The New ENDracing

We're excited about 2014.  Not only are we starting to get the hang of this race directing thing, we're also making loads of friends and great connections within the community.  We are getting a bit closer to navigating the challenging waters of staying true to our passion while making this whole thing a viable enterprise - things that we'll have to master to keep this going into the future.  We love feedback from racers and want to keep getting it - and its because of that feedback, in conjunction with our own constraints, that we're launching a few new options this coming year.

You'll notice when you register for races that some prices will have gone up and some wil have gone down.  We've got a much better idea this year about what each of our events (well at least the ones we've done before) actually cost us to put on and a few of our events weren't covering the costs.  We've also realized that a signficant portion of our costs for some races were in providing swag.  Sourcing and getting swag for each individual event, particulalry once our 'season' gets underway, is also logistically pretty difficult. We also know that some racers would rather not pay for swag they don't want/need. Finally, we've had an increasing request for ENDracing merchandise.  So here's what we've decided to do:

Most races will be offered at a base level registration fee - this fee will get you into the race but does not include any swag.  Racers signing up for events will have the option to add optional swag at prices that cover our cost to purchase and screen print it.  We plan on offering functional and awesome gear that is useful for racing - hats, gloves, socks, merino shirts - stuff like that.  If you want swag, just add it to your 'cart' during the registration process and the discount will appear automatically - you'll get your stuff at the race.  We'll also offer all the merchandise available for purchase as swag (and maybe some additional stuff) in a new 'store' section of the website that we hope to have up and running in time for you to do some holiday shopping.  And of course any relevent ENDracing gear will also be available for purchase at events themselves.  Note, some races will still have swag - this will be noted on the event page under the section that tells you what you get for your registration fee.

Some races, particularly the really difficult ones that will remain the same from year to year (END-SURE, etc) will offer finisher awards for some categories.  This means if you take on the 100K trail run, for example, and finish it, you'll get a belt buckle or something similar.

We will continue to pursue industry sponsors as a source of meaningful prizes, but realize that we will increasingly need to rely on local connections and a more 'humble' prize pool (like the Zombie Zinfindel and Dead Guy growlers from the double feature) when we don't get suitable industry sponsorship.  Experience has shown that even when we've got good relationships with national partners, it is hit and miss as to whether we are able to get them on board (or even connect with them at all!) for a particular event. After all, these companies are being asked to give stuff away to an extremely niche racing group in North Dakota of all places!  So we'll take the love when we get it, and continue to rely on racers themselves reaching out to these sponsors to show their appreciation when it all comes together.  Bottom line though is that providing memorable race experiences will always trump providing valuable prizes as our priority.

Finally, I want to create an organization that is fully tranparent.  So if you're interested in this sort of thing, and want a look at the big picture of ENDracing, then here is a link that give details about what we do behind the scenes, how we do it, and where the money goes. 

See you all soon!

Grassroots

 
Here at ENDracing we claim to be a grassroots racing organization.  But what does that really mean?
 
Well, a grassroots movement, according to Wikipedia, implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, (as opposed to a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures). Grassroots movements are often at the local level, as many volunteers in the community give their time to support the movement.
 
This is all well and good, but lets get more specific.  What grassroots means to us is that we put on races for our community supported by members of that community. It means that we've grown organically while staying true to our mission - putting on challenging events that are well orchestrated and offered at exceptional values.  It means that when we make mistakes occasionally (our prolonged clean up of the mud run for example) we learn from them, and try really hard not to make them more than once.  It means that we rely heavily on our volunteers who donate not only their time on race day but also in the days leading up to the race - and their trucks, trailers, kayaks, lifejackets, and paddles to help us keep costs down.  It means we are appreciated by the very community we serve - what we do is only possible because our city and state values our efforts and supports them both directly (financially) and indirectly.  It means that there is a high degree of interconnectedness and lack of separation between much of the core ENDracing group - our families are all volunteers, our volunteers are often also our racers, and our racers become family.  We wouldn't want it any other way.
 
Cheers,
Andy

Thoughts from an END-AR24 victim


The woman from the couch and her team reaching the finish line.

It was a brutal race this year.  But don't take my word for it - i didn't do it.  I'll let Vern Nelson do the talking - 

"I thought I would reflect for a few days before I sat down and wrote a few thoughts about my recent adventure in North Dakota. Before I begin, I want to thank my team mates Elwood Friesen and Rheal Poirier for putting up with my advanced age and general whining. How does one begin....

Many good stories start in the middle, so I will begin there. After 18 hours of racing, I was sitting in a cabin in the woods pondering whether or not I was able to continue. At least I wasn't crying like the woman on the couch across from me. She wanted to quit, but her team wouldn't let her because they'd be disqualified. Beek, The checkpoint volunteer was doing his best to comfort her while she made a decision. I managed to interrupt him long enough to get the final map of the race which our route home.

My heart sunk when I saw the map. The final leg required us to ride our bikes down and across a river, and then drag them up a 120 meter cliff on the other side. I was pissed! Really, you spring this one me after 18 hours? I showed it to my team mates who took it a little better, but not much. We turned to Beek looking for an out: 

"What if we quit? How long before someone comes to pick us up?"

Beek responded: "Pick you up? Nobodies coming to pick you up. You can rest on the couch for a while, but if you're not injured you have to get yourself out. The best way is to ride down and across the river, and up the 120 Meter cliff on the on the other side. Once you get to the top, you can ride home."

So we gathered up our stuff and that's what we did. The crying woman must have reached the same conclusion because she pulled herself together and off she went with her team.

The ascent of the cliff turned out to be harder than anticipated as it was made slippery by the rain from the night before. The mud was clumping on the tires until it jammed in the frame and the tires wouldn't turn anymore. It was insane: Climbing a 120M hill with a 12kg pack and a loaded 15 kg bike with wheels that won't turn. Somehow we made it, but it took everything out of us. It was 10 o-clock in the morning and i figured I was on my way to a sever case of heat stroke. With less than 2 bottles of water left, We decided to skip the last 3 checkpoints and head for home. If the ATV trails were as bad as the hill, we probably couldn't ride them anyway.

We made it to the finish under our own power where I just lay down on the grass and baked. Turns out I didn't have heat stroke. It was turning out to be the hottest day of the year and my mind just didn't register that it could be that hot at 10:00 in the morning.

And what happened to the crying woman you ask? Well, her team somehow convinced her to head out on the ATV trails and they finished the course. They came in 3rd in 3-4 person coed. You never really know what you're capable of."

Sitting Still

 

My wife will tell you i can't sit still and she's right.  It's not just my body though, it's my mind too.  My head is usually full of wonder and new ideas and what-if thought experiments - particulary when i'm inspired by the events and people around me.

And this weekend's event and people were, well pretty darned inspiring.  And with all that inspirational energy coursing through my mind and body, i've been pacing and wondering and what-ifing even more than usual.

So what does this mean?  It means that things are going to change a little bit for next year's END-WET.  It means that i'm going to work harder to better develop the part of the experience that was the most lacking in my mind (the finish line) and to ensure that everyone of you that finishes this race is recieved like a hero.... because really thats what you are.  

You see one of the reasons i do this is because we need heros up here.  It's a hard thing to sell kids in North Dakota on a life of adventure and endurance and the benefits of physical and mental challenges.  You guys are all my ambassadors. You guys are my muses.  So when you read what next year's race holds in store, just remember that you are partly responsible....

2014 END-WET details

  • Date - TBD.  Possibly earlier in the year so water temps are a bit colder and flows a bit higher.
  • Start location - Belmont Park/Frog Point (new start location)
  • END location - Grand Forks, ND
  • # Portages - 0
  • Distance - roughly 36 downriver miles
  • Time cutoff - TBD, a minimum of 16 hours
  • Last 5 miles very spectator friendly
  • Improved finish line atmosphere (more spectators, better food, showers, community support, fireworks?  live music?)
  • Cost - under $300/solo swimmer (includes support), cheaper if swimmer provides support.
  • Cap - 40 solo swimmers, 10 relay teams

 

 

'Go Uff Da' Photo Contest!

We want to see you going "Uff Da!"  Send us a photo of you preparing for the Uff Da Mud Run being held on September 7th and be entered to win Uff Da schwag, free entries, and social media fame.

Ufda-8299
Ole and Lena are already training.  Why aren't you?

The Rules: Send in your best "Uff Da training" photos to enter. We’ll judge on photo look and feel, originality, fun, and humor of the subject captured in action.  Bonus points for taking other mud/obstacle runs as seriously as we do.

To Submit: Do ONE of these things:

  1. Email your photos here. (mail to uffda@endracing.com if the link doesn’t work on your system).  Include a one-sentence description.
  2. Tweet your photos to @UffDaMudRun.  Make sure your account is public otherwise we won't see your entry.
  3. Post your photos on the ENDracing Facebook page.  Include a one-sentence description.

Photo Rights: You keep all rights. Submitting an image gives ENDracing the option to display the images on website and social media. NOTE: By submitting an image you are agreeing to that you are 13 years old or older and that you are able to enter contests in your jurisdiction.  You can only submit photos you have taken or have the rights to--for example, no professional photos from other races, but if your friend says you can use her photo of you to enter, that's okay.

The Prizes! We know what you want, so we're giving away free race entries to the top submissions and secret schwag items to the runners-up, as judged by the Uff Da race committee and ENDracing crew.  

Ufda-9005
Why so serious, Ole?
Ufda-8993
Lena has the right idea.

Example photos. We’re looking for your best "Uff Da" shots (and even better if they make us go "Uff Da!")

Deadline: Submit your photos here starting today. Final submissions must be made by July 31, 2013 at midnight. Good luck! 

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