Peter Simpson Reports on The Folkestone Boxing Day Dip
Visiting the relatives over the Christmas period, I made the commitment for the first time to go for the dip in the sea on Boxing Day and get a little publicity for VRUK by wearing the kit. It is held on sand and there is usually a good crowd around the edge. Conditions for the event were very favourable with sunshine in the morning and not much wind. Arriving early to register, the tide was right up to the arches but was expected to retreat in the next 1.5 hours for the noon dip.
I decided to go for a run on the peeble beach about 10 minutes away on the western side of the pier. The beach was fairly deserted at 11am as I ran about half a mile in each direction near the shore. It was tough and good training for forthcoming cross country events.
Returning to the sands with 20 minutes to go, it was very busy with spectators and luckily by chance I met a few relatives who took care of my personal belongings.There were around 100 participants, many in Christmas fancy dress and teams. Prizes were announced before the dip, obviously I was not in the running in VRUK kit minus the shoes and socks. Prizes also for the oldest and youngest dipper. There was one other dipper in running kit representing the local club.
Running into the water at noon, the cold water was a shock and when the first wave reached my shorts, I retreated to the shallow water. From there I ran along the shore for the next few minutes or so, trying to stay in the cold water for an extended period as well as giving the spectators a good sight of me. The tide was still well up so fairly identifiable in the VRUK kit.
Organised by the local Lions Club for charity of your choice it was fairly flexible arrangement with registration in a pub and a donation of your choice. A programme was available and afterwards a medal and mulled wine (if suitable).