|The 3 SUP racers for END WET (Joel, me, and Grant!)|
North Dakota is FLAT… possibly the flattest place I have ever been to date. Andy picked me and my Starboard Astro inflatable up at the Winnipeg airport. We drove about 2.5 hours south to Grand Forks North Dakota.
The next morning we got up for a media paddle/swim. The big event for END WET this year was the 12 solo swimmers attempting to swim 27 miles of the Red River from Grand Forks N.D to Oslo MN. SUP was like a demo sport/introduction of the sport to the area of Grand Forks. We had a fleet of 5 inflatables 2 of which were also racing with me the 27 miles down the Red River. Thanks to Trident Sports STARBOARD boards were the board of choice at this event and hopefully within the population of Grand Forks ND thereafterJ
The rest of Thursday was dedicated to heping Andy get ready for the event and enjoy meeting some new folks from the area. I was also able to sneak in a 45min run along the Red RiverJ
|The most impressive part of END WET swimming 27 miles!|
I spent my evenings at the Pecks residence. The Pecks are an amazing family composed of an amazingly talented photographer (father), the most helpful volunteer and kind person (mother) and two amazingly talented daughters! They took care of me for most of my nights in North Dakota. I cannot thank them enough and truly hope to meet them again!
Friday I decided to join Tammi for a 5:45am Ashtanga Yoga class at the community YMCA. It was fabulous but truly very early for me. I do love morning activities as long as I stil get my 8 hours of sleepJ After the fabulous wake up call/yoga class I joined some yogis for breakfast at Dakota Harvest, a local café that also supported the END WET race. YUMMY. The rest of the day consisted of hydrating and ding some more pre race faff.
Saturday: RACE DAY!
|Paddling out the swimmers at 7am!|
|Start of paddling portion of END WET|
|Portage after 1.97 miles|
I got the fabulous honours of paddling out with the swimmers for the first 1.97miles of the swim. It was yet a nother early morning BUT totally worth it. 15 swimmers headed out into the Red Rover at 7am. There were 12 solo swimmers (1 swimmer completed the entire swim while doing the butterfly stroke!) and 3 relay swim teams. It took the first swimmers about 35minutes to complete the first part of the swim. Everyone had to get out of the water for a mandatory portage around the dam. Once the swimmers were through we had another 3 hours until the paddlers got to begin. Grant (another SUP racer) and I helped out Andy with paddler registration and guarding of the boats. Eventually we met up with Joel (the 3rd SUP paddler for the event) we hung out and tested out the boards. We were all on the Starboard Astro Inflatables. Not ideal for racing on flat water but great for travelling and beginners!
Once the race got way it was HOT out but I had my camelback filled with nuun and some snacks packed in there just in case. The first 1.97 miles to the portage were quick. I came in 5th place among all paddlers! I decided to run the portage. I was wearing the INOV 8 evoskins for added protection against the little rocks and spiky grass. They worked, but ended up taking them off for the rest of the paddle so my feet could breathe. The rest of the paddle was calm, quiet, HOT but peaceful. My hands were blistering from my sweat but I was okay with that. At the half way point I stoped at the pantoon and refilled my water and got a cold snickers bar (sooooo good!Thank you Peck Family!) Refueled and excited for the last part of the race. I was really excited to pass some swimmers and see how they were holding up. I managed to paddle past 10 of the 15 swimmers and I have to say I was impressed. Everytime I passed a swimmer I told myself I had to reason to complain about the heat or my blistered hands or my triceps getting sore…. It was nothing compared to them….I managed to finish in about 5 hours 15min which is acceptable for me ont hat board. I was hoping to get under 5 hours but am still happy with my paddle. I stuck around with Andy and Wes Peck until the final swimmer came in at 14 hours and 30 minutes. Dan the butterfly machine! It was an awesome day out on the water and a great race. I can feel the SUP stoke building in this little flat town! LOVE
|END WET SUP on red river....27 miles!|
|Mile markers on the RED, 6 miles left to go!|
|YEAH! Finish line! 5 hours 15 min|
|Finish was in Oslo, MN!|
|Pretending I am as hardcore as the swimmers! Robert, Tobias, and Eric all finished the 27 mile swim along with the all the other competitors!|
|Emma shows her Congrats to DAD, Dave!|
|AMAZING! Butterfly for 27 miles, 14 hours and 30 min! Inspiring!|
Sunday we all had a well deserved sleep and got up in time for the awards ceremony at 11am. The awards took place at the Fire Hall Theatre. Darren Miller inspired us by showing us a film about his many swim crossings from around the world, the mayor spoke and the awards were presented! The vibe was just so positive and exciting, I loved chatting to swimmers from around the continent and world(Malaysia!). After a quick lunch with the Pecks we headed to a local Park so I could teach a SUP clinic and have people try out the demo Starboard boards. About 15 people showed up and I would have to call it a great success! People were out on the boards, smiling, laughing, trying different tricks, falling in! It was AWESOME!
|Land Intro to the class|
|Practicing some complex yoga moves|
|360 on the board!|
|New Instructor Andy!|
Monday I went out for a road ride with Tammi and her friend Allison. It was about 1 hour 45min and I sure felt like I hadn’t been on a road bike in a very long time… It was really fun to get out on the roads with these ladies though, despite having a sore bum I was all smiles the whole time! Later that afternoon we took the entire Magness clan out on the oards and paddled from Lincoln Park to town. The boys were jumping from board to board and I was trying to help out with ideas for potential SUP yoga and SUP Fit classes they could teach! In the evening I got to help out with club climb night at the roack gym. I also got to try a few climbs which totally gave me some climbing stoke back! SOOOOO many fun things to do and sooo little time to do it all… AHHHHH!
Tuesday, it was time to fly back to Vancouver!
I had such a wonderful time in Grand Forks! Thanks to Andy and Tammi Magness, the Peck family and all the wonderful people I met that are part of this cool little community! I will never forget you!
Live, love, laugh,…DREAM!
ALL PICTURES were taken by WES PECK! Awesome job and thanks for sharing!
live, love, laugh,...DREAM!