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Big Muddy, Bigger Race
Midwest Region, August 25, 2010
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The lead womens solo boat, and a mens tandem boat, re-supply before heading on to the next checkpoint, 36 miles away. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Tracy Hill)
The lead womens solo boat, and a mens tandem boat, re-supply before heading on to the next checkpoint, 36 miles away. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Tracy Hill) - Photo Credit: n/a
As the sun rises, a tandem boat pulls in at the Katfish Katy's checkpoint for a brief respite after a long night on the river. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Tracy Hill)
As the sun rises, a tandem boat pulls in at the Katfish Katy's checkpoint for a brief respite after a long night on the river. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Tracy Hill) - Photo Credit: n/a

Once again canoers and kayakers from around the world gathered to begin the journey that is the Missouri River 340.  To complete the race means successfully navigating 340 miles of Big Muddy, from Kansas City, MO to St. Charles, MO, near St. Louis.  This was the fifth annual running of the self proclaimed world’s longest, non-stop river race, featuring 195 participates and 169 finishers; the winning boat made the trip in just less than 37 hours.

 

Now in our 4th year working with race officials, employees from the Columbia FWCO stepped up to run the Katfish Katy’s checkpoint near Huntsdale, MO.  Simply enough, the job of the check station worker is to gather the signatures of the racers and their times in and out as they pass through.  

 

However, we are also presented with the opportunity to provide information about the Missouri River ecosystem and the plight of the pallid sturgeon to the public.  From Project Leader to STEP student, Columbia FWCO staff worked in shifts, running the checkpoint for nearly 33 continuous hours. 

 

Day or night we were there as the weary and ragged paddlers either pulled up and rested a while or simply got some fresh water and kept on going.  The support crews for the racers were great as usual, even though they were running on little or no sleep, spirits seem to stay high as they cheered on their paddler.    


Contact Info: Brian Elkington, (573) 445-5001 ext 25, Brian_Elkington@fws.gov



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