MR340
MR340

05-28-24

Hello Racers!

We’re less than 2 months from race day! I hope you’ve had time to get out on the river to check out the ramps you plan to use, test out your gear, and do some long paddles!

Be sure to check out previous dispatches if you registered after March 14th or happened to miss them in your inbox. Dispatches are posted on the News & Updates page of the MR340 website. I encourage you to share these with your ground crew for them to read; a lot of this information is helpful to them as well.

Your Info

Be sure to check your info in the emailed dispatch. Please review and email racing@riverrelief.org with any updates. Accurate information is essential for our safety boat crews.

If you are in a tandem or team division, please check the roster and let me know what the final number will be for your boat so I can remove any TBDs as needed. Encourage any teammates who haven’t registered yet to go ahead and register.

Registration is open until July 8, 2024 for new boats. Changes to registration (boat color/#, teammate, division, etc) can be made until July 19, 2024.

Training Videos

This year’s safety video will be in the June dispatch. It is required for all racers to watch the 2024 Safety Video before check-in day on July 22, 2024.

For Your viewing Pleasure

Until then, here are two links to clips from safety videos of previous years discussing navigation and ramps to help you as you prepare.

The Navigation video discusses the channel, buoys, wing dikes, and barges.
*If you have an awesome back seat tandem partner maybe they’ll sing “bad buoy, bad buoy, whatcha ya gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you” when you see buoys. Because that doesn’t get old after a few hundred miles (so I'm told).

The second video discusses nine ramps or locations on the river from the Google Earth vantage point showing hazards or obstacles in the water to be mindful of as you approach these locations. A great preparation plan to do now is to look at each ramp via google map earth view you plan to stop at or pull into; even your backup ramps. Look at the approach to the ramp, which side of the river is it on, look to see if you can spot any hazards nearby. Seeing the ramps before is beneficial to make mental and physical notes of what to expect. Scroll down the river on the map for an overhead view of the bends- Berger Bends, Lisbon Bottoms.
Be sure to especially study the ramps you plan to stop at in the night. Is there a wing dyke nearby? Is there anything nearby or do you need plan a supply run before leaving the last location? 

Once you've looked at the map, get out on the river. Plan training runs and travel between those ramps to see them in the daylight. Take your ground crew so they can see the ramps from land and practice too. Your ground crew can check out the area to see where they can pitch tents and setup to see you approach and catch you as you come into the ramp. Maybe a make a saved list for driving directions for your ground crew or save addresses on a google doc or go old school and print it out for a binder. 

Fundraisers

Check out the leaderboard! This race is under the auspice of Missouri River Relief (MRR). Your registration and fundraising support MRR’s mission to connect people to the Missouri River!

MRR Education Programs offer opportunities for children of all ages to come to the river! From field trips that bring each 4th grader in Columbia Public Schools to the river during Missouri River Days, offering summer camp, to activities for the littlest with Mornings at the River in June for those ages zero-five.

We host large scale clean ups four times a year, often based at the very same ramps you will be using! Our spring cleanups took place at La Benite Park near KC and St. Joseph. We’ll be heading to New Haven in October and hosting a cleanup out of the Lewis & Clark Boat House in St. Charles (finish line!) in September. We also offer Corporate Experiences if you want to get your entire team out on the river or our trash mobs resources if you want to do a little cleanup on your own.

The race you know and love is part of the race and recreation offerings. The Missouri American Water MR340 along with Race to the Dome and Big Muddy Boats rides.

The newest addition is a Catfishing Gear Library where anyone can check out all the supplies needed to catfish, including times to sign up with an instructor. 

Thank you for being a part of such a wonderful river conservation community! Go team!

You can invite others to be a part of this as well. Your individual fundraising link is an easy way for those you know to click and donate. You can find your link on the receipt from Pinwheel when you registered or ask me, and I can forward the receipt on to you.

There is a perk for you! It’s…PERKS! We offer perks for those that reach specific fundraising tiers. Anyone who donates via your link, contributes toward you reaching a fundraising tier. You can read the descriptions and check out the photos on the fundraising page. Each level is something enticing to work toward while helping a great organization!

Merch

Check out our online store to pick up racing swag! You can order a ground crew bundle for your hardworking ground crew!

Dispatches

Be watching for the next dispatches!

Coming In the June Dispatch:

In the Final July Dispatch:Check-In Day Info

If you haven’t already, book your hotel stays! We’ve worked out some discounts with a few area hotels in Kansas City, KS and St Charles, MO. Check out the new and updates page for more information.

Looking forward to seeing you July 22, 2024 at Kaw Point Park for check-in!

04-19-24

Hello Racers!

I hope you’ve found time to test yourself gear and your gear on the river as the weather and races have begun to heat up!

This is our second dispatch for the 2024 race. You can find previous dispatches posted in News & Updates on the MR340 website. All racers are responsible for reading each dispatch and relaying info to their ground crew or having their ground crew read them as well.

You’ll also see a new opportunity to win some gear on the News and Updates page! (woot-woot) Llama Racks & Some Beach Outfitters have put together an amazing raffle! Check it out! Tickets are $20. Prizes include: Epic V7 Kayak, Stellar Pro Wing Small Paddle, ZRE PowerSurg Medium Uncut Paddle, & 2 Llama Rack Gift Cards! Those who reach the $1500+ fundraiser will automatically receive 20 tickets into the raffle! Winners will be drawn at the Finish Line Party- you don't have to be present to win. Each prize will be drawn separately which means multiple chances to win!

Have your plans for the 2024 race changed? Let me know if you are no longer able to participate or if you have decided to switch divisions. Registration is open until July 8, 2024. Changes to registration (boat color/#, teammate, division, etc) can be made until July 19, 2024.

Planning

As you are getting out and testing your gear and yourself- be sure to check out the MR340 website where you can find loads of resources to assist you as you plan and prepare. While you're there, check out our race calendar for upcoming races. These are a great way to try out your set up and tweak as needed. Refer back to the first dispatch that covered each section of the resources page and go explore all the resources available. 

When planning, check out our Google Map of ramps along the river to decide where you may want to stop to switch out food, take a nap, and/or meet up with ground crew. The Google Earth view allows you to zoom in and see what the access to the ramp looks like from water and land. Included in the descriptions is a list of food vendors who will be present. This list is continually updated as we get closer to the race. 
We also have a written list of ramps with description of amenities, how to access the ramp, etc on the website. These two sources provide a wealth of knowledge as you plot your course as a racer or ground crew.

The Missouri River

The lower Missouri River is a channelized river by the US Army Corps of Engineers to improve navigation. There are buoys, barges, bridges, silver carp, dredges, and wing dikes to watch out for as you navigate the river. Check out race course under resources on the website to learn more about navigating on the Missouri River. 

Waivers

2024 Waivers are now available. Be sure to print out, sign, and bring your waiver to race check in on Monday, July 22, 2024 between Noon-8pm. Each individual racer must fill out a waiver. Once the 2024 Safety video is released (coming soon) you’ll initial to indicate you’ve watched the video.

Community Conversations

This month, Alpine Shop- Columbia and RHO Engine Room hosted community conversations on racing on the Missouri River and the Missouri American Water MR340 specifically. RHO Engine Room will offer three more opportunities.

May 5: Alma Hopkins (MEd, RD, LD & MR340 finisher) and Amy Harrell, (PA & MR340 finisher) will discuss nutrition.

June 2: Colie Payne (2023 First time MR340 Paddler) and Taby Lane (MR340 Finisher multiple years, Race Manager for Missouri River Relief) will talk about women racing specifics.

June 9: a panel of former racers and ground crew will lead a discussion on Ground Crews. Craig Payne (2023 First time MR340 Ground Crew), Brian Frey (semi-self support racer, MR340 Finisher), Cinda Eichler (Multiple year MR340 finisher, Ground Crew), Annette Humphreys (MR340 finisher and Ground Crew).

These are all held at RHO Engine Room at 10 W Nifong Blvd Suite 115, Columbia, MO 65203 from 5-7pm.

Merch

Be sure to check out our online store! Ground Crew Bundles were just added!! These are a great way to show your appreciation for your ground crew!

If you have any updates to communicate about you or your boat, or if you can’t find an answer on our website to a race question, send me an email.

I’ll see you in July on the river!

Taby Lane

Race Manager

racing@riverrelief.org

MR340.org  

Dispatches

03-14-24

Hello Racers!

I hope you’re excited and gearing up for the 19th Annual Missouri American Water MR340! We're excited to see returning racers and new racers join us on the river this July for an experience of a lifetime! There will be moments of highs and lows as you train, participate, and recover. This is an ultimate challenge that will stick in your memory and a story you're sure to share around a campfire!

The MR340 is Missouri River Relief’s biggest fundraising event of the year. We are excited to bring you this event as part of our portfolio of river activities which includes cleanups, education programs, recreation, and paddling races on the beautiful Missouri River. In addition to the MR340, we’d love to have you join us at any of our other upcoming events!

As we’ve done in previous years, we will send out a series of dispatches over the next few months highlighting pertinent information racers and ground crew should know. We will also direct you to the MR340 website to explore, where all these topics are covered in more depth.  

Each racer and ground crew should read all the dispatches, visit the links provided, and explore our website. You are responsible for knowing the information provided in dispatches, emails, and on the website as well as ensuring your ground crew does as well. This dispatch will cover updating your info, fundraising reminders, and an overview of the information found on the website.

Before we dive in completely, we want to recognize Christina Ruiz for doing an outstanding job these last two years as Race Director! Christina’s last day with Missouri River Relief was February 23, 2024. We are grateful for the wonderful work Christina accomplished building up the racing community and improving all aspects of the race.

Christina shared the following, “Acting as Race Director for the Missouri American Water MR340 has been a real privilege. Being in the weeds of my favorite race came with the wonderful and unexpected surprise of me being able to relive all my own past MR340s again and again. That same excitement of the unknown, the digging deep to complete a challenge, and the celebration of accomplishment has carried me through my own position. Thanks to you all who have been part of my beautiful river journey. SYOTR.”

I have much appreciation for all Christina has done! I joined the team in November and have benefited from wonderful training by Christina. I have already been in communication with many of you and will continue to do so in this role of Race Manager.

Fundraising Deadline

Our first reminder is the fundraising deadline of April 1, 2024. After April 1st, any account under the $200 fundraising goal will be charged the remaining balance plus a late fee of $1.25, along with the standard credit/debit card processing fees. Each registration receives a fundraising link you can share with others to donate in, we encourage you to share that with family and friends. Did you know we have three levels of Perks to encourage racers to fundraise as much as they can?! These stay active after the race, so keep on fundraising!

Your Info

Correct registration information is important for our safety dispatch, safety boats, and personnel. Please be sure you information is complete and up to date. Send any updates or changes to: racing@riverrelief.org This includes your contact info, boat number/color, your ground crew and emergency contact information.

Check out the roster page. If you don’t have a boat number listed, it means your number selection was already in use when you registered. When you think of a new number, use Ctrl-F to search on the roster page to check the number is not already in use. Email racing@riverrelief.org to have the boat number updated. If you see a “TBD” listed in your boat on the roster, it means you have a partner or team member who hasn’t registered. Send them to the registration page and have them include the same boat number and team name so we can match them up with you. The roster page also shows you who else is registered in your division- take a look!

MR340 race dates this year are July 23-26, 2024 with mandatory Check-In at Kaw Point Park in Kansas City, KS on July 22nd between noon at 8:00pm.

Rules

Be sure to read through the rules. You are responsible for knowing this information and sharing it with your ground crew. Every racer is required to have an in person or virtual ground crew, meeting specific stipulations. Your boat is required to have your boat number in 3inch stickers affixed to both sides of the bow above the waterline. Be sure to read through these rules along with the others to ensure you/your team, your boat, your gear, and your ground crew are in compliance.

Resources

The resources page has six categories to explore that will inform you of required gear, safety precautions, race tracking, race map, ideas on prepping, and ground crew information. Each of these areas contain vital information. Check them out.

The top of the page hosts a link to a public facebook group. Ask a question and you’ll get a variety of advice fast. There is also a search option, allowing you to see if a question has been asked before and what the responses were. It’s also where some of our sponsors can share info on sales and promotions. This group is chatting about MR340-related topics year-round, so jump in any time!

Race Course section provides information on checkpoints and paddlestops, a race course map, a map of ramps, and other race course information including race check in, race start/finish line, and what the time cut offs are for each checkpoint.

Plan and Prep provides links to resources to assist you in these months leading up to the race. Our race calendar provides info on races happening on the Missouri River and other rivers around that allow you to get out now to test yourself, your boat, and gear.

Ground Crews section covers what is required of a ground crew and what possibilities a good ground crew can open for racers.

Safety page covers a variety of topics from our safety boats and dispatch to 'The Reaper' (you need to beat the Reaper to checkpoints, go to the page to find out the details), weather related precautions, and will have the updated Safety Video that is required to watch.

Race Tracking covers the RaceOwl tracking system used to automatically check in/out of checkpoints.  Future dispatches will cover this in greater depth.

Gear section will cover required gear and recommended gear. As you prepare, a great way to show gratitude to our race sponsors is by purchasing through them when able. Check out our sponsors page to see the list of 2024 sponsors.

Show off to your friends in MR340 gear purchased from our online shop. 100% of the proceeds benefit our nonprofit organization, Missouri River Relief.

Finally, looking for a place to stay in Kansas City, KS or St Charles, MO? We have hotel block information here. We hope to have more options added soon. If you would, let us know where you stayed last year and/or plan to stay this year in the Kansas City area. This information will allow us to offer more hotel options in the future. Use this form.

We can’t stress the importance of training! Get on the water, test your gear, your setup, your boat, and teamwork. See what’s it like to be in the river at night with a full moon illuminating the way. You’ll be hearing of opportunities to meet up and paddle with others, take that opportunity when you can! There will be racers in the community sharing tips and tricks that worked for them, these are wonderful places to get ideas.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Taby Lane, Race Manager, racing@riverrelief.org

Shoutout to our wonderful title sponsor:

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