Dispatch 5 [2017]

07/18/17 AT 19:45:17

Some big changes so please read!

We hope you're as excited as we are about the upcoming 12th Annual Missouri American Water MR340.  Our team has been working night and day in preparation and we know you are too!  It's a huge group effort and we are all pulling on this rope together.  So hang on!

River situation is currently looking pretty good.  We've had some heavy rains in the basin but there was room in the lakes and in the river to absorb this.  We are never completely out of the woods with this river.  One single nasty storm has been enough to flood us out in some previous years.  We will keep an eye on precipitation and river levels and hope we don't see any big rises in the next 3 weeks.

We've had some amazing volunteers emerge.  Some experienced veterans from previous 340s and also some brand new folks who are excited to jump in and help you pull this off!  We could NOT do this race without the 150+ volunteers that show up every year to cheer you on and keep things running.  Please always give a hearty thank you to the volunteers at each station.

Lots of good meetings with safety boat teams and our tracking team over the past week.  We've decided to makes some changes to the required checkpoints and to our safety boat placement, adding boats to high traffic areas especially on the night portions. 

Paddlers seem to know best where to meet their ground crews and as crowds have formed at these ramps we've followed with safety boats.  Good examples would be Dalton, Franklin Island, Coopers Landing, Chamois, New Haven, etc.  Lots of racers choose these over the more crowded venues.  So we're going to make sure we're there too as much as possible.

So PLEASE NOTE.  Checkpoint requirements have CHANGED.

There are now only 6 REQUIRED Checkpoints where you must text in your in and out times.  This is down from 8.

Instead, we have added several places we plan to have safety boats for most of the time that the largest numbers of paddlers are moving through. 

The revamped list of required checkpoints where you must send a tracking text are in bold.  The others are safety boat stations and are not required.

1. Lexington, mile 317, (50 miles) cutoff 5pm Tuesday  Total avg. 5.56

2. Waverly, mile 294, (23 miles from Lexington) cutoff 9pm Tuesday  Leg avg. 5.75 mph  Total avg. 5.62

3. Glasgow, mile 226 (68 miles from Waverly)  cutoff 6pm Wed.,  Leg avg. 3.24mph,  Total avg. 4.15mph

4. Noren Access, Wilson's Serenity Point, Jeff City, mile 144, (82 miles from Glasgow) cutoff time 7pm Thurs.,  Leg avg. 3.28mph, Total avg. 3.78mph

5. Hermann, mile 98 (46 miles from Jeff City) cutoff 10am Friday, Leg avg. 3.07mph,  Total avg. 3.64

6. Klondike, mile 56 (42 miles from Hermann) cutoff 6pm Friday, Leg avg. 5.25 mph, Total avg. 3.79

7. St. Charles, mile 29, FINISH LINE, (27 miles from Klondike) cutoff Friday, 1159pm  Leg avg. 4.5mph,  Total avg. 3.85mph

In addition to the mandatory checkpoints, we will have a safety presence at the following interim locations.  These are not required checkpoints and no check in is needed.

Hills Island, mile 281, Safety Boats for duration, Fire. (no car access)

Miami, mile 262, Safety Boats for duration, toilets, concessions (flag and flasher)

Dalton, mile 240  Safety Boat midnight to sunrise Wednesday morning.

Franklin Island, (Boonville area)  mile 195,  Safety Boats for duration, toilets, concessions (flag and flasher)

Coopers Landing, mile 170,  Safety Boats for duration, toilets, concessions (flag and flasher)

Chamois, mile 118,  Safety Boat patrol rotation, water, restrooms, shower

New Haven, mile 81,  Safety Boat patrol rotation, Restrooms

Washington, mile 68,  Safety Boat patrol rotation, full service town on the river.

Before anyone panics, Miami will be open for business and will be packed with paddlers and ground crews as always.  It's one of the best food spreads you'll find at any of the towns along the river and if it fits your race schedule and strategy, you should absolutely stop.  We will have a safety boat there all night and many volunteers to assist you. 

Katfish Katys will not be open during the week.  It's a private operation and they are now only open on weekends and no longer have a campground.   Luckily, Franklin Island and Coopers Landing are open and in the same stretch of river.  Hartsburg is another good option if you need to meet your ground crew before Jefferson City.

Unsupported paddlers should probably use Coopers Landing as it will for sure have food available 24 hours per day.  Rumor is that we will have a delicious food truck at Franklin Island and we will let you know when confirmed. 

In summary, you are no longer required to check in at Miami but Miami will have the same party going on as always.

Katfish Katy's will not be open.  The stretch between Glasgow and Jeff City will now have two staffed ramps at Franklin Island and Coopers Landing.  Neither of these are checkpoints but both are good places to meet ground crew.  We are blessed on this stretch with 4 great ramps.  Franklin, Providence, Coopers and Hartsburg.  And lots of sandbars.  Every racer and ground crew should pick a strategy that works for them.  When you leave Glasgow, you have a long buffet of boat ramps on your way to Jefferson City.

A note on Coopers Landing.  Parking will fill up fast and overflow parking will be along the road that leads to Coopers.  Cooper will have parking attendants with walkie talkies to manage the parking.  Like most checkpoints, you may have to walk a fair distance to get to the ramp from your car.  Wagons, carts, coolers on wheels, are all good ideas.  Another cool thing about Coopers is that it's near Columbia  So this might be stretch that you give your ground crew a break at a hotel while you enjoy Coopers without them.  There will be Thai food served all night and breakfast in the morning.  Store will be open all night with drinks, ice cream, etc.  Many veterans stop at Coopers for this reason.

Jon Marble's MR340 Apps and Hogan Haake's RaceOwl apps will be updated soon to reflect the changes with no check in at Miami or Katfish Katy's.  If your phone asks you to let those apps update, be sure to allow it before the race. 

For those who have been around this race awhile, you know that checkpoint changes have happened before.  Former checkpoints like Washington and Weldon Springs have come and gone.  Checkpoints cutoff times have changed.  Even the duration of the race changed from 100 hours to 88. 

A NOTE:  I spent today driving the road from Boonville to Coopers to Hartsburg to Jefferson City.  My phone brought me right to where I needed to be every time.  That is one thing that has gotten much easier.  Here are some things for your ground crew to try typing into their phone nav to see if your phone knows where these are.

Franklin Island Access
Coopers Landing
Noren Access  (this is Jefferson City)

Without fail my google default driving app knew what I was trying to type after the first few letters and talked me right there through some winding river bottom gravel roads.  Gone are the days you need to print off a stack of maps or get arcane directions from the locals.  It's all right there.  Same will be true of almost any ramp on the Missouri if you type the name in properly.

Currently the company that manages the convention space where we always have the safety meeting is NOT planning on serving the buffet in the meeting room this year.  The hotel (different company) is planning to have their bar/restaurant open as usual.  But as you know, this is limited seating and you can't be up there eating during the 7-8pm safety meeting.  SO...unless something changes (we are working on a few ideas)  You should plan to eat before the meeting or after.  Registration will be up and running from 2pm to 6pm so get that done early and go eat.  Then come back for the required meeting.

ONE MORE NOTE:  Our usual guitar/violin duo Scotty Lane and Rob Foster are back for their 4th year to perform as the pre meeting entertainment.  Please come heckle them starting around 530pm.  BONUS:  They are also performing the National Anthem the following morning for the 7am start.

A BONUS NOTE:  Please check the roster and make sure your boat not missing a boat number OR a partner.  Still a bunch of TBD paddlers on there and we are out of time.  Get your partner registered ASAP.  Roster here:

There will be at least two more dispatches over the next 3 weeks leading up to the race. 

Keep the questions coming.  Happy to help.


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