Kansas City, KS to St. Charles, MO, on the Missouri River.
A collection of photos, articles and videos about the MR340
Since 2007, Missouri River Relief has been a partner in the MR340 race - a 340-mile paddling race across the state of Missouri. In 2021, we took over as the race host and owner, working with race founders Rivermiles to put on the world's longest non-stop paddling race.
The race is now a fundraiser for Missouri River Relief.
The Missouri American Water MR340 is a true community event - a community created by the river. To witness the determination of the racers, the grit of the ground crews and the hospitality of the volunteers is a truly inspiring thing. We're proud to be part of this amazing event that has changed the way our state looks at our river. Especially thanks to the Rivermiles crew for putting on such an amazing event and Missouri American Water for sponsoring the race.
Below is a collection of links about the race and an archive of articles going back several years. Enjoy!
Waverly boat ramp after a 2017 storm. Actually we hope the ramps don't fill up with race boats!
photo by Katy Cawdry, Columbia Missourian.
Some aerial footage of the MR340 by Columbia artist Paul Jackson.
To hold the 15th Annual MR340 race during this pandemic year, when so many public events have been cancelled, was a breath of fresh air. We are so grateful for the bravery of Scott and Kate Mansker for leading the way to a safe outdoor adventure for everyone. To witness the perseverance of the racers, the selflessness of the volunteers, the dedication of the ground crews, and the heroism of the safety crews was the medicine we all needed. All divisions and conflicts melted away as the MR340 wove its magic across the state.
The weather was incredible, with cool nighttime lows and highs in the 80's. Lots of clouds but no threatening storms. Heavy fog the first night followed by several days of perfection. Regional downpours the week before the race kept things dicey up to the last minute, but instead of the high water some racers had hoped for, we had a falling river, covering all of the landings with a layer of pudding mud. That always makes for some fun challenges for everyone!
While there were so many outstanding performances, one vessel, in particular, captured everyone's imagination. The handcrafted "Kraken", designed by racer Matt Walters and crewed by Matt, Joe Mann and "Uncle A-Dog", is a three-person pedal drive craft utilizing four actual canoe paddles on a chain drive. Impossible to explain and hard to believe even when seeing with your own eyes, the boat was the first to hit the finish line.
COVID precautions were observed throughout the race, with everyone masking up on ramps, food lines and other crowded locations. We hope this year's race is a model for the cooperation and care we need to move forward as a country.
The Great Flood of 2019 postponed the race until Novemeber. Due to sub-freezing conditions, the race was limited to racers that were reasonably capable of breaking a course record and finishing the race before nightfall on day 2. Only three boats entered (with four paddlers) and one tandem boat finished (Steve Landick and Jeremy Vore of Michigan).
The 13th Annual Missouri American Water MR340 was quite possibly the smoothest yet. With relatively high, swift water, cool temps and only one fairly mild storm, the conditions were perfect for records to drop. And boy did the records drop. With the lowest DNF ratio ever (about 10%), this was a race built for competition and for personal conquest.
2017 was perhaps the best weather ever for the MR340. Relatively cool and often cloudy with no severe storms. Storms just a few days before the race put organizers on pins and needles waiting to see how the river would react. But it turned out to be a fairly low and slow river for most of the race course.
373 boats started the race with 79 not finishing.
A collection of articles, videos and other links from the 2017 race.
This year was the biggest yet and no cancellations or flood threat! 550 paddlers in 370 boats started the race and 391 paddlers in 262 boats finished.
Towards the end of the first day was a quick but intense storm that knocked a bunch of people out of their boats. By helping each other, most racers got back in the race and heading downstream before sunset.
This was the first year that an all female boat was the first to hit the finish line (in fact first time a female was in the overall winning boat). The six woman boat "Boatylicious" took the honors with a time of 38:22. The youngest 340 racer ever, 11 year-old Konner Norman was in a tandem with his dad, Matt. The oldest 340 participant ever, 81 year-old Dale Sanders "The Greybeard Adventurer", was part of a 3-man SUP team with Shane Perrin and Jerico LeFort. This was the largest SUP field yet, with 17 starting the race and 13 finishing.
2015, the 10th Annual Missouri River 340, will be known for its high water, extremely hot first day and "The Storm". Even up to the last hours before the race, a series of thunderstorms rolling across northwestern Missouri pushed river projections for the race very close to flood stage, which would force organizers to close the race course. That never happened and the race went as planned.
This was the largest run ever, with two dramatic starts - first all solos, then tandems and teams. The first day was brutally hot, with many participants quitting the race at one of the first few checkpoints. On the evening of the first night, a storm rolled through Miami to Glasgow. With such high water, racers were forced to find little spots on the muddy banks to hunker down and wait through the storm, which lasted for several hours in some places. One group hunkered down under a riverside cabin and others waited in boat ramp privies for the storm to calm down.
The race leaders largely missed the storm, and this is reflected in the large number of records that fell this race.
The 2014 Missouri American Water MR340 was postponed from July to August 12-15 due to flooding in the western half of the race course. It was impossible for many who had registered for the original date to make the reschedule, but still 230 boats with 344 paddlers showed up at Kaw Point Park for the 9th annual MR340.
Temps were mild, even a bit chilly at night, with fog in the early morning hours. River levels were perfect and the Persied meteor showers peppered the night sky with gorgeous streaks. As always, the determination of the racers was inspiring and the hard work and dedication of the race volunteers was impressive. For some, this was the perfect race conditions. 190 boats finished.
This was also the inaugural run for the e-340, the first all-solar-powered boat race on the Missouri River. Five boats entered, two boats started and one boat finished under its own power at Katfish Katy's.
This year was one of the most pleasant races in recent memory, with milder summer temperatures. Lower flows made for a slower race in general, but records were still broken.
This year was dominated by the heat. 3-digit temps on several days. 580 paddlers signed up for the race. About 475 started it and approximately 300 finished. Those that finished used all kinds of innovative tricks to keep cool, from jumping into the river at checkpoints to wearing tube socks full of ice around their necks. You'll see as you read the stories below.