I heard a report yesterday that someone saw a black bear swimming down the Red River through the center of town. Word has it that he was training for the race too. I'm a little skeptical on this last point though as i haven't recieved his registration or even an email inquiry as to whether there are still spots available.
If you're signed up to swim, don't worry, we don't see a lot of bears around here (in fact this is the first i've heard of one), but we do have a couple of other local animals.
One of 'em of note you've already met - 46 year old Robert Treuer - who just today completed the longest swim in the history of the great Red River of the North - 18 continuous miles. I'll update the facebook page with details when i get them as to how long it took, etc, but don't get your hopes up if his time seems fast - we had a wicked south wind this morning that moved him along nicely.
The other animal is 19 year old Tom Fisher. He's an interesting case - a natural athlete who has excelled in high school cross country but never trained for or swam competitively. In fact, outside of a couple of sprint distance triathlons, he hasn't done any races involving swimming to speak of. His last time in the water was nearly 10 months ago. Yeah, i know, you're thinking that this guy isn't too bright - that 'animal' probably describes his level of intelligence rather than his physical prowess. And while i'd agree that he is probably overly confident - i wouldn't count him out just yet. Tom is the youngest bike finisher of the Arrowhead 135 - an ultra distance bike race held in International falls in the dead of winter - a feat that he accomplished in 2011 with only a handfull of training rides on a borrowed bike.
This is going to be an great event and i am really starting to get excited. For the paddlers (seated or standing), it's going to be a big day. For the swimmers, it's going to be epic.