Second Annual Kawnivore 100 is Friday, June 1st – Saturday June 2nd, 2012.
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The Kawnivore is a 100 mile ultra marathon canoe race through the heart of the Kansas Flint Hills. The western Kaw River is a shallow, braided, sandy man eater full of chutes and islands as it twists from Manhattan to Lawrence, KS. Absolutely beautiful like only a prairie river can be. But as a race course, it’s also navigationally more challenging than many ultra rivers. Especially in her upper reaches, racers will struggle with choosing the correct path through the braided sections. Choose wisely and glide past competitors struggling for depth. Choose poorly and see stern lights fade into the night.
This race will boast more bad language per mile than any other Rivermiles ultra.
The race will begin in later afternoon in order to frontload the night on the river. Most racers will make the first checkpoint, Wamego, before dark. Then follows a moon and starlit stretch, shoulder to shoulder with fellow paddlers. Then on to Topeka before a sunrise portage and technical section of the race with two dams and two defunct bridges for paddlers to negotiate.
From there it’s the home stretch to Lawrence and a hero’s welcome for completing something very few have done. Racing 100 miles on a river that doesn’t surrender much.
Be advised that paddling on any river in the dark has its risks. Paddlers should have experience and sufficient lighting for the task at hand. Also important is the ability to know when the conditions have exceeded your skills and it’s time to pull over on a sandbar and wait for daylight. Good news is, the Kaw has plenty of sand for camping. Unfortunately, that’s also the bad news.
See map here: Compliments of Friends of the Kaw…Select “satellite” for a better view of the river itself.