Fresh from an ocean dip off Revere Beach, Philip Ranieri hustled to the warmth of a nearby tent. Shivering from the cold, he still couldn’t help but smile.
“It was cool all right, definitely was not hot and steamy,” he said.
Ranieri, a Cambridge Special Olympics hall of famer was one of hundreds who registered for Saturdays polar plunge to help support Massachusetts Special Olympics.
“It’s been a great day, I think it went really well,” Massachusetts Special Olympics CEO Mary Beth McMahon said.
Many of those ready to plunge into the ocean with temperatures around 30 degrees were dressed in costumes, including a group from South High Community School in Worcester with a Dr. Seuss theme.
Ron Frisard colored his face a dark green and even dyed his goatee in order to resemble the Grinch.
“This was a real scramble. We did it in the car on the way here,” he said. “Last year we were the Minions and it was a lot colder.”
Other participants took a more festive approach, wearing all kinds of green to the event that was postponed and moved to St. Patrick’s Day after bad weather.
Douglas Robins Jr. and his son, Douglas Robins III, had their hair dyed green, orange and white to resemble the Irish flag.
After a long shiver, Douglas III basked in the warmth of the heated beach tent. “It was worth it,” he said.
“This is the coldest I’ve ever been in my entire life,” Amanda Davila, who hit the water in a green tutu, said.
The event included about 225 registered runners, many of whom were law enforcement members including Revere Police Chief James Guido. They raised more than $94,000 for the Special Olympics athletes, according to McMahon.
After the plunge those on the beach could grab some hot soup and food provided by Kelly’s Roast Beef.
After returning from chill of the ocean, Frisard’s face paint was still intact.
“Wow,” he said. “That was a lot colder than I thought it would be.”