June 18 2016, Grand Forks, ND
The Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) is a down-river swim ultra-marathon (27 miles in 2012-13, 36 miles starting in 2014) where solo or relay swimmers will travel from rural ND into East Grand Forks, MN, on the mighty Red River of the North. The length and difficulty of the course makes the event the longest swim race in North America.
See menu at right for updates and documents.
Date: June 18, 2016
Time: Race start time TBD based on current flow--expect between 6 am and 8 am.
Cap: Race limited to 40 solo swimmers and 10 teams.
- Solo swim (traditional, OWS rules apply)
- Solo swim (non-traditional - wetsuits are allowed)
- Relay swim (doubles)
- Relay swim (recreational, 3-5 team members)
Location/Schedule: Race start will be at Belmont Park, ND, near Climax (MN). Support boaters will either need to drop their boats (a volunteer will be in the park overnight to keep the boats secure) and gear on Friday night or arrive Saturday morning at least 30 minutes prior to race start, but then make arrangements to get their vehicle back after the race. All swimmers needing to take the shuttle will meet in Grand forks at the finish line (boat launch in East Grand Forks, MN just south of DeMers Avenue bridge) approximately 90 minutes prior to the start time (TBD based on flow rate, but it will be early!). The 45 minute+ bus ride to the starting point which travels essentially in a straight line (as opposed to the river which meanders like crazy), will give you ample time to reflect on what you are about attempt. Try to stay positve, or better yet, sleep (good luck!). You will finish near your vehicles.
Entry includes: A great race, ENDracing swag (latex caps for swimmers), post race meal, shuttle services from/to the finish line, finisher tags for all solo swimmers. Prizes for top finishers.
Other details: Teams will need to provide their own team boat (motorized OK). Race organizers will provide a support boat/support person for each solo swimmer as part of the entry fee, although an optional lower fee is available for swimmers providing their own support. There are a limited number of canoe rental possibilities in Grand Forks and nearby Crookston (30 minutes away). Beyond Crookston, the nearest rental facilities that we know of are in Fargo, just over an hour to the south. ENDracing may be able to arrange a boat for solo swimmers bringing their own support person (but not boat) for a small fee.
Relay swimmers can swim in any order but new swimmers must enter the water up-river of the retiring swimmer and before the retiring swimmer makes contact with the support boat. No physical contact between the active swimmer and the boat is allowed. Swimmers are allowed to change out within 100 yards of any mile marker, so must swim, at minimum, one mile per rotation. River miles will be clearly marked on river LEFT.
Wetsuits are allowed for swimmers in the wetsuit category. Water temps in mid summer are expected to be between 70-75 degrees. Current speed should be roughly 0.5-1 mile per hour, give or take. Wind speed and direction will also play a significant role in how difficult the challenge ends up being on race day - so plan acordingly.
Solo swimmers/teams will have up to 16 hours to complete the swim, with actual cutoff times based on race day conditions. Safety and a course sweep will be be provided by ENDracing staff.
It's an ENDracing event, so you should prepare for anything!
Refund Policy: Sorry, there are no refunds of your registration fee if the race happens. and the race will happen under all weather conditions, unless the interstates are closed. In event of such severe weather, a modified course may be offered on the same day or an alternate date chosen. Registered racers unable to make the new date would be offered credit towards another ENDracing event in an amount equal to 75% of the registration cost. If the event is cancelled entirely due to weather, flood, or natural disaster, all registered racers will receive the 75% credit. In the extremely unlikely event that the event is cancelled for other reasons (lack of participant numbers, for example), full refunds will be provided, of course.
|Results||Wes||KVRR||OWS Daily News, Grand Forks Herald|
1 relay team
|Results||Photos, Photo slideshow||Post and Courier|
|Results||Wes, Molly||Gr8 Outdoors piece, Tara||Lisa, Jen|
7 solo paddlers
4 doubles paddlers
|Results||Photos||Studio One||Racer Feedback|
All profits from this event - and all ENDracing events - will help support Ground UP Adventures, a local North Dakota non-profit dedicated to bringing adventure to the region's youth and larger communities.