Missouri River 340
A great race...across a great state.
 
The Second Annual Missouri River 340
Canoe and Kayak Race
July 24-28, 2007

Missouri River 340 canoe kayak race
Bryan Hopkins returns to his boat after resupplying in Glasgow, MO during his 2006 campaign.
(photo by Jill Flynn)

Imagine a race across the entire state of Missouri, just you and your boat thrown against 340 miles of wind, heat, bugs and rain. This ain’t no mama’s boy float trip. This race promises to test your mettle from the first stroke in Kansas City to the last gasp in St. Charles. Just entering it will impress your friends. Finishing it will astound them… and winning it? Well, you always thought you were sort of a legend anyway, didn’t you? It’s time to prove it.

The Missouri 340 is an endurance race across the state of Missouri.  Competitors will start in Kansas City and finish, some of them anyway, in St. Charles.  With numerous towns and hamlets, the course offers plenty of opportunity for resupply while enroute.  The Missouri River is also incredibly scenic and isolated in some stretches, with wildlife and beautiful vistas to rival any river in North America.  But if you're trying to win this race, you won't have time to enjoy any of it.

Participants are allowed exactly 100 hours to complete the course.  There are nine checkpoints along the route where paddlers are required to sign in and sign out. Cutoff times will be associated with these checkpoints based on the 100 hour pace.  Failure to miss two consecutive deadlines is grounds for disqualification.  To finish this race in 100 hours is a huge accomplishment.  Only 2/3 of the teams    were able to do that last year. 

There are no dams, locks or portages on this stretch of the Missouri.  You could, conceivably, finish this race without ever having left your boat. (We don't recommend it.)  This doesn't mean that the race is without danger.  Any time you put yourself on the water, especially moving water, you assume a certain amount of risk.  The Missouri 340 course is all on Class I water.  The current is about 3mph and there are no rapids.  The biggest hazard to paddlers would be motorboats, mostly fisherman, and the occasional towboat pushing barges.  In river obstacles would include wing dikes, buoys and bridge pilings. 

Thanks to the United States Coast Guard, the river is marked over the entire course with mileage and channel markers.  It is almost impossible not to know, within a mile or less, your exact location.  At the pre-race meeting and safety check, racers will be briefed on how to read these markers, how to handle a tow and barge passage and what constitutes public property on the river.  Paddlers will also be provided with a racing guide that includes available services in towns, emergency phone numbers, etc.

Course Map:
Kansas City to St. Charles

Only maps 1-8 are needed.  Be sure to print opposing pages also, as these include mileage information.  Additionally, racers should read the Paddler's Guide created for the race.

Divisions:

Men’s Solo Unlimited
Women’s Solo Unlimited

Men’s tandem unlimited
Women’s tandem unlimited
Mixed tandem unlimited

Entry Fees:

Solo $100
Tandem $180

Prizes:
First place trophies for all divisions.  Medals for 1st-3rd.  Medals for all finishers.

Rules:

1. The Missouri River 340 will officially start at 8 AM central time on July 24, 2007. The starting point is Kaw Point Park, Mile 367.5 in Kansas City, Mo. All boats will start together.

2. The race will officially end at exactly noon of July 28, 2007, or when the last boat has reached Mile 29 marker 340 miles downstream, whichever comes earlier. A team's participation in this event ends when they have reached the Mile 29 marker before noon of July 28th, 2007, OR when they notify race headquarters that they have withdrawn. Teams still on the Missouri River after noon of July 28th, 2007 are electing to continue independently of the race.

3. Each race craft must be propelled exclusively by paddle power (double or single blade) while on the water. No rowing configuration is permitted. No sail or kite is permitted.

4. All participants agree to appear in this Event related media coverage free of charge.

5. For any "shortcut" to be legal, it must have a flow of river water through it. Overland portages are not allowed. Portages over exposed "wing dams" for convenience are not permitted. Outside assistance is not permitted.

6. Outside assistance that provides intentional aid in the forward progress of a canoe/kayak is not allowed. This includes towing, wake riding, deflection of wind and "rafting up". However, limited interaction between the competitor race craft, as is the case in most canoe and kayak marathon races, is acceptable. This will be restricted to only wake riding and wind deflection. No towing of race craft is permitted.

7. Ground support is allowed for racers but is not mandatory. A ground crew may assist with procurement of supplies, set up of tents and preparation of meals. Ground crew may not, in any way, assist with propulsion of the boat. They may only touch the boat when the boat is in contact with the shore. Physical contact with support can only occur when the boat is grounded. No contact on the water is allowed. No support provided from a support boat is allowed..

8. Infractions of any rule during the charity Event will be grounds for time penalties or disqualification to be reasonably and fairly determined by the Judges Committee.

9. Deliberate littering of the river is illegal. Teams must keep their trash in their canoes/kayaks and either transfer it to their support teams or go ashore themselves to properly dispose waste.

10. All team members should understand there are serious risks involved in this endeavor. The hydraulics associated with many of the wing dams along the river are inherently dangerous. The greatest risk, however, is from the numerous large and small power craft that ply the great river. Constant vigilance, clear thinking, and quick reaction will be essential at all times. Good judgment must dictate when it is time to rest. All team members (racers and support personnel) will enter this race at their own risk and will not hold this Event's organizers, judges, officials, and sponsors liable for accidents to personnel or damage to any property.

11. Anyone paddling solo in this event must be at least 18 years of age on July 24, 2007 or at least 16 years of age if part of a tandem team accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. Proof of age (a photocopy of a valid driver's license or passport) must accompany the team member's application. (Note that the parent or legal guardian must sign the liability waiver for the 16 or 17 year old.)

12. All participants in this Event, including paddlers and other team members must sign the "Amateur Athletic Waiver and Release of Liability". This waiver is required by the United States Canoe Association for participation in this event.

13. Entry fees for the race are as follows:
Solo racer: $100
Tandem team: $180

14. Multiple teams may NOT share paddlers.  Teams MAY share ground support.

15. Teams must make formal contact with race officials at each designated checkpoint.  Formal contact is defined by boat or paddle contact with shore at the checkpoint and signing of clipboard.  It is not required that you exit your boat.  Checkpoints will be manned by volunteers and race staff until the checkpoint deadline passes.  If you are not going to make a checkpoint by the proscribed deadline, you MUST make contact with a race official by phone prior to that deadline.  Racers that physically miss two consecutive checkpoints are out of the race.   IF you elect to end your race you MUST make it a priority to contact race officials and let them know.  Safety boats will patrol the length of the course throughout the race.

16. Each racer must have available a U.S. Coast Guard approved life preserver at all times while on the water. A whistle and an emergency chemical night light must also be attached to each life preserver at all times. PFD must be worn, AT MINIMUM, for the first 15 miles, (Kaw Point to La Benite) and during any night paddling.  Night shall be defined as between 9pm and 5am.  Racers may also be asked to put on a PFD by race officials if conditions warrant.  This could include fog, bad weather, wind, etc.

17. Boating at night is dangerous and the organizers of this Event do NOT require teams to do this. The decision to paddle at night is a made solely by each team. The following guidelines are provided to minimize the risk of serious injury. A white light should be used from the craft between dusk and dawn. This may be affixed to the craft or the paddler. In addition, activated chemical lights (or LED) should be attached to the stern of the craft and each paddler's PFD such that they are clearly visible from 200 feet.

Craft Requirements

18. There are no restrictions on the design of the canoe/kayak.

19. The original craft must be paddled from start to finish. Repairs may be made to the craft during the race, but other alterations are not permitted.

20. Any part of the craft (rudders, outriggers, etc.) which will be below the water line during any portion of the race must be "on board" from start to finish. A space must be available on the each side of the canoe/kayak close to the bow on which to affix the official race number. Each team may choose their own 4 digit number upon entry on a first come, first served basis.

21. In formulating the rules that govern this Event, every effort has been made to foresee all situations and problems that may rise, however, officials of the Missouri River 340 retain the right to change or amend these rules at any time without liability or recourse from any party regardless of the circumstances. Should such changes or amendments be made, every effort will be made to notify all entrants.

Please be sure to read the Paddler's Guide.

Printable Entry Form
Printable Waiver  (please include one for each paddler if tandem entry)

Questions?  Please write...
scott mansker
or call 913-244-4666
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