olympics by raising funds through participation in a 5K or 10K run and /or jumping into the San Francisco Bay in the middle of winter. There are currently 12 Polar Plunges taking place in Northern California. If cold water is not your thing, you can register as a chicken. Did we mention that costumes are encouraged?
We have added a 10K run and both the 5K and 10K are timed. Finisher medals will be presented to all participants and awards presented to the top 3 finishers in each division.
If you want to participate but not wanting to fundraise, you can purchase your Polar Plunge ticket online for $125.
Cool Schools can now earn more funds back for their schools.
Our incentives now give you more options to choose from!
WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE?
The funds raised will help Special Olympics continue to positively impact the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Our sports programs encourage self-confidence and self-esteem, while our schools programs promote acceptance and respect for everyone. Through our Healthy Athlete program, athletes are educated on the benefits of a healthy life style. All our services are provided free of charge which is why your support is so important.
DO I HAVE TO DO THE RUN AND PLUNGE?
No not at all. You are welcome to participate in the 5K, the 10K or the Plunge. However if you are the adventurous type, can you register for the run AND Plunge. It is completely up to you. You will make your selection when you register.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
Click on the register button above and follow the easy steps to complete the registration process. You can join as an individual, start a team or join a team that is already created. You will also select your registration type (Plunger, Runner, Plunger & Runner, etc.)
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
If you running, bring a duffel bag or backpack to store your warm-up clothes and other items. We will have a bag check area where you can store you bag while you run. Please be sure you pick up your bag immediately after you finish the run. The bag check area will close at 11:30am, before the Plunge begins.
Plungers are encouraged to wear some type of water shoe (but we don't recommend flip-flops!) Don't forget to bring a towel and a change of clothes too! We don't recommend that your change of clothes have lots of buttons or zippers because they are the last thing you will want to fumble with after you get out of the chilly water with fingers that are "bear-ly" functioning! A duffel bag or garbage bag to put your wet clothes in would be a pretty good idea as well.
WHAT IS THE PLUNGE PUB?
The Plunge Pub will offer "courage juice" to our adult participants (free beer, wine and a signature drink). All participants 21 years of age and older who raise a minimum of $125 will have access to Plunge Pub. Guests can purchase Plunge Pub tickets onsite. Photo ID will be required before a Plunge PUb wristband will be issued.
HOW MUCH DO I HAVE RAISE TO PARTICIPATE?
If you are running, you will pay a flat registration fee. If you plan on running and Plunging, in addition to your run registration fee, you need to raise an additional minimum of $125 in order to Plunge.
Plungers and Chickens must raise or pay a minimum of $125. As an incentive reward, you’ll receive an official Polar Plunge long sleeve t-shirt and free admittance to the Plunge festivities. There are additional incentive levels - $300, $500, $1,000 and $2,500, so the more you raise the more you earn (and the more our athletes benefit)! If you are a member of a Cool Schools team, you need to raise a minimum of $50 to plunge, but need to raise $125 to receive an official long-sleeve Polar Plunge t-shirt and Plunge meal.
IS THE PLUNGE A SWIM?
Absolutely not. Participants run into the water, frolic around for a minute or two, snap photos, then out of the water we go!
IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENT?
Runners and Plungers alike are welcome to participate regardless of their age. However, those under the age of 18 years of age, must turn in a Polar Plunge waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian in order to participate. You can find the waiver on the Polar Plunge registration page after you register.
HOW FAR DO I HAVE TO GO IN THE WATER?
That is completely up to you! Dip your whole body or your big toe, whatever you decide is fine by us! If you don’t want to get wet at all, register as a chicken. You’ll be excused from plunging but qualify for the same incentive rewards as our plungers.
DO I HAVE TO DRESS IN COSTUME?
Heck no! But don’t be surprised if the majority of runners and Plungers will. When else will you have an excuse to dress in costume in the middle of winter? If you’re part of a team, get in the spirit and come up with a team theme. Whatever you choose to wear, please keep in mind this is a family affair so plan your costume or plunge attire accordingly.
I HAVE A FRIEND WHO WANTS TO JOIN ME AT THE LAST MINUTE. CAN THEY REGISTER ON-SITE?
Absolutely! Walk-up participants are more than welcome. They can pay by check, cash or credit card.
DO SPECTATORS HAVE TO PAY TO WATCH?
There is no cost to join the festivities and cheer on the plungers. Tickets are available onsite for the Polar Plunge meal and Plunge Pub.
DONATIONS AND FUNDRAISING
I HAVE RECEIVED OFFLINE DONATIONS. HOW DO I GET THEM CREDITED TO MY FUNDRAISING PAGE?
Up to one week prior to your plunge date, you can mail them to Special Olympics, Attention Plunge, 3480 Buskirk Ave., #340, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 and they will be credited to your plunge page. Donations you may receive the of week your plunge should be brought with you. We will have volunteers onsite who will accept your donations and be sure they are credited to your plunge page.
ARE DONATIONS TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
Absolutely! Our Tax ID number is 68-0363121.
HOW DO I SEND EMAILS TO ASK FOR DONATIONS, ASK OTHERS TO JOIN MY TEAM OR THANK DONORS?
The Message Center tool through our Plunge system can be helpful, but we can’t guarantee that the email won’t go to your recipient’s spam folder. To be sure your emails are being received in addition to using the Message Center tool, we recommend you send requests through your own personal email account. Think about including your fundraising page link in your email signature.
WHO SHOULD CHECKS BE PAYABLE TO?
Please make checks payable to Special Olympics.
DO YOU ACCEPT COMPANY MATCHING GIFTS?
Yes! If your company offers a matching gift program, please complete the necessary paperwork and submit it for a match. It is a great way to double the impact of a donation.
SOMEONE HAS NOT RAISED THE MINIMUM, BUT I'VE RAISED MORE THAN ENOUGH. CAN I TRANSFER SOME OF MY MONEY TO THEM?
No, we’re sorry. Money raised can’t be moved from one team member to another. Besides, we have some great additional incentive levels. You earned it, you deserve it.
CAN TEAM MEMBERS SHARE AN ONLINE DONATION?
Donations made online cannot be split between team members. However, cash and check donations can be distributed among team members. You will want to mail those donations in with a note of who should be credited and for how much. Mail to Special Olympics, Attention Plunge, 3480 Buskirk Ave., #340, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVE ADDITIONAL DONATIONS AFTER THE PLUNGE?
Please mail them to Special Olympics, Attention Plunge, 3480 Buskirk Ave., #340, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. Every dollar counts and will help us continue to change the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities.