Cloquet swimmer takes third in marathon river raceCloquet’s Sandra Bergquist went for a really long swim last week. In fact, Bergquist placed third in the END-WET (Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test ), a 27-mile river swim in Grand Forks, N.D.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Cloquet’s Sandra Bergquist went for a really long swim last week.
In fact, Bergquist placed third in the END-WET (Extreme North Dakota Watersports Endurance Test ), a 27-mile river swim in Grand Forks, N.D. She completed the swim in seven hours and one minute, bettering last year’s time by more than two hours. Both first- and second-place winners finished in six hours and 58 minutes, a record.
Last year she completed the 27 miles in nine hours and 15 minutes, with husband David Bergquist at her side.
David explained that long-distance swimmers need a guide boat or someone paddling with them during the race for safety reasons as well as to provide drinks, food and moral support during the race. He added that — at $250 to enter — the North Dakota race is one of the cheapest marathon swims in the world.
Bergquist (then Sandra Frimerman) swam competitively in high school at Eden Prairie. Her husband, swam while he was at Cloquet High School (as did his father, Barry). She and David recently moved to Cloquet from the Twin Cities area so they could help with the family business, Bergquist Imports.
Sandra said she swam the longer races — the 500 and 100 butterfly — in high school but it wasn’t until after college that she tried a 5-mile race across Lake Minnetonka.
She was hooked immediately.
In the winter, Bergquist swims between 30,000 and 40,000 yards in an average week. When it gets warm enough to swim outside, she swims even more.
“I probably do double that in the lake,” she said, explaining that it gets too hot when she’s training inside.
Speaking of lakes, Sandra is looking forward to training in the icy waters of Lake Superior, in the hopes that she will succeed in her next attempt to swim the English Channel. (She was unsuccessful in her first attempt in 2011, but did make it into French waters before stopping.)