Jon Marble and I drove to Rocheport, Missouri to hear Scott Mansker talk about the history of the MR340 race. Jon and I wanted to talk about RaceOwl.com and the upcoming changes for the race. Then we would enjoy a presentation from Scott about the history of the MR340.
Jon Marble eating a snack. Sorry for the food shot Jon.
And finally, the full presentation. Note that I took the video from the Missouri River Relief Facebook page. I don’t trust that Facebook will keep it around or that everybody reading this has Facebook access, so here it is.
Skip ahead to 9 min 32 seconds if you want to get right to Scott Mansker’s presentation.
If you haven’t heard of the MR340, you should. Its a 340 mile paddling race from Kansas City to St. Louis on the Missouri river. I’ve done it a few times and written about it on here. This year, I didn’t paddle, but I did volunteer at the Klondike ramp and of course go to the finish line after work on Friday to celebrate.
First, our time at Klondike. I was scheduled from 6 pm to midnight on Thursday night at Klondike ramp. Corvin couldn’t make it, but Sonora came out with me. We started by going to the finish line in St. Charles as its mostly on the way. I have tons of friends from the race and one of them, Jon Marble was about to finish. I was looking forward to welcoming him at the finish line. He had a rough race, having his boat broken half way through. He fixed it and continued on determined to finish the race.
Before he came in, I got a frantic message from his wife, Colleen. She asked me to call her ASAP. I called and got voice mail and called a second time to no avail. I messaged her that the number didn’t work. I gave her my number and she called me. When caller ID showed up, she was off by 1 number. Turns out that her son was in a car accident (not his fault) and she couldn’t make it to the finish line. I assured her that I would drop everything and make sure Jon knew all was safe.
At this point, I contacted JoJo to let her know that I was going to be late and what was going on. JoJo and I planned to hand out Klondike Bars at the Klondike ramp. Since she was off work, she did all the leg work with dry ice and getting the Klondike bars. So she headed to the ramp ahead of me.
Back at the finish line, I greeted Jon and let him know what was going on. I also managed to perform a live stream of the finish on Facebook so Colleen could watch at the hospital while she waited for results (no serious injuries). It was a bittersweet way to finish the race, but I helped keep them all together!
Jon coming in strong for a finish.
Jon at the finish line.
Once Jon was in and settled, another close friend of his was there to help out. So I headed out to the Klondike ramp to assist paddlers till midnight.
The feel at the ramp was electric. All of the people here are just 27 miles from finishing an epic adventure. This is the last rest/supply before they go on to finish their race!
At the ramp, our job was to help the racers out. Here, you can see JoJo carefully pulling out a boat.
Here are two safety boats. These motorboats often spend the whole week following the race down the river and helping out paddlers that get into trouble.
Time for a quick beverage break. It looks like we moved in with these three chairs, but we are here for a long time 🙂
Once we gave away the last Klondike bar, the only sensible thing to do was pour the dry ice into the river and stand in the fog.
And of course, the race wouldn’t be complete without going back to the finish line on Friday to celebrate a great race!
Here is a 12 person stand up paddle board that finished the race!
Mandy and Di are a force to be reckoned with. They even get their own signs!
One of the coolest things about this race is the any boat and participate as long as its paddled or pedaled. In this case, it was both. Its the first paddle wheel boat I’ve ever seen, and very cool!
If you have never done the race, come out and volunteer, you’ll be hooked!
Another good unicycling month even including the family.
I also caught the awards ceremony for the MR340, cheering on my friends!
It wouldn’t be a little adventure with some adversity. On my ride home, the throttle cable on the motorcycle broke on the highway. It was a bit of a close call coasting to a safe place to pull over, but I had some help from a fellow traveler. Almost 2 hours later, I made it home.
Hiatt and Kris came in for a baseball game and good fun was had all around.
I participated in my 5th MR340 race this year. I’ve written extensively about my experiences in the past. Danelle posted our progress during the race. This year I’ve waited a long time after the race and much of it is a blur. Here is some of what I remember.
While shopping for some supplies, I found a PFD that would be horrible for the race.
Since I’m running the RaceOwl website, I wanted to get to the race check in early and be available to help fellow racers set up their software. Of course, this meant that we would drop off the boat and walk around taking lots of photos first. I didn’t realize till we got there that Danelle had never been there for the start of the race or the check in process before.
Admiring one of the many safety boats.
A 4 person pedal drive boat. About 40 feet long with outriggers for balance.
JoJo and Stacey admiring the boats.
Another view of the 4 person pedal drive boat. Started life as a rowing scull.
Its raining boats!
The large red one in the back is a custom 4 person SUP board.
A 6 person boat, paddled by women from Texas. They won first place overall!
Home build boats by Mark and Nancy Fish.
Shortly after we left Miami, Missouri we encountered a storm. Like most storms of consequence, it caught us off guard and nearly flipped us. We managed to fight the wind from the middle of the river over to the shore. There, we spent 23 minutes waiting for it to clear before continuing on.
In the aftermath of the storm, the sky was amazing!
Anyway, that is the end of the race photos! After the race, I had some fantastic blisters on my hands!
Like many things in life, the photos don’t do them justice. My hands peeled for about 2 months after the race, but it was totally worth it!