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1st Kansas River “Gritty Fitty” Race – GPS Tracks and Pictures

October 18, 2017 – 12:41 am | Comments Off on 1st Kansas River “Gritty Fitty” Race – GPS Tracks and Pictures

I am sorting and revising my old blog posts. This one is about the first Gritty Fitty race and was originally posted in July 2007. It was the only time when I paddled the Kansas (Kaw) River. Of course, I don’t count a short section of the river at Kaw Point where the Missouri River River 340 race starts. The Kaw River was quite similar to the South Platte River in Colorado which was main paddling water in winter and spring season.

Nowadays, the race is still run, but in a shorter version:

The Gritty has had a fluid past. It has changed ownership a few times, and Midwest Paddle Racing took it over in 2014. Originally, it was the “Gritty Fitty”, and it was Fifty miles from Lawrence to KC. This included the portaging the Edwardsville Dam, and with usual low water levels, most finishers were lucky to finish in under 10 hours Due to low turnout (13 boats in 2014, and only 8 finishing), Midwest Paddle Racing decided to shorten the race to 35 miles and move it to May. This did many things: shortening the distance and making it early in the year (higher water) made the time on water less. Removing the dam portage made it safer. Both of these meant more participants.


49 boats started the race at Lawrence on June 30, 2007 and 39 boats reached the finish at Kaw Point (if I counted correctly, see the race results). Paddlers needed from 7:04 to 11:36 hours to complete the race course.

Course record times:

  • men’s solo: 7:04 hours – West Hansen
  • men’s tandem: 7:42 hours – Zaiham Abdullah and Saum Liwon
  • women’s solo: 10:24 hours – Christina Glauner
  • women’s tandem: 8:10 hours – Di McHenry and Natalie Courson
  • mixed tandem: 8:47 hours – Katie Pfefferkorn and Charlie Lockwood

My GPS recorded 51.5 miles during the race which includes a few minutes paddling around starting line. Below is a plot of my speed in Thunderbolt-X kayak with finishing time 7:17. I stopped only for a dam portage, but I started to slow down somewhere around 25th mile.


Kansas River Gritty Fitty Race speed track

I did not shoot any pictures before or during the race, but I was shooting after finishing at the Kaw Point. The cloudy and rainy weather was not so great for photography. You can click thumbnails below to see larger images.

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The End of My Photography during the 2008 Missouri River 340 Race

September 9, 2017 – 7:26 pm | Comments Off on The End of My Photography during the 2008 Missouri River 340 Race
2014 Krugerhead Race when MR340 was delayed due to flooding

This article was originally published in my old Paddling with Camera blog on July 24, 2008, i.e., just after the 2008 MR340 Race. The big sandbar was, of course, Hills Island.
In early MR340 races I was doing much more photography than nowadays. Perhaps, I …

7 Good Reasons for Taking Up a Paddling Challenge

August 28, 2017 – 9:56 pm | Comments Off on 7 Good Reasons for Taking Up a Paddling Challenge

I am sorting my old blog posts and moving some of them into a new format. This one was originally posted almost 10 years ago on October 11, 2007.

It is good to read time to time a motivational article. Dawn Stewart (WaterTribe’s SandyBottom) in …

My First 12 Years with Missouri River 340 Race

August 17, 2017 – 9:12 pm | Comments Off on My First 12 Years with Missouri River 340 Race

I have just returned to Colorado from the 12th Missouri River 340 race – 340 miles nonstop from Kansas City to St Charles. So, obviously I paddled 340 miles, but my trip included also 2026 miles by car and 283 miles by a train (a …

Flooding and Missouri River 340 Race

August 5, 2017 – 9:12 pm | Comments Off on Flooding and Missouri River 340 Race
2014 Krugerhead Race when MR340 was delayed due to flooding

I believe that Missouri River 340 race has been rescheduled 3 times due to flooding during the the race 11 years history. There was also one slight delay at a start due to a heavy thunderstorm.
I managed to attend one rescheduled race. As a self …

12 Pictures and Reflections from 2006 Paddling and Racing

July 14, 2017 – 8:56 pm | Comments Off on 12 Pictures and Reflections from 2006 Paddling and Racing

I just dug out the 11 year old post summarizing my paddling activities in 2006…
Paddlewise, it was probably the richest year in my 45 years of paddling: the first Watertribe Ultimate Florida Challenge and the first Missouri River 340 race. Arguably, the 2002 year …

Hand Protection and Maintenance during Long Distance Paddle Race

July 29, 2016 – 4:41 pm | Comments Off on Hand Protection and Maintenance during Long Distance Paddle Race
paddler hand after long race

After the 2016 MR340 Race, social media and blogs show many pictures of paddlers hands: swollen, covered with blisters and open wounds. See e.g, Joe Mann or Joanne Hamilton-Vale. Scary, disturbing, impressive?
Well, maybe, I don’t paddle hard enough, bur certainly long enough to have …

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