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END-SURE 2021 Race-Week Email

This was sent out as an email to registered racers.

 

PRE-EVENT UPDATE

 

Not only have you willingly signed up to participate in an “ultra” event, but you have been living in an “ultra” event each day of your life. You have developed insight, strength, perspective, and adaptability. I am SURE assets will be used on Saturday!

 

General Items:

  • The Sheyenne National Grasslands and the North Country National Scenic Trail are Federal Government lands. Thus face coverings/masks are mandatory. Please be mindful if/when you gather near others along the journey. While on the trail you do not need to wear a mask. I trust your judgment to be mindful of yourself and others in light of the pandemic. 

  • Saturday appears to be an excellent weather day. The early spring weather, lack of snow, and enjoyment of being outside has made the Grasslands a popular destination. There will be others on horseback, bikes, and foot in the area. Stay alert to your surroundings. Horses may react to being surprised by your movement. Let riders know of your presence, especially if coming from behind.

  • Please park in the large lot next to Richland County Rd 23. There is plenty of space. There are no space markings. Park in ways that allow for access and exit. Parking in the Campground is limited. A vault toilet is a short walk from the parking lot. 

  • Please print, sign, and bring your waiver to on-site check-in. A limited number of waivers will be available on-site.

Specific Items:

  • Both distances will start and finish on the North Country Trail where it intersects the roadway into the Campground.

  • Both distances begin with a 4 mile loop which takes you east of the Campground. Upon returning to the Campground you may access vehicles to gather gear, food, beverage, clothing. Water will be available in jugs, as well as Hammer gels (apple-cinnamon + huckleberry) and some grab + go snacks. The next Aid Station (Middle Trailhead) is 13 miles. The miles will pass by as you enjoy the beauty of the prairies and oak savannahs!

  • 100k --- The Middle Trailhead Aid Station will have water, gels, fruit, snacks (sweet + salty), powdered drink mixes, etc. Most items will be prepackaged, grab+go. If you have specific drinks and foods, you can certainly carry those or label a bag to have them at that site. There will be a “tent toilet” available at this location. BE SURE to check-in with the volunteer. 

    • Continue across Ransom County Road 53 on the NCT. You will mainly be in open prairie. You will cross railroad tracks. The Trail should be easy to follow. Some directional arrows and pink “END” flags  will keep you on track. Also, the North County Trail had wooded posts approximately every .15 mile.  
    • The posts with mileage numbers are accurate. The Trail should also have pea gravel on it, if you are attempting to choose between a cattle trail and where you should run.
    • You will cross ND Highway 27, 9 miles from the Middle Trailhead. Water jugs and limited calories will be located at that crossing. At the West Trailhead you can access drop bags, tent toilet, water, calories, etc. AND in order to get your full mileage there is a .6 mile out and back straight west of that parking lot. 
    • It is a gravel road. Wooden stakes and pick “END” flags will indicate the turn around point.  BE SURE to check in with the volunteer!
    • Then it is back to the Campground, seeing the Trail from a new perspective. Highway 27 (unstaffed) and the Middle Trailhead Aid area will remain until all have passed.
  • 50k --- Please read the 1st paragraph for the 100k. This applies to your experience. Please know that you are responsible for you. This is your journey. We provide some basics regarding calories and hydration. We will cheer you on and support your efforts. Ultimately, it is your ultra experience.

 

Final Notes:

  • Trash bags will be available at the Campground, Middle Trailhead, and West Trailhead. With the prepackaged items there will be more trash than prior years. Please be mindful of wrappers and packets. The area is naturally scenic and almost litters free. We want to minimize our impact regarding trash. With your partnership that can easily become a reality.

  • At the FINISH we will not have the post-run feast of years prior. Being mindful of the ongoing pandemic this has been eliminated, hopefully to return in 2022. You are welcome to hang out and recover, bring your recovery food, etc. to enjoy.

  • Also, END-SURE & ENDracing swag will be available. These items are a way for us to express our gratitude for your efforts and participation! 

  • AND - copies of Eat Clean Run Dirty magazine will be available. It is a quarterly publication focusing on trail running and the outdoor community. One of their founding members is participating in the 100k. Check out their website. They also have podcasts. 

 

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

 

Tim Bauer

The END-WET 2021 Guest Swimmer is....

Hello everyone,

It is great to be back racing! I am more excited than I have been in a long time as I write this post. Before we announce who this year's Guest Swimmer is going to be, allow me to re-familiarize you with who I am. My name is Don Henderson and I am taking over direction of END-WET this year. Tim Bauer will be helping me take this on. Tim needs no introduction. smiley

I have worked with Beek the last several years to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to direct this race. I completed the race twice, in 2015 and 2016, and have been involved in some capacity every year since then. I look forward to this challenge!

Ok...now, let's introduce our Guest Swimmer. Typically, we send out a call for nominations. Some of you may have noticed that this year we didn't do that. We thought that we could break from "the norm" this year and do something that we've never done before.

First joining us in 2015 as our Guest Swimmer, and then returning in 2016 to do END-WET twice (once the day before on her own for fun and then the race itself the next day) as training swims. Introducing our first repeat Guest Swimmer - Sarah Thomas.

Sarah Thomas is an ultra-marathon swimmer who holds the current world record for the longest continuous, unassisted, non-wetsuit, swim done in current-neutral conditions. That record-breaking swim covered 104.6 miles over 67 hours and was completed in Lake Champlain in August of 2017. Shortly after completing this swim, Sarah was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She was just 35 years old. While undergoing aggressive cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, Sarah never gave up on her dream of doing a swim that most people thought was impossible. One year after completing her cancer treatments, Sarah did just that- becoming the first person to complete a four-way crossing of the English Channel in 54 hours and 10 minutes. 

Sarah lives near Denver, Colorado, with her husband Ryan, their two beagles and their rescue mutt. She is a full-time recruiter.  She also does keynote presentations for special events, where she shares life lessons that help her complete marathon swims and that helped her beat cancer. 

Other notable swims: 

  • Catalina Channel- 20 miles, 2010 
  • Manhattan Island Marathon Swim- 28.5 miles, 2011 
  • English Channel (single crossing)- 21 miles, 2012 
  • Double Lake Tahoe- 42 miles, 2013* 
  • Double Lake Memphremagog- 50 miles, 2013* 
  • Loch Ness- 22 miles, 2015** 
  • Lake Powell- 80 miles, 2016* 
  • Lake Champlain- 104.6 miles, 2017* 
  • English Channel Four Way- 84 miles, 2019* 
  • Kawai/Molokai Channel- 26 miles, 2021 

Click HERE For a full list of swim history. 

*First person to complete this swim
**Second American to complete this swim 

Sarah had agreed to join us last year until Covid ruined our plans so she is very excited to be a part of our event this year! She will give a talk to swimmers, volunteers and spectators on the Friday evening before the race and we hope you’ll help us welcome her back to North Dakota. 

Welcome back, Sarah!