Earlier: John Lesteberg (@jlestos) was out in the sandhills the other day and sent us some photos. Thanks John!
We are excited to announce our guest swimmer. We had great nominations from you all and we’re proud that Jeff Utsch has accepted the invitation to join us in June to take on the Mighty Red River of the North. In typical fashion, I will now list some of the unique things that we learned about Jeff:
- 13-14 year old US National Record 800m Freestyle
- US National Team Member
- Selected for 1987 World University Games
- Finalist World Championship Trials 1986
- NCAA All-American
- PAC-10 Champion
- Top 10 World Ranking
- Multiple Finalist US Senior Nationals
- Olympic Trial Qualifier 1984, 1988, 1992
- Captain University of Arizona Swim Team
- Masters fastest time in the world (age group)
- Masters World Records (400 and 800m Free Relays)
- Masters Worlds Bronze Medal
- Open Water Marathon Swimmer
- Former Head Coach Ventana Canyon Swim Team
- Tactical Swim Instructor to Naval Special Warfare (SEAL, SWCC, Support) 21 years
- Training and Technique Clinics to swim teams, triathlete groups, etc. around country
I also have it on good authority that he is a nice guy and a family man. Swimming accomplishments are fantastic, but being kind and good to your family also goes a long way. We are excited to welcome Jeff to North Dakota and ask that the rest of you ENDracers welcome him as well.
Life has highs and lows, and mine usually depend on how recently I've eaten and/or had a cup of coffee. At those low points when I'm stressed or between meals, I can't even look at social media, let alone be bothered to think of something witty to write or a fantastic photo* to publish. I get over it, but as a race director, these lapses of excitement sometimes manifest as periods of time where I'm not hustling for the race.
I'm not everybody, though. Many people find a great deal of inspiration from others, including on social media, and luckily we at ENDracing HQ have kept track of race coverage over the years. Here are three proven ways to get motivated to get up and go:
1. Check out some photos
Have you done one of our races? There may be a photo of you on the Flickr account. Even if there isn't, check out all those people suffering. Wouldn't you like to be one of them? Downloading a photo and using it as your profile picture is also an awesome way to show people you're "hip" and "with it."
2. Read race reports
Another work-safe source of motivation: reading race reports. We've collected the race reports we know about and linked to them at the bottom of each race page on the website. You can remember all the trials and tribulations, with the added bonus of letting you know what each race might be like if you haven't done it yet. Just make sure to register before you think too hard about how much training you might need (note to self: some races are hard).
P.S. If you see we're missing a race report, let us know and we'll add it.
3. Watch race and adventure videos
This one isn't great for work...unless your coworkers are awesome and want to hang out and watch race videos too! Pro tip: getting your colleagues to do awesome things with you is the best way to have things to talk about around the water cooler. Do offices still have water coolers? We have a sink and a coffee maker, does that count? The ENDracing YouTube channel includes race videos we've produced, as well as those put together by actual ENDracers. Make sure to check out the playlists for the complete experience, including non-race adventures.
*99% of the photos from our races were shot by Wes Peck, an awesome guy who does it for love of practicing his hobby. At some point in the distant past, he roped his family into helping out with the races, and they've been with us ever since. If you see Wes or Carmen around town or at any of the races, please give them a high five.
Follow the pack. Photo by Wes Peck at END-IT 2015. For the 2016 winter race, see Bikecicle.
Heads up--the registration price for the following races will go up on Tuesday, February 2nd: