‘Almost Naked Run’ set for Tuesday in Ridgway

File photo by Becky Polaski – Participants in last year’s Almost Naked Run in downtown Ridgway are shown posing for a group photo on the steps of the Elk County Courthouse.
Brian Stockman
Staff Writer

After a night of celebration to ring in the new year, the last thought on some people's minds is exercising, but for over 10 years, the annual Almost Naked Run and Polar Bear Plunge have been taking place in Ridgway. For the Elk County Striders, the new year means stripping down and running through the streets nearly naked.
On Tuesday afternoon, more than 30 runners and several dogs, some in swimsuits and others dressed in outlandish costumes, will take over Main Street for this annual New Year's Day event. The route takes the swarm of runners about one mile from Country Squirrel Outfitters to the Courthouse steps then onward into a parade through the Ridgway Sheetz store. Then it's back to the Country Squirrel Store for a Polar Plunge into the Clarion River.
The run came from humble beginnings, starting with a handful of people and ballooning out to several dozen. Last year's event had the best turnout yet. Along the route, many bystanders honk their horns and stand to watch, photograph and cheer the scantily clad group.
The event will take place on Jan. 1, 2019, at 1 p.m., beginning at the Country Squirrel Store located at 3 Main Street in Ridgway.
There is a Facebook group to sign up for the Race. If you plan to participate please be at the store by 12:30 p.m.