The 7.6 mile loop of Lake Waramaug has become an annual winter tradition for hundreds of area runners. 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. Come join us for the 35th running!
History of the Polar Bear Run: Much like the Lake itself, the Race has an interesting history. The Race's origin can be traced back to the running boom that swept the country in the seventies. The Woodbury, CT based Tin Man Athletic Club staged the initial running around the frozen lake in 1980. Lead Pack Sports took over organizational efforts and they were followed by the Bethel Bananas Running Club in 1986.
From 1987-1991 what had been the area's only winter running race went into hibernation and the race was not held for 5 years. In 1991, Wallie Jahn opened a retail store for runners, Road & Track Sports, and in response to strong interest from the local running community, he resurrected the Race in 1992 with the help of the Lake Waramaug Country Club.
After Jahn fell ill, Dave Dunleavy stepped up to help manage the Race in 2012. A long time Kent resident and running enthusiast, Dunleavy continued to build on the tradition that has made the Polar Bear Run a favorite of area runners. In 2018, Dunleavy joined forces with TrailHeads and the Kent Lions Club to keep the annual tradition alive. 2018 also marked the start of a partnership with Guiding Eyes for the Blind as the event's charitable beneficiary. $1,418 was raised and we've set a goal to raise over $2,000 in 2019!
From the South: Head north on Route 202, take left onto Route 45. Go left at the stop sign onto West Shore Road. Registratoin takes place at the Lake Waramaug Country Club Tennis House next to the courts
From the North: Head south on Route 202, take a right onto Route 45 and follow same directions as above.