July 23, 2013
More than 500 paddlers in canoes and kayaks took off from Kansas City’s Kaw Point earlier this morning as part of the MR340 endurance race.
Held annually, the race spans 340 miles across Missouri, beginning in Kansas City and ending in St. Charles. Participants are given 88 hours to complete the course. Last year, only two-thirds of the teams completed the challenge.
Along the route are nine checkpoints, where participants are required to sign in and sign out.
The average current along the river is 3 miles per hour and there are no rapids.
However, participants must still watch out for other motorboats and towboats pushing barges, along with bridge pilings, wing dikes and buoys.
Thanks to the United States Coast Guard, the entire course is marked with mileage and channel markers, so participants can keep track of their locations.
Photos by Michael Bushnell