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Hot and Long 2016 Missouri River 340 – Race Report

Submitted by on July 24, 2016 – 2:47 pm

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 tried to apply my turtle strategy – long paddling runs without stopping, but it really work only during the first day. Here is a summary of my paddling with some memory gaps possible:
7:00am Tue – start at Kaw Point
7:19pm Tue – Thunderstorm with lightning and strong winds just a few mile above Hill Island. I stopped for half hours.
3:00am Wed – Dalton Bottom. 1.5 hour nap. ~4:30 back on water.
3:20pm Wed – Taylor Landing, 20 minute nap.
4:10pm Wed – Katfish Katy’s. Cold water.
9:07pm Wed – Marion. Just turning nav lights on and finding a can of coffee.
00:20am Thu – A few miles above confluence with Osage River. I was falling asleep, so I stopped for a night. A long sleep, almost 5 hours. Beautiful moon, boats were silently passing by.
11:00am Thu – Hermann. Cold water.
01:15pm Thu – New Heaven. 15 minute nap.
6:25pm Thu – Klondike. Cold water.
21:48pm Thu – St Charles. Finish.

I don’t care about my finishing place, but I wanted to finish below 60 hours. My time, 62:48, was almost 10 hours longer than last year (53:16). Division place: 31 of 106 boats in Men’s solo, overall place: 69 of 239 boats.

After 2016 MR340 race

I experienced two technical issues which were slowing me down this year.

1. I had unusual troubles with my phone signal in the middle section of the race from Miami to Noren. I even had to climb a hill to send overdue text messages for Miami and Glasgow checkpoints. I am paddling with a spot device, so my position is known every 15 minutes or so anyway …

2. I upgraded to a new GPS – Garmin Oregon 650t with a touchscreen and loaded with numerous options. A nice device for a short activity. Battery life appeared to be only about 10 hours! And, changing battery is not exactly easy (you need to use a tool to push them out). I am returning back to my trusty Garmin Etrex Vista for any long trip. Of course, I don’t really need GPS for MR340, but I like to monitor my speed and progress, and record my track. It’s mostly a motivational tool.

I didn’t do any serious changes or experiments for this year except food. These day, I am running gluten free with more fats and less sugars. It’s consistent with my general lifestyle and diet. I will write about it in a future post.

Chain of Rocks Bridge

Old and new Chain of Rocks Bridge as seen from Missouri shore

Unfortunately, I didn’t shoot any pictures during the race, but after the race it’s my photography time. As a part of recovery I visited the confluence of Missouri and Mississippi River at Columbia Bottom and Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. On the way to Colorado I am planning to look at Katy trail and some locations in Kansas (Castle and Monument Rocks). This year I brought a bike with me.

Related posts:
2016 Missouri River 340 Paddling Race from Kansas City to St Charles and my 10 years with the race.

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