Monday, July 7, 2008

missouri river 340 canoe & kayak race

Release July 7, 2006

What: MR340 river race: the longest non-stop canoe/kayak race in world.
Where: Missouri River from Kansas City to St.Charles.
Start: 8 AM, Tuesday July 15th, 2008, Kaw Point Access, Kansas City, KS.
Awards ceremony: Friday, July 18th, 7:00 pm, Lewis & Clark Boathouse, St. Charles, MO.
Race officially ends: noon, Saturday, July 19th
Contact Person(s):
Scott Mansker, 913-244-4666 (scott@rivermiles.com)
Russ Payzant, 913-548-5101 (russ@rivermiles.com)
Karin Thomas, 913-220-3271 (karin@rivermiles.com)

As floodwaters recede on Midwest rivers, canoeists and kayakers from all over the United States, Canada, Belize, and Japan are readying to test the Missouri River in the longest non-stop canoe/kayak race in the world. The race takes place every year on the Missouri River from Kansas City to St. Charles in the full-force heat and humidity of a Missouri summer. Given the recent high river levels, race organizer Scott Mansker expects records to be set that may hold up for many years to come. If records are to fall, racers will have to paddle cross-state in 2 days or less. That’s non-stop with no sleep, avoiding debris jams, barges, fatigue, heat exhaustion, and relentless pursuit from competitors.

Jim Low, who has written about the event since its beginnings, calls the MR340 an “authentic adventure” in a time when very few experiences can qualify as such. Drew Lemberger, who guides on the Missouri River, agrees, “The MR340 was the most challenging experience of my life, and I’ve had a few.” For last year’s race, Drew built a tandem kayak, convinced his boss to paddle for 3 ½ straight days, and still managed to keep his day job. The paint is still curing on Drew’s recently built racing kayak which he’ll paddle solo in this year’s race.

A number of Missouri-based racers have their eyes on being the first to arrive in St. Charles, but to date, no home-grown soloists have managed to stand atop the podium come race end. In order to win, they’ll have to leave in their wake adventure sport legend David Kelly as well as 24-hour record holder for flat-water paddling and ultra-marathon machine Carter Johnson - the men’s solo-record holder in the 260-mile Texas Water Safari, 420-mile Yukon River Quest, and 300-mile Water Tribe Everglades Challenge. Katie Pfefferkorn, an upstart phenom with enough mettle to challenge for the women’s solo division title last in just her second year of racing, may have the moxy this year to overcome the focused and determined Erin Magee. Magee, the 2007 MR340 winner, has 10 consecutive (9 times as a soloist) first-place Texas Water Safari finishes.

Racers will compete this year in 6 categories. Men’s and Women’s Solo; Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Tandem, and Team Unlimited (4-6 racers). The Missouri River 340 is a canoe/kayak race across the state of Missouri, July 15-19. Contestants will paddle 340 miles, from Kansas City to St. Charles, virtually non-stop and must complete the race within 100 hours.

For more information about the Missouri River 340 contact Scott Mansker, 913-244-4666 or on the web at www.rivermiles.com.

River Miles, protecting our river resources through participation.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

is donny paddling/

Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. said...

3rd time's a charm. goal is 3 days which is 6 hours less than in '07, and still at least a day behind the expected winners.

Hannah Zimmerman said...

Cool post! If you were at the Missouri 340 you should check out the feature in this weeks Pitch. Reporter Carolyn Szczepanski was actually there and covered the event. Here is a link...www.pitch.com.

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