Are locals cold weather wimps? Not all. Three upcoming events offer proof.

Brad Nettles/Staff If you missed the Dunleavy's Pub Polar Bear Plunge on New Year's Day or just want another excuse to jump in the chilly Atlantic sans wetsuit, you'll get your chance on Feb. 28.

While the Lowcountry endures the coldest string of days and nights of winter 2014-15, many people “from off” may consider natives and blood-thinned transplants cold weather wimps.

After all, our winter pales in comparison to Boston’s this year.

But cold is cold and exposing yourself to it, intentionally, shows a certain level of ... umm, fortitude.

Consider the people who will be participating in three coming events in the Lowcountry, starting with Ocean Surf Shop’s fourth annual Icebox Open on Sunday at “the washout” on Folly Beach.

More than four dozen men, women and “groms,” boys and girls will take to a chilling Atlantic, which has dropped into upper 40s, to compete in the only cold water surfing contest in South Carolina.

Because of forecasts for favorable surfing conditions on Sunday, Ocean Surf Shop announced that Icebox — which had a window of being held this year on one weekend day between Jan. 31 and March 8 — would be held on Sunday, starting with the men’s heats at 8 a.m.

“The forecast is calling for a chest-high, chunky, south wind swell. Sets should top out head high in semi-choppy conditions,” said Hagood, adding that Folly “loves” a southeast swell direction. “We are looking for winds to trend southerly at 10 to 15 knots Sunday as another cold front approaches our area. There should be plenty of big, cold surf on Sunday for the contest.”

Meanwhile, for spectators, the forecast on land will be relatively spring-like, with air temperatures in the mid-60s, partly cloudy skies and only a 20 percent chance of rain.

Advance entry fee is $50 for men and women. Registration on Sunday, if slots are available, is $65. The fee is $35 for groms. For more information, go to

In the last 20 years, the Charleston area has developed a tradition of holding “polar bear plunges” on New Year’s Day, typically when water temperatures are in the upper 50s or even low 60’s.

On Feb. 28, the Law Enforcement Torch Run will presents the Inaugural Special Olympics Polar Plunge, hosted by The Windjammer, with water temperatures that likely will be 10 degrees colder.

Locals and visitors are invited to take a plunge into the chilly ocean water to help raise money and awareness for Special Olympics South Carolina.

Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 28 with a “Plunge Party”from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Plunge itself will take place at 1 p.m. Plungers and spectators of all ages are invited to partake in the Plunge Party at The Windjammer, which will include food, music, games and door prizes.

A minimum donation of $50 is required to participate in the plunge. Registration includes a commemorative T-shirt, tickets for free food and drinks at the Plunge Party, and a chance to win door prizes.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Special Olympics South Carolina, an organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

For more information, contact Deputy Chief Stan Gragg of the Mount Pleasant Police Department at More at

The Charleston area’s oldest and most challenging obstacle course race, The Citadel Bulldog Challenge, may just get more challenging. The six-mile course winds its way through the Citadel campus through an array of obstacles, including a crawl through the chilly pluff mud on the shore of the Ashley River.

Organizers have moved the 19th challenge, which used to be held in April and was moved to early March last year, into February, albeit the last day of the month.

Marine Staff Sgt. Ben Cohen said the 19th annual challenge was held earlier again this year because “The Citadel had a very busy schedule this year and could not get us in for the April run.”

“However, we think this will provide an excellent added element to the whole event. It will bring out some real internal fortitude in people,” says Cohen.

The cost is $200 per four-person team.

Reach David Quick at 937-5516.