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My First 12 Years with Missouri River 340 Race

Submitted by on 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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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