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My First 12 Years with Missouri River 340 Race

August 17, 2017 – 9:12 pm |

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 shuttle by Amtrak).

It is time to update my MR340 records. I have been with this race from the very beginning in 2006. I always paddled solo finishing the race 10 times. I missed one race postponed due to flooding. And once, I paddled the race course in flooding stage when the race was rescheduled. I was paddling 5 different boats, but 5 times Kruger’s Sea Wind canoe. The 7 last races were unsupported and I used Amtrak for a shuttle. 2017 year was my first MR340 race on a stand up paddle paddleboard (SUP).

Here is a quick look at the past 12 years in a reverse order. I will be writing more about my SUP experience in 2017.

2017

Starboard Expedition SUP on Missouri River
Boat: Starboard Expedition 14×30 SUP
Finish time: 67:04
Self supported race with a shuttle by Amtrak, my first MR340 on a paddleboard. Earlier this year I completed two shorter races on the Missouri River in South Dakota (72 and 50 miles), but on a lighter Starboard All Star 14X28 board.

2016

Historic railroad Katy Bridge over Missouri River at Boonville with a lifted midsection and visitor observation deck  - aerial view
Boat: Kruger Sea Wind canoe
Finish time: 62:48
Self supported race with a shuttle by Amtrak.
Turtle strategy: long runs again without touching the shore. Lower water levels and higher temperatures than in 2015, some technical problems.

2015

Missouri River sunrise
Boat: Kruger Sea Wind canoe
Finish time: 53:16
Self supported race with a shuttle by Amtrak.
Turtle strategy: long runs up to 13 hours without touching the shore.

2014 Krugerhead Race

Boat: Kruger Sea Wind canoe
Finish time: ~51:00
When I arrived to Kaw Point that year I learned that the MR340 race was rescheduled due to flooding, but I paddled the race course together with a few other Kruger boats. The river was fast, there were some trees and debris floating in places. I would like to paddle in a fragile racing kayak. My fastest time on the race course. Self supported run with a usual shuttle by Amtrak (I left the boat a hotel).

2013

mr340-2013-start-3
Boat: Kruger Sea Wind canoe
Finish time: 62:21
Back to a comfort of Sea Wind canoe. Self supported race with a shuttle by Amtrak.

2012


Boat: JKK Supernova kayak
Finish time: 69:26
Self supported race with a shuttle by Amtrak.
Another brave attempt to race in a kayak, but I am not well designed for long sitting in a kayak. It was a long and a miserable race. I cannot keep a proper paddling posture for longer than 10 hours.

2011

I missed that race. It was delayed by one month due to flooding, then canceled, but finally rescheduled for October. A cold and wet race. It could be a good run in Sea Wind canoe.

2010

2010 MR340 race with Sea Wind canoe

Boat: Kruger Sea Wind canoe
Finish time: 55:59
Another self supported run in Sea Wind canoe. Shuttle by Amtrak. I created a time lapse animation covering first 50* hours of the race.

2009


Boat: Surfrigger outrigger canoe
Finish time: 61:11
Surfrigger is faster than Sea Wind, but not so comfortable. It would be much faster if I could use a double blade paddle. I really need to redesign a rear ama for that purpose. It’s a very long boat, and landing at some boat ramps was quite awkward. Just slight improvement in racing time from the previous year.

2008


Boat: Kruger Sea Wind canoe
Finish time: 62:17
It was my first race in Sea Wind and the first one unsupported except a shuttle with Connie. I paddled from barbecue to barbecue spending too much time at checkpoints.

2007


Boat: WSBS Thunderbolt-X kayak
Finish time: 68:00
I tried to go a little faster that year. T-bolt is the fastest boat in my fleet. I paddled relatively fast from checkpoint to checkpoint and taking some rest there. Somewhere upstream of Jeff City the kayak started to leak pretty badly. I lost several hours at Noren trying to figure out what was going on. I couldn’t find the problem. So, I kept paddling, and leaking stopped … I believe water was coming through the unused mount of the under stern rudder. The hole was protected just by a piece of tape which was getting loose time to time and letting water inside at some occasions. Now, I have a good plug for this mount tubing. Connie provided a land support.

2006


Boat: Spencer Xtreme canoe
Finish time: 78:32

My first paddling on the Missouri River. It reminded me the Vistula River in Poland where I started my padding journey in 1970s: a wide valley with some cliffs, barges, wing dikes, sandbars and sand dredges. Heavy thunderstorms at first night. Otherwise. it was pretty relaxed paddling at least in comparison to Texas Water Safari and WaterTribe challenges.

No checkpoints. I was stopping almost everywhere and shooting a lot of pictures. A shower at Glassgow, a lunch at Cooper Landing, … 15 boats entered and 10 finished, so the river was quite empty. My race ended up with a long sprint finish against Bryan Hopkins. Connie provided a land support.

Related links:
Flooding and Missouri River 340 Race
2006 Missouri River 340 Results: 10 Kayak and Canoe Finishers
3 Years of the Missouri River 340 Race
5 Years of Missouri River 340 Race in Reports, Pictures and GPS Tracks

Flooding and Missouri River 340 Race

August 5, 2017 – 9:12 pm |
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 …

Hot and Long 2016 Missouri River 340 – Race Report

July 24, 2016 – 2:47 pm | Comments Off on Hot and Long 2016 Missouri River 340 – Race Report

11th Missouri River 340 is over. I was paddling self supported in Kruger’s Sea Wind canoe, boat #0013. It was a pretty tough race for me, mostly because of heat. There was also lower water than last year, some usual headwinds, and one thunderstorm.
I …

2016 Missouri River 340 Paddling Race from Kansas City to St Charles

July 17, 2016 – 5:19 pm | Comments Off on 2016 Missouri River 340 Paddling Race from Kansas City to St Charles

11th Annual Missouri River 340 race starts next week at Kaw Point. The official name of the race these days is Missouri American Water MR340. I am paddling my Sea Wind canoe again. Boat number: 0013.
Here are links to
– my own spot tracking map, and
– …

Invest in Your Health! Paddling?

January 9, 2016 – 10:33 pm | Comments Off on Invest in Your Health! Paddling?
Invest in your health

I believe that paddling is in general a good investment to your health. But, what about extreme forms of paddling including long distance marathon races like Texas Water Safari, WaterTribe challenges or Missouri River 340?
Endurance events or even any training longer than 90 minutes …

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