World's longest canoe & kayak race paddles the Missouri River from Kansas City to St. Charles

July 24, 2018 - 6:04 am

Kansas City, MO - About 600 paddlers are paddling the Missouri River from Kansas City to St. Charles in the world's longest canoe/kayak race.

The Missouri American Water MR340 is a race to support river preservation. It is the 13th running of the annual river race.

The paddlers launched from Kansas City, Kansas and will travel 340 miles across the state to suburban St. Louis.

The race is one of National Geographic's Top 100 American Adventures, said Brian Russell, spokesman.

"The elite paddlers can do it in about 40 hours; you get 88 (hours) to finish it," Russell said.

Kayaks and canoes launched between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. The MR340 begins at Kaw Point Park, at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers.

Among the athletes in the race is Gina Bradley, a local veterinarian, who got involved six years ago when she was looking for a new challenge.

"I found the biggest challenge I could find, which was to paddle across the state of Missouri," Bradley said. "I just jumped right in, trained for it and did it; I've been doing it every year since."

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