May 2012

END-WET swimmer update

Robert in the river - just below the one mandatory 'portage'

Here is a link to a map of the start and finish line as well as the location of the two hotels that are within walking distance of the start.  There are many more accommodation options available (all the big chain hotels) as well, and i'm sure we could arrange transport if you chose these options.  9 swimmers are registered (or have their registration pending) - only six more spots are available!  Robert Treuer, the only local signed up has been putting in some long swims in the river and reports that the current (at least right now) moves right along - he's averaging well over three miles an hour when he manages to stay away from the inside corners.

END-SPAR video!

The first video of compiled footage from this year's END-SPAR.  I plan to make a second video, but then again, i plan on doing alot of things..... enjoy!

END-AR24 registration open!

Are you ready?

It's END-AR time again!  We've confirmed with Frostfire, the city of Walhalla, and the post-race meal caterers - all systems are go. All we need is to figure out which 30+ teams are going to be testing themselves against the rugged Pembina Gorge and my warped mind this year.  Read the details below- round up your team, and get signed up!!!!

 Registration is now open for 2012 END-AR24!  

Race will accept 30 paying teams and then begin a wait list.  Teams competing in past ENDracing events will be granted a 48 hour 'window of senority' in order to secure their spot.  New teams registering during this 48 hour period will be added to the roster after the 48 hour window has expired in the order their entries are received. Full refunds will be provided to new teams that register but then do not make the list.  Roster will be updated daily.  We expect this event to be the most competitive AR we've had yet with many top Canadian teams heading down this year to battle experienced local squads well educated in ENDracing's brand of suffering and some of the best teams in the country (there is a chance that both GJ/Wedali and GJ/Yogaslackers will be fielding teams, and Blind Squirrels, last year's champs and the only coed team to clear the course will be returning to defend their win). And of course then there's always the dark horses.....

The wait 48 hour window of seniority is opening a little bit early - it closes at 11:59:59 PM on thursday the 17th.  So if you simply must get in - don't wait too long.  we expect the race won't sell out for a couple weeks, but we may be wrong.... don't say we didn't warn you.

Happy training!

Better late than never....

Dakota Adventures, a magazine affiliated with the Bismarck Tribute, ran a piece on ENDracing in April.  It is a great article with some insight into what our events are like straight from the mouths of racers.  Pretty good stuff.  Click on the photo to go to the magazine - the article is on page 29.  Chase - don't miss it - there's a great big goofy picture of you in there.  Enjoy!

Ground UP Adventures

 So in case you don't know, we do more than just put on races here in the Red River Valley.  In fact, most of the folks involved in ENDracing are also involved in a 501c3 non-profit called Ground UP adventures with a mission of getting area youth involved in adventure based activities.  In fact, all the profits (when there are any) from all ENDracing events are donated to Ground UP in support of this mission. 

Check out the website here or click on the link on the menu bar above to learn more about the organization and what it's doing.  And if you've got kids - check out the upcoming youth adventure racing camp - four days of skills building in early june for 11-14 year olds.  Get 'em psyched to compete with you in END-SPAR next year, or just excited about being outdoors.  Spaces in the camp are limited to 16 students and registration is now open.  Scholarships are available. 

And please pass this information on to whomever you think might want to be involved.  Cheers.

END-SPAR wrap up, racer appeal, and results

It always takes a few days for it to sink in that it's over once it's over.  Months of thinking about the race, planning, tweaking, stressing over the details that i hope will come together to offer a course that will provide all participants - from the GearJunkie/Yogaslacker types who just can't get enough to the neophytes of the sport, nervously trying their first AR but daunted by the 6 hour price tag - with a rewarding and challenging experience.

I've already got a good start on next year's course - all the cool spots i found on my exploits this year that just didn't make it in.  Although I know it doesn't really make any sense, it's sort of cool that every year is the best year.  As it should be.

I want to take a moment to also thank the volunteers, without which the race wouldn't have been possible.    The course was fairly complicated logistically - lots of stuff going on simultaneously with bottleneck potential.  Volunteers did a fabulous job of keeping things moving and racers encouraged.  They did such a good job i will name them here and where they were on the course so feel free to leave a comment/shout out to any or all -

Wes Peck (roving photographer), Carmen Peck (Larimore HQ), Megan and Erin Peck (Larimore), Nick Kludt (map-maker extraordinare and assistant race director), Stacy Kusler (packraft/foot rogaine transition), Aaron Kennedy (bike-whack and pack-raft safety), Dave Campbell (bikewhack), Dexter and Betsy Perkins (bear hang), Dan Salyers (Fire), Will Kusler (TRSP check in), Paul Eckstein (TRSP - river walk, general), Becky (Food delivery and Larimore general help), Mark and Linda Magness (Post Race meal), Ryan Wagner (finish line), Ryan's mom (Post Race meal), Sam Salwei (videographer), Erin Jackson (course cleaner).  

 To all of you - i extend my sincerest appreciation for your hard work on race day (and leading up to race day for some) - great races are simply not possible without great volunteers, and we were lucky enough to have the very greatest.

We're also lucky to have some great sponsors - so please, please, please, take a few moments today, this week, or whenever to go to shoot em an email (links to most of our sustaining sponsors websites can be found above, at the top of the web page), like em and thank em on FaceBook (this is easy!  you can see all of ENDracing's likes right there on our FB page - but be sure to mention their support of ENDracing), or even show em some love by buying some of there gear.  Lucky for you, we choose our sponsors, not the other way around, so it turns out they actually make some of the best gear for racing there is.  Bottom line is that if we continue to appreciate the sponsors, they'll continue to support us, and we'll continue to be able to offer top shelf racing experiences at bottom shelf prices with awesome prize pools.  After all, where else can you do a six hour race for $40 bucks and have a chance to walk away with a $850 pack-raft, or come October (END-TOMBED), a $2000+ dollar bike frame.  Yeah, we know - nowhere else.

Keep the fire burning!

Thirdly - we want your feedback!  What'd we do right?  What didn't quite work?  Ok, we know that there was an issue with the underwater points.... great idea but it turns out it wasn't fool proof, one point got picked up off the bottom by a flotilla or racers and drifted, the other got unintentionally sunk.  Back to the drawing board with those.  Also, we know some of the small punches got destroyed or didn't work, which was too bad, but the back-up seemed to have been ok.  Ideally we'd have indestructible punches - classic orienteering punches work well but are very hard (impossible?) to see on the wristbands - an idea that we're pretty much attached to.  After all, we're racers too and we know that several hours into a race the interpretation of the rules for even top teams gets a good bit softer.  Wristband's are the simplest solution we've found to solve this problem.

And if you don't have any feedback,  just tell us your story - we'll put em on the blog for all to see.  We've already had a few good ones coming in - including a tough Canadian gal who thought she just twisted her ankle 16 minutes into the race and soldiered on, only to discover on tuesday after it had steadily gotten worse that it had been fractured.  That's pretty hardcore.  It was her first adventure race - in my opinion she's made for it.

Ok, Ok, i know i'm long winded.  Here's what you're waiting for.... RESULTS! (shoot me an email if i got anything wrong - i kept all the grimy wristbands and passports and spent four hours yesterday wading through em.... but i did have a couple glasses of wine to keep me company so it is possible i made a mistake or two....)