Dan Projansky finished dead last in the 26-mile (42 km) Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) yesterday.
But he handicapped himself by swimming the entire distance butterfly down the mighty Red River of the North.

While sighting was a bit earlier, the physicality of bringing both arms forward for 14 hours 30 minutes from Grand Forks, North Dakota to Oslo, Minnesota was excruciatingly difficult.

While the race is open to kayakers (single or double), canoers, surfskiers, stand-up paddle boarders and relay swimmers (with 2-6 members), disbelieving eyes were focused on the butterflyer from Chicago.

Swimming downstream, but most definitely not in a straight line, the event is one of the world’s longest solo swim races (see here) and a true adventure in the American north. “I did it. The whole thing butterfly. I was determined to finish.”

The race directors, Andy Magness and Robert Trauer, did a awesome job. The event is special in that the town really showed interest in it. I truly didn’t expect to do the whole 27 miles, but Robert encouraged me to finish it. He pumped me up the day before.

The river was shallow because of the current heat wave and drought. Underwater visibility was not more then inches. I could not read my watch as the water was so murky. But the water is safe.

I trained hard but I had a long 2-week taper. I really don’t know exactly when I knew I had the chance to finish. I think it was around mile 15 when I hit the wall. My kayaker encouraged me to kick more as he noticed I was dragging. I took a shot of Cyto Carb 2. Boom, I kicked into gear.

The scenery on the river is beautiful. It was like being back in time 175 yrs. like the old west. No cars. No industry. No pollution. I saw a bald eagle and what I thought was a otter. The river was quiet and peaceful. Since I was doing butterfly, I had no stress. I knew I would finish last, so I was able to take in the beauty and just swim. As for the distance; I wanted to finish for the 2 race directors. I owed it to them.”

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source


Join Open Water Source as a FREE Member or as a Premium Member

Register for FREE and see content that is not accessible to the general public.
Better yet, join Open Water Source as a Premium Member and get full access instantly.

Premium Membership:
See What You’re Missing!

Subscription Amount: $5.99/month
Access All Premium Content!

Open Water Source… Your complete source for open water swimming.

Register for a Chance to Win a Vacation!

Open Water Podcast Presenting the Open Water Vacation Giveaway

The Open Water Vacation Giveaway is provided courtesy of Open Water Source. Winners will be randomly selected from among those who register in advance for the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach, California (September 21-23, 2012).

Click HERE for more information about the conference.


[SlideDeck id='7594' width='100%' height='300px']

Click HERE for more information about the Open Water Vacation Giveaway.


[SlideDeck id='3697' width='100%' height='300px']


North side beach at Marine Stadium in Long Beach starting at 9:00 AM

  • 100-meter newcomer swim
  • 800-meter swim (½ loop of the Olympic 10 km Marathon Swim course)
  • 1 loop of the Olympic Triathlon swim course (1.5 kilometers)
  • 3 loops of the Olympic 10 km Marathon Swim course (5 kilometers)
  • 6 loops of the Olympic 10 km Marathon Swim course (10 kilometers)


Register for the 2012 Global Open Water Swimming Conference in Long Beach, CA.

Join us from Friday, September 21 thru Sunday, September 23 at Marine Stadium!

Open Water Swimming Race Calendar
[SlideDeck id='1522' width='100%' height='260px']