Walk in snow, Ford a River, Raft in a pool toy…

As if an adventure race in North Dakota wasn’t unexpected enough, check out these images from the END-SPAR event last weekend. A total of 34 teams toed the start line, and the race included biking, running, and navigation as well as a few unusual things like a sandbag carry through a marked course (including a beaver dam crossing); a BB gun shooting range test; and a “Coke can” stove challenge where racers needed to melt snow. This is not to mention fording the Turtle River, of which race director Andy Magness noted “ice on the bottom of the river made footing difficult.” He continued, “There were lots of unexpected swimmers.” —Stephen Regenold

River Crossing. Cold water = pain.

Two all-female squads teaming up to cross icy river

Deep snow on the sandbag carry challenge

Coke can stove challenge

Approaching checkpoint #9 on bike

Team YogaSlackers/ENDracing riding to checkpoint #10

Checkpoint near river (note the ice in the water)

Punching a checkpoint

Pack-rafting a swollen spring river

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.