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3 Years of the Missouri River 340 Race

Submitted by on February 4, 2009 – 5:27 am One Comment

In June 2006 I asked the question: Is Ultra-Marathon Kayak and Canoe Racing Growing? I examined a number of entries is some North American endurance paddling races: Texas Water Safari, WaterTribe Everglades Challenge, Colorado River 100 and Yukon River Quest. Among these events only participation in the Yukon River Quest (YRQ) showed a clear growing tendency.

In the following post Why the Yukon River Quest is Growing? I was looking for some answers. Carter Johnson was trying to explain the YRQ popularity by cash prizes offered in that race.

A few weeks later the first Missouri River 340 from Kansas City to St Charles was launched. No cash prizes were offered!

2006 Missouri River 340

15 boats starting at the Kaw Point

2007 Missouri River 340

over 70 boats starting at the Kaw Point

2008 Missouri River 340

150 boats starting at the Kaw Point

2009 Missouri River 340

number of entries limited to 250 and only a few slots in some boat categories are left

Certainly, MR340 triggered an explosion of interest in marathon paddle racing along the lower Missouri River. Several shorter races were also born: The Kansas River “Gritty Fitty”, Kawlloween or Race for the Rivers, and it seems the local paddlers still want more racing events. That racing virus is spreading upstream reaching South Dakota

Let’s get some insight into this MR340 phenomenon. I have asked several three time finishers to write about their racing experience on the Missouri and hope to post some stories soon.

3 Years of the Missouri River 340 Race series:
Bryan Hopkins, West Hansen, Christina Glauner, Chuck and Di McHenry, Katie Pfefferkorn

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One Comment »

  • Marek says:

    We are just driving from Colorado to Kansas City for the 4th MR340. This time with Surfrigger (outrigger canoe).

    Packing for the race I found a contact sheet for the first MR340 in 2006 – contacts to organizers, all racers and their support crew were listed just on one page with some blank space left. 15 boats in 2006 and nearly 300 in 2009.

    I also found that my list of checkpoints with mileage is printed in a much bigger font now than 4 years ago.

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