Dispatch 4 [2022]

MR340 Racers and Crews,

It’s crunch time now. We only have a couple weeks until we arrive at Kaw Point for race start. But we still have a little time to sort out the last details!

We want you to have the best MR340 experience possible. And we want you to take care of yourself in preparation for this event and while you are out on the race course. This race will test you. For some of you, you will be tested in ways you’ve never been tested before and in ways you didn’t imagine. The MR340 can be physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging. Race week is not your average 9-5 Monday through Friday. We trust that because you have chosen to register for this race you are up to its challenges.


Everyone has their own unique set of things they have to be aware of regarding their own health, and those are details you need to share with your ground crew. Do you have a medical condition that you need to monitor? Do you have medications you need to take with consistency? Do you have any medication or food allergies? Do you carry an EpiPen?

Talk it over. Tell your crew what they can help keep an eye out for when they see you at your stops. You’re going to be exhausted, and it’s sometimes harder to monitor yourself once you get deeper into the river miles. Give your crew the info they need so you can rely on them as you would within any other buddy system. That’s part of their purpose. Utilize your crews.


It’s really hard to wrap your mind around 340 miles of paddling day in and day out. So don’t! Break it up in sections from ramp to ramp. Are you meeting your crew at Lexington the first day? Plan for Kansas City to Lexington. That’s 50 miles.

What do you need in order to do 50 miles? What is your plan with your crew at Lexington? What are you reloading into the boat at Lexington? When you pull in to Lexington, you and your crew will know your general plan. Assess yourself along the way.

So you made it 50 miles. Over. Forget about it. Your race just started over. Assess. Are you good? Anything causing concern for you? Do you feel like you are up to the next distance before you meet your crew again? If all is well, you’re back at it.

You’ve got 23 miles. Repeat the process.

For a number of racers, something happens in this process that causes them to pause to try to get control over a situation. Maybe it’s a long rest in an air-conditioned car because they are feeling a little too hot for what feels right for them. Maybe it’s something annoying in the boat that needs fixed. Maybe this isn’t what they thought it would be. Maybe it’s more serious. Maybe this is the end of their race.

The consistent assessment of your situation on the water and at ramps with your crew can help you make good decisions about your race. If you’re not feeling confident about the next 23-mile goal for any reason, talk it out. It’s easier to pause at a ramp with your crew to sort it all out than push on and have issues 5 miles later.


You’ve likely got a fancy smart phone with all your fancy apps on it. Use your favorite radar app or site on your phone to stay in tune with upcoming weather. Have your crew stay in tune with the weather so they can give you a call or text if they see a storm pop up in an area near you. Storms pop up out of nowhere in the Midwest.

Don’t wait for a storm to hit before you get off the water. If you start seeing dark clouds and hear thunder in the distance, you need to be ready to react. Find a safe place. Out on open water with the threat of lightening is very dangerous. Ideally you are heading in to the nearest ramp/shelter if you can, and also plan to stay at that location until you know it’s safe to proceed down river. It’s your responsibility to be aware on the water, and that includes weather. If you need to pull into a location without your crew there, do you have enough clothing to stay warm? Dry clothes after the rain? Enough calories to be stopped a while? This is part of that ramp to ramp thinking. Be prepared ramp to ramp.

PREVENTION IS KEY – Avoid heat-related illness

•      Stay protected from the sun (hats, long sleeves, cover legs, sunscreen).
•      Don’t rely on sunscreen on bare skin alone.
•      Dip your hat in the water, keep a wet handkerchief around your neck. Submerge yourself in
        water at a sandbar or checkpoint (with your PFD on).
•      Drink plenty of liquids with sports drinks intermixed.
•      Eat salty snacks. Keep eating in general. Have your crew monitor your food and liquids as
•      Staying with your crew at a ramp for a while? Rest in their air-conditioned car.
•      Educate yourself and your crew on heat-related illness. Watch out for light-headedness,
        muscle cramps, nausea, headache, confusion, weakness.
•      Share food or liquids with other paddlers if you find a fellow racer runs out while on water.
•      Keep your Safety Dispatch card in your boat. Flag down or call Safety Dispatch if you need
        some urgent liquids or food while on the water.
•      Call Safety Dispatch if you think a fellow racer is having trouble. Stay with them until help
•      Don’t tough it out. Heat-related illness can be difficult to reverse.


Know your limit. Everyone in this race will be pushing through adversity, but there could come a point at which that push is not realistic or healthy. This is a decision you might have to make.

Again, it’s easier to make this decision at a ramp.

Don’t worry, you’re still a total badass.

If you leave the race – submit the DNF (did not finish) option in RaceOwl or text in to RaceOwl. We must know you are leaving the race. Otherwise, a process involving a phone call to ramp volunteers, a call to your ground crew, and potentially a safety boat being dispatched begins as we try to track you down. Don’t make us search the river for you when you are in a car on your way back home.

PARKING (Yeah, I know you’re thrilled. But PLEASE READ!)

Review the 2 page 2022 Parking Map and information before the race. Come up with a parking plan!

Check-In Parking at Kaw Point  - Monday 7/11/22
•      Many racers leave their empty boats at Kaw Point during the mandatory Check-In on
        between 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Up to you.
•      Don’t leave electronics, paddles, etc. Just your boat. We will have people working all night
        keeping an eye on the area, and Kaw Point Park closes to the public at 10:00 p.m., so access
        will be limited overnight.
•      No trailer parking on Race Day Tuesday.

Race Day - Tuesday 7/12/22
Kaw Point parking fills quickly. If you aren’t there by 6:00 a.m. or so, you will probably get looped back out of the park. Plan to park outside Kaw Point when all possible.

Consider using the Riverfront Heritage Trail to access Kaw Point on foot.
(Racers/crews can easily use a foldable wagon to transport race day items to boats if they choose – great to use at checkpoints too.)

NEW THIS YEAR! Municipal Lot #4
•      Located between State Ave and Minnesota Ave – access east of N 5th St via State Ave or
        Minnesota Ave.
•      Hundreds of free parking spaces offered by the city between 5:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

Hilton Garden Inn
•      Hotel guests can park in hotel parking garage.
•      Parking is also available directly south of hotel in free city parking lot.
•      Parking lot in further south section of above is metered parking.

Street Parking
•      Various street parking is available along Armstrong and N 5th streets

Small Parking Lot
•      Under the overpass off Armstrong northbound from N. St. James St.

Kaw Point Parking – Race Day - Tuesday 7/12/22
•      Please look out for and listen to our VOLUNTEER parking attendants for any instructions.
•      Racers can also be dropped off by crew at Kaw Point and have crew park in area parking
        outside Kaw Point.
•      Spectators are encouraged to carpool if possible and use area parking outside Kaw Point,
        taking the Riverfront Heritage Trail Connector when all possible.
•      All walk-in traffic should be via the Riverfront Heritage Connector Trail to avoid vehicle traffic
        near Kaw Point entrance.
•      Big trucks/SUVs should park in far SW parking section or in area under the overpass.
•      Cars should start filling in lot starting along the north, working south
•      Do not park in the Kaw Point Industrial Park lots.
•      Note the one-way entrance on west end of floodwall and one-way exit on east end of floodwall.


Please print and complete your printed race waiver. Bring it with you to Kaw Point and drop off during Check-In noon to 8:00 p.m. We will have some blank ones there if you forget, but we might have those printed in another color so we can tell who forgot theirs. We send those names to the Reaper. Kidding on the last part!


Bring some cash, and tell your crews to do the same. If you have a chance to support these groups at ramps along the way, please do!

Lexington (rm 316.4): Boy Scouts selling food in the pavilion: burgers, hotdogs, chips, snacks, and drinks

Waverly (rm 293.5): Boy Scouts selling food and drinks at both ramps

Miami (rm 263): Food will be available for sale

Glasgow (rm 226): Fresh On the Go food truck

Franklin Island (rm 195): (We’re still trying to get some food sales here!)

Cooper’s Landing (rm 170): Food trucks each day from noon until 8 p.m., plus sandwiches, drinks, and snacks for purchase in the General Store: Tues noon-3am, Wed 5am-3am, Thur 5am-10pm, Fri 9am-10pm

Jeff City (rm 144): Boy Scouts selling food and drinks

Hermann (rm 98): Boy Scouts selling food and drinks

New Haven (rm 81.4): Paddle Stop New Haven and the Lang-A-Tang Snack Shack will have refreshments available for sale at the ramp, Paddle Stop Brewery will be open Wed morning non-stop through Friday morning

Klondike (rm 56): The Nature Conservancy is offering free grilled items, snacks, and drinks

St. Charles (rm 29): Lewis & Clark Boathouse will have tacos, hard lemonades, Schlafly beer, and a few other surprises for sale


•      Email us if you have any updates we need to make for you (changing divisions, changes to
        ground crew contact info, etc.) at
•      Check out the MR340 Resources page
•      Review the RaceOwl information posted in Dispatch #2.
•      Check the roster.
        Do you have a boat number and, if applicable, correct teammates listed there?

The new Safety Meeting Video will be coming your way soon. You are required to watch this video by Check-In on Monday 7/11/22. The top of your race waiver that you turn in at Check-In includes a statement that you have watched the video (and read these dispatches). That’s how much we want you to watch the video!

Get ready!

Christina Ruiz

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