Swimming In Beautiful Country

Courtesy of END-WET, down the Red River from North Dakota to Minnesota.

I loved Grand Forks and the Red River swim itself,” describes Honolulu resident Michael Miller about the 2014 END-WET swim that he completed in 9 hours 34 minutes. “What I didn’t expect was how much one has to go through to even just go for a swim. Even during nice days, one cannot just jump in for a swim. However, with that many bridges in which one could jump into the river, it is awful tempting. I wanted to very badly do a jump.”

The downstream swim along the Red River was a big unknown, even for a swimmer like Miller who has done the English Channel, Catalina Channel, Molokai Channel, Ederle Swim and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. “No question that the 2-knot current was a plus and the 75-80ºF (23-26ºC) air temp and blue skies were very nice. It’s beautiful country up there. We had what probably was perfect conditions, rising water, creating flow, and water temps rising versus falling with the kayakers and paddle boarders all doing a great job. Mother Nature held off a wicked 45-minute thunderstorm until all of us were out. But shortly after, it hit the town.

The difficulty of this race was the training versus the actual race itself. Without the river flow, people would have taken 15-18 hours to complete. Swimming that long is not easy to prepare for.”

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones