36 Miles of CRAZY :) !!!
Posted Jun 27, 2014
So, school is done and I’m back from North Dakota! I was blessed to be able to compete in the longest open water race in North America, the Extreme North Dakota Water Endurance Test (END-WET), and even more blessed to finish in 2nd in the competitive women’s division…or possibly more blessed to still be alive ! This race is 36 mile/58 km of craziness, or at least it was this year! The mighty Red River was at the extreme flood level and the local sheriff’s dept almost called the race off because of the danger…I know why! The river moves pretty quick, which will tell you how I finished in 9 hours and 31 minutes, but it’s the other things that really make it crazy!! How about floating trees!! Otters!! Street signs buried beneath the flood waters!!??
Anyhow, it was crazy fun and I once again had one of the greatest kayakers in the world (right up there with Darcy Campbell, Rob Smith and Tyler Wilson) in Scott Olsen from Fargo, ND!! Thanks Scott for looking out for me…and for helping me when my life was on the line!!
So, I suppose you all want to know the story?! Okay! We were a long way through the race and we stopped so I could feed. We were right on a bend and I got caught in a current and it swept me toward at dam of logs and trees which had kinda’ washed into an elbow in the river! I tried to swim out of the current, but there was no use!! As I got closer to the pile of logs, rather than be swept underneath of it, I grabbed on to the first log and held on until Scott could manoeuver around all the debris and help me!! My hero ;)!! I know he was upset, but it’s that type of thing that makes this sport so appealing to us open water swimmers!! The unknown!! Just because you made a swim once doesn’t mean you’ll make it next time! What will be around that next bend? All of these type of things keep us coming back for more!! I was honoured and humbled to be able to swim alone side so many iconic open water swimmers in North Dakota!! Thank you Andrew Magness for bringing me down to the brown Red River to play !
So, it’s always nice to be back in Canada! Thought I’d update you and introduce you to my coach for my Lake Erie crossing! Paula Jongerden http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?title=Paula_Jongerden is one of only a few people who have swam across Lake Erie and a very awesome person, and can you believe she lives only about 3 minutes from my home!? I’m so proud and honoured to have her on board and she is so positive and funny and I know she will make this crossing a lot of fun!!
Our planning has been so well done!! My team is just amazing!! I believe we are ready now…I know I’d like to go any time!! The water is the prefect temperature! Last Sunday when we did the training day the temp was 61-62 which I thought was great! I’m sure it’s much warmer now.
I’ll sign off by mentioning that I’ll be in the boat parade and the street parade on July 1st in Port Dover! Happy Canada day everyone!! Don’t forget to get out and help me help Camp Trillium! Let’s keep the donation thermometer on my website rising!!!!