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340 Regrets (Read 22223 times)
07/13/12 at 14:47:56
Scott Mansker   Ex Member

During and after every 340, there are laments and regrets from paddlers about what they'd wished they done differently.  I think those new to the race would benefit from seeing a list. 

In no particular order...

1. I brought way too much stuff.
2. I spent too much time out of the boat.
3. Got super-sunburned day 1.
4. Had a chance to stay with (insert name of paddler or group of paddlers) and decided to stop at (checkpoint) instead.
5. Ate the wrong food.
6. Didn't eat enough.

Let's have some veterans add their favorite mistakes.
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Reply #1 - 07/13/12 at 16:36:13
Uballza   Ex Member

Deal with blisters as they show up.
Do not work a midnight shift the same day you finish the race.
Buy more 340 T-shirts
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Reply #2 - 07/13/12 at 17:53:14
Joewildlife   Ex Member

on night two in Chamois felt so sorry for myself I said screw it and didn't set the alarm, so that I would only crash for 3 hours...it was 6 hours before I woke up, and I've regretted it ever since.

Stop and get you some food, water, ice, whatever you need.  But if you stop to sleep, set your limits and stick with it.

NOBODY ever finishes the race and says "I wish I had spent more time out of the boat".

« Last Edit: 07/15/12 at 07:41:24 by N/A »  
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Reply #3 - 07/13/12 at 19:46:38
Scott Mansker   Ex Member

Inadequately waterproofed or secured electronics.

Male nipple chafing! (no joke, guys. A wet cotton shirt will destroy you. You will see guys with protective bandaids or tape over their nipples before the race. You will laugh at them until day two.  Then you will cry.)

Lip balm with SPF15 minimum.
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Reply #4 - 07/13/12 at 20:36:39
Northwoods Paddler   Ex Member

Keep it coming.
I can use all the help I can get !
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Reply #5 - 07/13/12 at 20:56:23
Sam Scupham   Ex Member

When you say deal with blisters as they come up, what do you mean?

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Reply #6 - 07/13/12 at 21:16:45
Scott Mansker   Ex Member

Everyone has their own blister voodoo.  Ideally, you come into the race with some good calluses from paddling or other work with your hands.  But even at that, you'll possibly begin to feel "hot spots" which are the precursor to blisters.  Recognizing a hot spot before it becomes a blister is important.  And hard to catch before it's too late.  You'll likely get a big blister there anyway, but it's better to delay onset as long as possible.  So, feel a hotspot? Adjust your grip and avoid the tender spot until the next checkpoint.  Then amend that spot with some moleskin or even duct tape.  There's a whole discourse on whether to use gloves or not.  Short version: individual preference. 

Other paddlers can chime in with their blister formulas.  But a blister isn't the end of the world.  And nobody quits because of a blister.  And you see a lot folks standing around the finish line, proudly comparing hands for best battle scars.
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Reply #7 - 07/13/12 at 21:43:57
Scott Mansker   Ex Member

Here's a big one:

Not going far enough Day 1.

If you think about it, Day 1 sets up your entire race.  If you end day 1 in Waverly, you are fighting to make Miami and Glasgow cutoff times.  And I mean fighting.  You are pushing hard in the worst heat of the day and you might barely skate into Glasgow.  And to what end?  You're exhausted and you want to sleep.  So you sleep in Glasgow.  If the sun rises on you in Glasgow, guess what?  You're now set up for a horrifying day trying to make it to Katfish Katy's and then Jeff City.  And you'll be a damn mess by Jeff City Thursday night.  And by then you've learned enough of this math to know you can't sleep there so you press on zombie style all night to Hermann.  You might make it there before sunrise Friday with the knowledge you have about 12 hours to go 70 miles if you want to make the awards.  And it's no fun to paddle that stretch with a clock shaped guillotine over your head.  But honestly, you probably won't have to worry about it because since the 88 hour format, I'm pretty sure nobody who has seen sunrise in Glasgow Thursday morning has EVER finished the race.

Fixing this is simple.  Blow the doors off of day 1.  Sail right past Waverly.  I mean, buy a Brat and a coke  from the boy scouts but then get back on your way.  At minimum make Hills Island.  But if you can make Miami, your whole race has changed.  You will hit Glasgow early afternoon.  You'll go through Lisbon in daylight.  You'll never fear a checkpoint cutoff.  You'll be able to catch naps in the heat of the day under a cottonwood and paddle when the temps drop later in the evening.  It's all keyed to DAY ONE MILEAGE.  With the one hour earlier start for solos, this should be easier than ever for them. 

Make your Plan A Miami, 105 miles with your backup plan Hills Island, 86 miles.  If you get to Hills Island and you need some sleep, plenty of beach there for lots and lots of boats.  We'll have a couple safety boats there with a fire going.  It ain't luxury, but if you can't sleep at Hills Island, you didn't paddle far enough yet.  By race end, you'll be able to sleep instantly, anywhere. 

Hills Island sunrise still has you in decent shape.  Not great, but decent.  If the sun comes up on you at Hills Island, you are likely tied for last place with the other dozen boats still there.  Your race hangs on the cusp.  Make enough hay in the cool morning so that you beat the worst heat to Glasgow.  Nothing wrong with late afternoon break here.  Take a shower at the city park, get a meal, take a nap under that tree, but no spending the night if you want to insure success.  Get through Lisbon before dark.  You'll have your choice of places to camp this year if you get sleepy.  Sandbars everywhere. 

I can't stress this enough having seen countless DNFs from the rear end of the race.  Day one mileage is critical.  And being against the wall on time after day 1 is always a regret for racers.
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Reply #8 - 07/13/12 at 22:04:52
avbates   Ex Member

overslept, carried too much, and played in the wake of one too many barges.  Lost 30+ min. getting my boat back together after the swamp.
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Reply #9 - 07/13/12 at 22:22:44
avbates   Ex Member

also, and I can't believe I forgot this: no training and no ground crew.  My partner and I had never canoed together and we had never canoed in that hull.  Crazy.  Add the over sleeping and too much weight, and we were lucky to get 70.
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Reply #10 - 07/13/12 at 23:06:06
starbor   Ex Member

should have brought warmer clothes and added more water weight to my bow.
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Reply #11 - 07/14/12 at 06:26:07
Seko   Ex Member

Not hydrating weeks before the race.
Not enought sleep before the race.
Eating better before the race.
Lacking of training during the heat of the day.
A good pair of sun glasses.
Not listening to the veterans.
Pushing to hard at the start of the race.
Waiting for the fog to lift. Cool
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Reply #12 - 07/16/12 at 09:52:53
Eric Farris   Ex Member

- A good pair of sunglasses.  In 2009, my glasses evidently weren't sun protective as advertised (and I hadn't had a need to try them out for hours at a time since I do most of my training in the evening) and my eyes were burnt pretty badly paddling into the sun between Jeff City and Hermann. 

- Taking a shower at Glasgow.  I had the idea that a shower at Glasgow would help to make me fresh/awake.  All it did was to give me a glimpse of how good it would feel to just stop.  Plus, since a lot of people drop out at Glasgow, the walk to/from the shower building allowed me to see boats being loaded up and driven away which only tempted me more to call it a day. Thank goodness I resisted and I got back in the boat and kept going.
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Reply #13 - 07/16/12 at 14:25:12
Ned, White Rock Navy   Ex Member

Didn't turn around immediately when I saw that fog coming on me just below Hermann. Made it through but taking 4 hours to go 12 miles was not the way to start the day.
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Reply #14 - 07/16/12 at 20:39:43
Sam Scupham   Ex Member

I keep reading about the fog and am having a hard time comprehending how socked in the river gets. Can someone elaborate about visibility and relative difficulty/danger of paddling in the fog?  Is this a case to break the mantra of "stay in the boat"?
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Reply #15 - 07/16/12 at 21:23:56
SkiBumJoe   Ex Member

The fog out of Hermann (2am) in 2010 was very thick. Even after sunrise, it lasted for another hour or so. It was impossible to see beyond the bow. As I cautiously moved along, all I could do was listen for any ripples to determine if there's something to avoid up ahead. Encountered a minefield of whirlpools in heavy fog. Without a GPS to show the channel of the river, I would have paddled in circles.
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Reply #16 - 07/16/12 at 21:51:08
Scott Mansker   Ex Member


Definitely do not paddle into fog. 

No GPS is going to tell you there's a parked barge, (also laid over for fog) or a sand dredge, (usually one below Hermann) or any number of deadly obstacles.  Certainly not worth it.  I always hear paddlers say they wish they would have just waited it out. 

Just because there's a fog delay, doesn't mean your time is wasted.  Lay down and get some sleep.  Set your alarm for a half hour and check the fog again.  By day 2, you will be able to fall asleep on a pile of rocks in 10 seconds.  Catching a half hour of sleep can pay big dividends later.  Paddling into fog is truly unwise.

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Reply #17 - 07/17/12 at 04:47:47
Sam Scupham   Ex Member

Got it!  Fog = nap. Thanks.
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Reply #18 - 07/17/12 at 06:12:14
Ned, White Rock Navy   Ex Member

Besides the lack of visibility I noticed that sound doesn't seem to travel far in the fog. I started out with two other boats and, by the time we were 1/2 mile downriver we could not see - or hear each other. I know we were close to each other (at least initially) but had no way of knowing which way to go to get back together. Even our whistles could not penetrate the stuff. It was bad during the dark and just as bad after sunrise when it felt as though we were paddling through a milk bottle.

And, since you're moving at the same speed as the water, you quickly lose any idea of which way the river is moving. At one point several of us were paddling down river (we thought) when we came up on a bouy dancing in the river and realized we'd been paddling across the current. At one point, while waiting it out on the bank, I heard several boats moving up-river. I called out to them but they didn't believe they were going the wrong way. It really is that bad.
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Reply #19 - 07/17/12 at 06:49:12
charles.nadia96   Ex Member

-NOT using a rudder or skeg!
Tail wind killed me more than head wind in the 2011 race!

-Keep dry for as long as you can!
Wool sock work great at night after you get in your boat from a check point.

My biggest one is not being able to run this race every year! Im going through withdraws for this years race! See you all in 2013

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