Sarah Thomas Returns To END-WET

Sarah Thomas Returns To END-WET

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

The END-WET (Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test) is a 57.9 km solo and relay open water swim down the Red River between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Oslo, Minnesota in the United States. 

Race director Don Henderson is calling for volunteer escort paddlers for the June 19th race. “We can provide you with a canoe or kayak if needed. More information on the volunteer signup form here. We pay US$150 per support boat – plus post-race dinner, if that’s the sort of thing you’re in for. This race absolutely could not happen without the kind of community support that we’ve seen for almost ten years, so thank you for considering.

If you have a motorboat, we’re interested in talking to you about helping support the race in a different way. Please let us know on the volunteer form.”

Already 20 marathon swimmers have registered for the END-WET. See more information here.

The incomparable Sarah Thomas is the annual Guest Swimmer. Henderson introduces the only four-way English Channel swimmer, “First joining us in 2015 as our Guest Swimmer, and then returning in 2016 to do END-WET twice (once the day before on her own for fun and then the race itself the next day) as training swims. Introducing our first repeat Guest Swimmer – Sarah Thomas.

Sarah is an ultra-marathon swimmer who holds the current world record for the longest continuous, unassisted, non-wetsuit, swim done in current-neutral conditions. That record-breaking swim covered 104.6 miles over 67 hours and was completed in Lake Champlain in August of 2017. Shortly after completing this swim, Sarah was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She was just 35 years old. While undergoing aggressive cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, Sarah never gave up on her dream of doing a swim that most people thought was impossible. One year after completing her cancer treatments, Sarah did just that- becoming the first person to complete a four-way crossing of the English Channel in 54 hours 10 minutes. 

Sarah lives near Denver, Colorado, with her husband Ryan, their two beagles and their rescue mutt. She is a full-time recruiter.  She also does keynote presentations for special events, where she shares life lessons that help her complete marathon swims and that helped her beat cancer. 

Sarah had agreed to join us last year until Covid ruined our plans so she is very excited to be a part of our event this year. She will give a talk to swimmers, volunteers and spectators on the Friday evening before the race and we hope you’ll help us welcome her back to North Dakota.

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Steven Munatones