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Missouri River Race Attracts the Adventurous


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KANSAS CITY, June 23, 2006--Looking for some daring adventure to round out your summer? The Missouri River 340 may be just the self-inflicted torture you’ve been looking for.

The Missouri River 340 is a race across the entire state of Missouri, from Kansas City to St. Charles. Competitors will race in canoes and kayaks on the Missouri River in a 4 day dash to cross the finish line. The race is set for August 2nd through the 6th. Scott Mansker, longtime Missouri River paddler came up with the idea a few years ago.

“We’ve wanted to do this for a long time. We always thought there would be interest in such an event. Finally, the pieces came together.”

The idea started when Mansker, a Kansas City native, was looking to enter some local races in his kayak.

According to Mansker, “There just wasn’t much around here. To enter a long, expedition style race, you had to drive to Texas, Florida or Canada. I felt like there should be something here in the Midwest. And the Missouri River is just sitting there, waiting…”

The races in Texas, Florida and Canada have grown to be big events, attracting competitors from all over the world. People travel from as far away as Norway and Belize to compete.

“The Texas Water Safari,“ reports Mansker, ”is billed as the ’World’s Toughest Canoe Race.’ I guess we’ll see how our race ranks once it’s done.”

This year’s Texas race started with 101 teams, but by the end of day one, 50 teams had dropped out.

“The Texas race is challenging,” said Mansker, “there are several dams and portages that can wear teams out. The Missouri 340 has no portages or dams. It’s wide open from K.C. to St. Charles, but we are 80 miles longer.”

So far, the Missouri 340 has entries from Colorado, Texas, Iowa and Alabama.

“We’ve been pleased with the out of state interest. But we’re kind of hoping a hometown team takes first.”

There are divisions for men, women and mixed tandems as well as solo.

Paddlers who think they have what it takes can enter the race at


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