Challenge accepted: Ugstad, Rosenthal swim across Otter Tail LakePublished 10:32am Friday, July 13, 2012
Man has attempted several feats out of sure curiosity. Daring mother nature, testing building limits and pushing their mind to the intellectual boundary.
John Ugstad attempts these challenges, not because he has to, but because they are there.
On July 7, Ugstad took a dip in Otter Tail Lake and swam across it.
“It started as a joke between my daughter Marija and I,” Ugstad said. “Then we decided that we should really do it.”
Ugstad and friend, Heather Rosenthal, decided to make the trip across Otter Tail County’s largest lake.
“Majira wanted to go, but she had a wedding that day,” Ugstad added.
Ugstad and Rosenthal decided to embark at 6:15 a.m. accompanied by Norm Bradow in a boat the two hit the water for the lengthy trek.
The swim took seven and a half hours with many difficult obstacles lying in their way. If distance and time were not enough, the two had to compete with the rising lake temperature as the early morning turned to a hot afternoon.
“The water temperature went from 70 degrees to 78 degrees and in the last mile and a half, my right shoulder got really sore and I had to finish the swim with one arm,” Ugstad added.
This isn’t the first time that Ugstad has attempted such a challenge. In January, Ugstad road a bike across the lake on clear ice in eight degree weather.
Ugstad and Rosenthal were conditioned for the swim as they had trained for triathlons by swimming in a pool three times a week for the last four months. The two have also competed in half marathons and 5Ks in recent years.
Ugstad has also done several open swims in Wright and Hoot Lakes that usually go for 1 to 4 miles, depending on Ugstad’s need to train.
Ugstad is the owner of Ugstad Plumbing and Heating and Rosenthal works at Otter Tail County Social Services.