I know, it's not exactly February anymore, but we've been, well, you know, busy.
Working backwards, there was the second annual ColdAvenger's Extreme North Dakota Iceman Triathlon, on February 26th. Over 125 hardy souls took on the challenge and with starting linetemperatures of -13 F, -29 wind chill they all are champions in our book. Dakota Harvest provided awesome pre and post race refreshments, Swiftwick hooked all the racers up with arm warmers, Due North by Sure Foot Corporation gave out loads of traction aids, Power to Go fueled racers with their 'five hour energy' trail mix, and everyone was out sporting their ColdAvenger masks proudly. The event was a huge success and we can't wait until next year when it's going to be even better with the planned addition of chip timing. Check out the END-IT page for full details. A huge thanks to all our wonderful sponsors, volunteers, and the awesome folks of the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals, all of whom made it possible.
Loads has been happening on the racing front personally for the team as well - I (Andy) completed (unofficially) the Arrowhead 135 on bike again this year, serving as a chaperone to Tom Fisher, a 17 year old junior from Central High School in Grand Forks who became the youngest official finisher in 34 and a half hours. You can read my take on the adventure here, a more general piece about the race here, or visit the race website for more info. Jason (of team Yogaslackers) has just finished 'the last wild race' in Patagonia as a member of Team GearJunkie.com in second place. 14 teams started and only six made it to the end in what sounds like an absolute epic race with some great stories. You can find the website by clicking on the picture.
[Note: The following paragraph was accurate at the time it was written, but the relationship between ENDracing and GUP has since changed--they are two distinct entities, but all profits from ENDracing still go to GUP at the end of the year. 2014-12-13]
The exciting news for us is that as of January 3rd, 2011, ENDracing is officially a trade name of the larger organization, GroundUP Adventures (GUP)- now a registered not for profit company in the state of North Dakota. It's the first step in a long journey to develop (essentially from the 'ground up') a thriving adventure based activities hub for the upper great plains. After finding our way through the mound of paperwork required to receive federal recognition as a non-profit, we're hoping to get the ball rolling this spring and start looking for funding for some ambitious local projects, including a boat house for the Red River. 'Luckily', I'm now officially done with grad school (and thus unemployed) and able to devote my full 'professional' energies to ENDracing and GUP. We've got a few great folks lending their talents to the cause but can always use more help (in particular on the accounting side of things) and local participation, so if you've got an interest in being involved, or just want to be kept in the loop, just shoot an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, we're now in full swing planning the next race on the calendar - the Extreme North Dakota Spring Primer Adventure Race, scheduled for May 8th in and around Turtle River State Park. It promises to be an exciting (as expected) race - expertly crafted to serve as a great introduction to the sport for novices and challenge 'pro' teams alike. Up for grabs are free and discounted entries into North Dakota's first ever twenty four hour race, this years END-AR (part of the CP tracker series), to be held over labour day weekend in the Pembina Gorge. We're hoping to partner with Swamp Donkey adventure racing as well this year, so stay tuned for details on that arrangement.
See you out there