I won't have to wait to long though - i've agreed to run the Sheyenne National Grasslands trail the week after END-SPAR (the 6 hour race i'm directing). The trail is 28+ miles long and i'll be shooting for an under 4 hours completion time - nothing to write home about but about all i can hope for considering i'm only running once a week, and sometimes less than three miles, in preparation. This will satisfy me for a bit i suppose, and i'll be suitably distracted for the rest of May as Tammy and I take our first sans kids trip together since they were born (to the Gunks - i'm not sure if i even remember how to place gear it has been so long) and the whole family is heading out to visit my brother in Bend.
In fact, the summer will probably fly by as well - Untamed New England in June, then prepping for the marathon swim race that i'm directing in July, followed by the 24 hour adventure race i'm putting on in August. But it's this swim race that has got me thinking.
|I wanna swim there|
Chart a looping course to the outermost islands, making a loop and then returning to the mainland, doing it as fast as possible - hopefully over a long weekend. The route i've initially looked at includes about 8-9 swims, varying in length from just over a mile to between 3 and 4 miles. I'd do it with a single partner who would accompany me in a packraft (an adventure of its own) with all the gear needed for three a three day journey. I'd swim and they'd paddle (or we'd switch off) between the islands, running or bushwhacking the length of the islands (many have rough trail systems) between swims. The initial route is roughly 55 miles long with about 25 miles of swimming and 30 miles of foot travel. I'd like to be self sufficient (ie start and finish with all our gear - carrying it all overland on the islands) which is why packrafts will play a crucial role. The swims will definitely require a wetsuit (at least for me) as the water temps, at warmest, are around 50-55 degrees. We'd likely take dry suits as well for the person in the packraft, and possibly have a second emergency boat in it became necessary to blow it up and get us both in boats to await a rescue if the currents and wind blew us out in the middle of lake superior.I'm perspiring anxiously just thinking about this. Now truth be told, only about half of my crazy ideas ever see fruition - but i'm hoping this one makes the cut. In particular i'm drawn to it because swimming is so challenging and, in a sense, inhospitable. Two miles from the nearest land in five foot, fifty degree seas, with white-capping waves and the rain pouring down - well - you'll find out what you're made of - or, perhaps more importantly, what you're not.