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Frequently Asked Questions (Read 148896 times)
12/18/10 at 11:33:35
Scott   Ex Member

 
Everyone is welcome to post FAQs to this thread... questions AND answers welcomed.  They will be edited and amended over time.   Folks searching for answers should browse the old forum threads extensively for all the best wisdom from 5 previous runnings of the 340.  But over time, we'll try to accumulate a bunch of it here.

Scott

1. When does registration start?

Registration will open at the stroke of midnight, New Year's Eve.  The limit for 2011 is 340 boats so sign up early and often.


2. What are the dates for this year's race?

The race begins at 8am on Tuesday, July 19th and finishes at midnight Friday, July 22nd or when the last competing boat lands at the beach in St. Charles.  There is a mandatory safety meeting the evening of July 18th.  All racers must sign in and attend.  This meeting is held at the Hilton Garden Inn at 5th and Minnesota in Kansas City, KS.  About a mile from the starting line at Kaw Point.
« Last Edit: 02/28/16 at 17:14:08 by Scott Mansker »  
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Reply #1 - 12/21/10 at 14:16:28

gus   Offline
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3. What is a good resource for river conditions on the Missouri River?

The link below allows the user to select multiple monitoring sites on the Missouri for current water levels.

http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/glance.php?wfo=eax&gage=kcdm7&riverid=203276&view...
« Last Edit: 12/21/10 at 16:07:03 by N/A »  
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Reply #2 - 12/21/10 at 20:34:15

RangerDave   Offline
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Bonner Springs, Ks.

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4. Are PFD's (lifejackets) required to be worn the entire race?

YES!!
 

It's a good life.....
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Reply #3 - 12/22/10 at 19:31:37

JoshS   Offline
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5. What kind of clothing should I wear?

Something that covers your body from the sun.  I like Underarmour Heatgear it wicks moisture well and fits tight so you don't chafe.  You don't want cotton, takes for ever to dry.  If I am going to be in a kayak that covers my legs, I just wear Walmart Starter shorts.  If in a canoe, Underarmour tights or scrubs.
 
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Reply #4 - 12/22/10 at 20:45:30
Osprey   Ex Member

 
Q5

A: I'm a big fan of rashguards with high SPF.  My rashguards are SPF 50 and longsleeve and reflective of the sun and its heat.  I also ensure I buy rashguards that don't have a seam in the armpit and all seams are flat-lock stitched.  This reduces the friction between me and my PFD.  But standard seams can be an evil thing once you get a hot spot from rubbing repetitively on your skin.

A hat is a must.  Even if you have lots of hair, it keeps the direct heat off your head.  Covering ones ears can be important too because they become sun burned easily.  You can dip it in the water and toss it back on your head and the dripping/evaporating water will take heat away from your head.

Covering the thighs from the sun is also highly recommended.  I like tights.  Bike shorts or similar are popular.  Something that protects your skin from sun and allows your butt to rotate in the seat well for good rotation.  In a canoe, if you're wearing sandals, you'll want to put sunscreen on your feet, too.  When a foot is sunburned, it's hard to do anything.

Footcovering -- anything you will feel comfortable in for three days and don't might getting caked with mud.

I'm not a fan of gloves.  Just train your hands through the spring and summer.  I belive gloves can cause friction hot spots with seams and your hands will never dry out leaving your skin highly succeptible to laceration.

Dan
 
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Reply #5 - 12/23/10 at 11:14:03

Joewildlife   Offline
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Jackson MO

Posts: 641
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Q.  Do you Wear Gloves?

A.  No...for the reasons stated earlier.  Buy some Tuf Foot and use it nightly for a month or two before the race.  Bring some waterproof tape to cover any "hot spots" that might develop.

Q.  What kind of navigation lights are required, and good?

A.  A full set of navigation lights are required for all boats.  Even if you don't think you'll be paddling at night.  White stern light and the red and green bow lights are required.

A.  On the stern, I've seen several folks use the $5 Ozark Trail mini LED lantern that can be found at WalMart.  Mount it on the lid of a clear plastic peanut butter jar mounted to the stern of the boat, and screw the jar over it.  Waterproof, cheap, and will run the entire race on one set of batteries.

A.  On the bow, red and green lights are required.  Cheap, and easy, are the Eveready red and green battery powered "glow sticks".   Attach with velcro and tape to the boat.  Another option are taking Sylvania Dot It H20 puck lights, and cover one lens with red electrical tape and one with green electrical tape.  The tap lights attach to the boat with velcro and will last the length of the race.  If you want to get fancy, you can find 4-LED little red and green accent lights on eBay that will run off a 9V battery, or any 12V source.  I use 8AA batteries to run my pair of red/green bow LEDs.  Everything is velcroed in place.



Q. Paddling at night?

A.  The race is scheduled during periods of near-full moon AND when the moon is actually out during the majority of night hours.  Do NOT plan on running down the river with some kind of light setup on the boat lighting the way.  It doesn't work.  Use your night vision for the most part.  Wear a $15 LED headlamp for instant light when you need it.  Carry a LED spotlight or other type of bright flashlight to look for buoys and channel markers (which are reflective, and show up great with LED light).  I used a 2 D cell LED Maglite attached to the side of the boat.  I could reach down and turn it on, and turn the boat left to right a bit and scan the entire shoreline for channel markers in the dark of night.  Find a marker on the far bank, turn off the light and aim for it using the treeline shapes as a guide.  One headlamp and one maglite did the trick for me.

A.  Note that paddling at night is NOT required to finish the race in under 88 hours.  The checkpoint cutoffs are set up to allow for layovers at checkpoints for the dark hours.  If you plan to paddle at night you should be prepared with good lighting.  It's also a good idea to paddle with a group.

Q.  Do you use a single or double blade paddle?

A.  Double blade paddles work best in kayaks, surfskis, and race canoes where the paddler sits low to the water.  Single blades work best in canoes.  some folks bring both to switch up now and then and use different muscle groups, if the seating position in the boat makes it efficient.  There is no speed advantage to a double blade (in a craft that makes using either possible) over a LONG race because instead of swinging a 10 oz carbon ZRE single blade, you are swinging a 24oz paddle around, and your overall stroke rate is about the same.  All this is my opinion.  I paddled an excursion canoe with only a single blade and don't even own a double.

« Last Edit: 12/23/10 at 16:27:09 by N/A »  

And I ain't too old to hurry
Cause I ain't too old to die
But I sure am hard to beat
Ride on
AC/DC, Ride On
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Reply #6 - 01/20/11 at 18:54:44

lesmarteau   Offline
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6) Are there any scheduled post-race events?  Awards, giant bbq, wrestling, dance party???
 
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Reply #7 - 01/20/11 at 19:15:27

Joewildlife   Offline
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Jackson MO

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Post race:  massages, bbq dinner free with 1 voucher per racer, awards, building applause for each and every finisher, tatoos available at Threshold Tatoos in St. Charles, beer available at the microbrewery nearby, photo ops as you pull in, lots or comradery, and a dang fine boat show.

Folks helping you out of the boat, and carrying your boat up the bank for you, is one of the finest experiences of the whole race.

 

And I ain't too old to hurry
Cause I ain't too old to die
But I sure am hard to beat
Ride on
AC/DC, Ride On
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Reply #8 - 01/20/11 at 20:06:57

Spray   Offline
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Do the carp jump at night?? Shocked
 
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Reply #9 - 01/26/11 at 09:16:02
Scott   Ex Member

 
Carp jump at all times of day and night.  They are mostly in slack water areas at the mouths of tributaries or behind wing dikes.
 
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Reply #10 - 01/26/11 at 09:19:28
Scott   Ex Member

 
Do paddlers provide our own boat numbers?

Yes.  You've selected a number.  If it wasn't already taken, it will show next to your name on the roster.  If it was already in use then it will say "needs to select new number" next to your name on the roster.  Use your browser's "find" feature to select a number that is not taken.  There are 10,000 combinations of 4 digit numbers and less than 400 boats on the roster, so there are many options. 

Your numbers must be at least 3 inches high and should be printed on reflective material.  Most wal-mart marine sections have this lettering.  The numbers should be on both sides of your boat as close to the bow as is practical with your waterline.
 
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Reply #11 - 02/05/11 at 18:07:33

Dave Tlusty   Offline
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Wisconsin

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Do the barges travel at night?  Are there other recreational boaters (with motors) on the river at night?
 
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Reply #12 - 02/05/11 at 19:46:06
Scott   Ex Member

 
Since the 2008 race, Jeff Barrow of Missouri River Relief has negotiated with the barge industry to tie off at night and not travel.  This has been great.  However, even a tied off or parked barge can be dangerous as a canoe can be pinned against it and swept under.  So being aware and having good lighting is always important. 

There are fishermen who boat at night and it's important to have your boat lit up with navigation lights and a handheld for signalling.  Lots of people go cheap on nav lights but it's really hard to discern a lone kayak out there... your tiny nav lights look like starlight on the water.  If you see a motor boat moving at night, grab your handheld and make sure he knows you're a boat if you feel he's in proximity.
 
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Reply #13 - 02/05/11 at 19:53:21

Manitou Paddler   Offline
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In past river relief has sometimes been able to negotiate wiith barge lines to put to shore at night for the week if the race....no guarantee that will occur ....and most definitely there are recreational boats....mostly catfisherman

If you run nav light...have a strong hand light to shine their way and let them know you are there....should not be a big deal

But you must use common sense too ...and if a boat seems to be clueless of you....move out of the way

As for barges....they have to stay in the main channel....so if you know-how to read the channel location (shore beacons and channel markers)....you can get out of the channel

Kind of like knowing where road is and making sure you get onto the side walk when a car is coming

barges at night are intimidating...waves in dark etc...and one boat a few years back got confused and cut right in front if a barge at night ....got run over....and rescued by barge crew.....IMHO it was the paddlers fault and not the barges....they even crashes lead barge to shore and reversed engines to flush them out.....keep in mind barges have total right of way

Parked barges can be a hazard to....and all too often do not have proper lights ...typically parked sand barges are most guilty...give a parked barge very wide berth. "there is nothing interesting to see on the underside of a barge ".  Lips Sealed

Bryan
« Last Edit: 02/06/11 at 15:44:41 by Manitou Paddler »  

river is as river does
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Reply #14 - 02/06/11 at 18:53:10
Osprey   Ex Member

 
One simple thing to do if you're wondering if you've been notice by a power boater is to wave your paddle back and forth in the air because you've applied reflective tape on the paddle blade.  As Scott mentioned, we are barely dots of light and the reflective nature of the water surface makes it nearly impossible to discern one thing from another.  That's why a waving paddle might increase your chances of being seen, just as flashing your hand-held light at them does.

Additionally, the in-the-water-and-out-of-the-water of the paddle stroke makes a winking of reflected light on the paddle if you have reflective tape on the back of the paddle.

Night time paddling is as much about listening as seeing.  So turn your music player off and rotate your head back and forth once in a while to listen for boats, buoys and dikes behind you, at your side and in front of you.

It's the most special time to paddle at night, so enjoy it and heighten your awareness of everything.  It's amazing on the Missouri River at night.

Dan
 
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Reply #15 - 02/06/11 at 22:33:45

Hondo   Offline
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Corder, MO

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I agree with the above posts about being aware of your surroundings during night paddling.  I know how prevalent the mp3 headphones have become for everyone, but at night you might want to practice some discretion and listen to the river.  I spent a number of hours in dense fog between Hermann and Klondike last year in a cloud bank that no spot light could penetrate.  The only way I was able to navigate the river (including the potentially treacherous Berger Bend) was by listening to the water.  It is also a very pleasurable and peaceful experience to be on the Missouri at night and I for one would hate to lose out on that for a few tunes I have heard a hundred times already anyway.  The best part of the entire 340 for me was the alone time at night with the river.  Just a pesonal preference, but something to consider.
 
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Reply #16 - 02/08/11 at 12:18:51

rookinIraq   Offline
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I need some help I currently in Iraq training for the 340.  I will only have minimal on water time to train.  Any good gym exercises I could do here besides truck twists, weighted pull ups, push ups, and lots of running?

I usually spend my time in a canoe when on the water. My friend told me I could use his 18ft. corba expedition. All I had to do is pick up the paddle. I need help to decide either a touring blade or mid-wing? Do you think I could pick it up the wing style fast enough not to struggle down the river? Or if their is a deal on a good used one, I am for that as well.

Also is ther anyone out there interested in eating MRE's out on the river. I can get some they are fast, hot, and getting better tasting?

Thanks for everything, more to come.
 
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Reply #17 - 02/08/11 at 13:16:11
Scott   Ex Member

 
An overall level of fitness is something good to shoot for.  Whether you have time to train on water or not.  I've watched people agonize over whether a boat weighs 40 pounds vs. 35 pounds when they could easily lose 25 pounds and achieve a greater effect.  I'm betting that whatever you're doing in Iraq will keep you fit.  Then, when you get back home you can take that fitness to the water to fine tune stroke, etc.

The Cobra Expedition is a decent kayak for finishing the 340.  It will hold your gear and be stable and relatively efficient.  Go with the mid-wing if you can.  It will be a good paddle for you as you transition to an even faster boat in years to come.  Learning to use it won't be that difficult.
 
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Reply #18 - 02/08/11 at 14:06:45

rookinIraq   Offline
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Thanks Scott.

I was leaning twards a mid wing, My thought process was if it is better I might as well get used to it. And I would need a stable boat because of my rookie status.

My fitness should be outstanding there is nothing to do on time off. So indurance will be great. But I am not a big guy about 5'9" 165lbs. striving to be up to 175 when I leave.

Because Of my size I think I might purchase a QCC600 All I hear is good things of that company, plus it is made in America. I Just have to barrow because I live in Florida and can't transport in time. Because I am in the military I am also looking at a durable (tupperware boat) Dagger Axis 12.. I thought it should be able to stand up to abuse that can be thrown its way and something for friends. Any ideas on that either?
 
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Reply #19 - 02/08/11 at 14:34:44

West Hansen   Offline
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He who hesitates is lunch.
--Chuck Darwin
Austin, Texas, Third Coast

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There are some good tupperware boats out there and they are getting better. I like the PRS Spirit, though they haven't made inroads into the midwest, yet. I'll probably start bringing one or two up with each of my trips for Mike Drost, if anyone is interested in testing them out. --West
 

Cognitive Dissonance: when being wrong just isn't an option.
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