By Scott Hammers • The Bulletin

More than 200 runners braved a breezy morning in Redmond Saturday, heading into the Dry Canyon for the fourth annual Polar Bear Fun Run.

The event is a project of St. Thomas Academy, Redmond’s only Catholic school.

Crystal Mooney, principal of the pre-K through fifth-grade school, said the event has expanded since it moved from Sam Johnson Park to the school’s new campus two years ago.

With the new school located on the canyon just north of the Maple Avenue Bridge, competitors have a warm place to retreat at the end of their run, and organizers have been able to add a wellness expo, catered hot food and a beer garden.

Mooney said, despite the event’s name, the lack of wintry weather on Saturday morning was not a disappointment. This year, as in past years, around a quarter of the participants signed up on the day of the event, she said, and a sunny — if windy — day can only help to boost the turnout.

“Last year it was 9 degrees, ice; we had pre-K’s crying, little 5-year-old kids coming in bawling. So we’re happy for the 40 degrees.”

As in past years, this year’s event is a fundraiser for the school. Mooney said this year’s proceeds will be dedicated to buying laptops for students.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387,