Everyone Is A Who's Who In The Mighty Red River

Everyone Is A Who’s Who In The Mighty Red River

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Andrew Magness [shown on left], race director of the 36-mile END-WET swim from North Dakota to Minnesota, is not a swimmer but an adventure/endurance athlete in his own right.

But when he observes the open water swimmers handle the Red River of the North, he is suitably impressed. “In my estimation, open water swimmers are some of the least recognized and most bad ass adventure/ endurance athletes out there.

There were lots of impressive folks out there [in this year’s race]. As an adventure athlete specializing more in running/biking/paddling myself, swimmers always amaze me. Suzie Dods finished the last 8 miles with a bum shoulder, one armed. Braydon Love, an 18-year-old North Dakota high school swimmer has been impressive; taking that leap from the pool to open water swimming in a spectacular way. Bill Daugherty, who didn’t finish but swam 21 miles at the age of 71 was inspiring.

There were even some athletes who didn’t stop at the finish.

Brian Leftwich got out of the water [after the 36-mile swim], changed clothes, and ran 29 miles to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation, finished at 2 am, then attended the award ceremony the next morning.

Truth be told, the thing that is the most rewarding about this race is that no one is a number. All the swimmers have unique and truly inspiring stories about their experience and journey to the race.”

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones