March 3 dawned gray and bitter cold.

By mid-morning, temps had climbed into the upper 20s in the Lake Waramaug environs.

So, what better way to celebrate such a fine day as to run the 29th edition of the Polar Bear Run road race?

Two-hundred fifty strong, many from the Greater New Milford area, chose that heady option for their Sunday activity.

Their reward? They got to share in the camaraderie and high spirits so typical of this event.

Williams Sanders of Wethersfield quickly took the drama out of the race for first place, kicking out to a huge lead and never relenting.

The 25-year-old champion clocked 39:18.1 for the roughly 7.66-mile lake tour through parts of the New Preston section of Washington, Warren and Kent.

Well in arrears but still proud as runnerup was Joe LeMay, 46, of Danbury, a fomer champ who checked in at 44:07.

Mark LoSacco, 44, of New Milford finished eighth to rank as the best Greater New Milford area runner with his 48:21.4 effort.

Rebecca Stephenson, 40, captured women's laurels with her 20th-place time of 51:55.9, edging Lori McKulsky by 17 seconds.

Among the contenders for distaff honors were New Milford High student-athletes Emily Day and Sofia Amaral, who finished 28th and 35th, respectively, in 54:04.9 and 55:45.6.

Emily won the women's 18 and younger age division.

The race, directed for many years by Wallie Jahn, was organized and conducted for a second straight ryear by Dave Dunleavy of Kent and a team of volunteers.

For the complete results, check www.greystoneracing.net.

For more photos, visit www.newmilfordspectrum.com.

Norm Cummings