Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) 2024: Challenging the Limits of Endurance.

Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) 2024: Challenging the Limits of Endurance.

The Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test (END-WET) is an annual event. It pushes open-water swimmers to their limits. As one of the longest swim races in North America, it covers either 27 or 36 miles, depending on the year, along the Red River of the North. This year’s event on June 15, 2024, had solo and relay swimmers that came to rural North Dakota to brave the mighty river. They swam from the starting point at Belmont Park, ND to the finish line in Grand Forks, ND/East Grand Forks, MN.

Solo Racers

Seth Baetzold, a 29-year-old from Maplewood, Minnesota, swam with support paddler Brian Huschle. Seth, also a previous END-WET finisher, finished with a remarkable time of 9:14, the fastest of the day.

Cheryl Reinke, from York, South Carolina, aged 59, completed the race with her support paddler Chris Reinke. Cheryl, a previous END-WET finisher, clocked a time of 9:45.

Michael D Miller, 58, from Minneapolis, MN, with support paddler Tammy Bohan, a previous END-WET finisher, finished with a time of 11:12.

Gerald George, aged 65 from Phoenix, Arizona, completed his race with support paddler Casey George. Gerald finished in 11:29.

Scott Swanson, 38, from Buffalo, Minnesota, finished with support paddler Kati Swanson. Scott crossed the finish line with a time of 11:29.

John Batchelder, 43, from Centennial, CO, with support paddler Matt Petrovich, a previous END-WET finisher, finished with a time of 11:37.

Relay Team

The event also had a female relay team. It was made up of Lydia Smith, Colette Smith, Justine Stellmaker, and Kamryn Robarge. Their support boat pilot was Camille Smith. The team, aged 22, 20, 23, and 23, demonstrated excellent teamwork, finishing the relay with a combined time of 9:50.

Results Overview

NameThompsonFinishTime HH:MM
Seth Baetzold9:353:049:14
Cheryl Reinke9:523:359:45
(team)10:013:409:50
Mike Miller10:165:0211:12
Gerald George10:285:1911:29
Scott Swanson10:285:1911:29
John Batchelder10:355:2711:37

All the swimmers get ENDracing swag, like latex caps and cool water bottles. They also get a post-race meal. There are meals for swimmers and volunteers. And, there are finisher tags for all solo swimmers. The overall winner gets free entry into next year’s race.

Congratulations to all who participated and have conquered the mighty Red River of the North!

Photo credit: END-WET Facebook

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