Canoeists set new record in paddling from Kansas to Missouri

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(ST. CHARLES, Mo., AP) — Two Texas men have set a new record in a race by canoeing the Missouri River from Kansas City, Kansas, to St. Charles, Missouri, in 34 hours and 34 minutes.

Phil Bowden and Chris Issendorf rowed their way across the finish line on Wednesday near the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center in St. Charles in the 10th annual MR340 race, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( reported. The 340-mile competition ends at midnight Friday, and hundreds of paddlers are expected to finish the race over the next couple of days.
The two-man crew had set off on their journey with chips, soda, fruit, ramen noodles and a powder meal replacement.
Rough waters on Tuesday night almost caused the duo to pause their trek and seek shelter, but they kept going as lightning flashed around them. They managed speeds of around 14 mph at times, and averaged nearly 10 mph. A high, fast-moving river provided an extra push.
Friend and assistant Andrew Condie, also from Texas, offered to help the pair at checkpoints along the banks.
When Bowden and Issendorf arrived in St. Charles, they beat the MR340 record that Condie helped set in 2013. Condie offered the winners a victory drink: two cans of cold beer.
For Bowden and Issendorf, the idea to participate in the race started only a couple of weeks ago. Issendorf had managed to find a spot even though enrolling in the race took place months earlier.
Bowden also had completed a similar marathon river trek weeks earlier. The two only had gone out once in their black boat before the race, but Bowden trusted Issendorf, who was a top student at Bowden’s River Fitness school in Texas.
Around a dozen people gathered to meet the first-place finishers.
Adam Crawford of St. Charles brought his sons Gus, 3, and Charlie, 7, to watch. Crawford’s friend Mark Malkowicz joined them as well.
Malkowicz and his brother once paddled the Missouri River from Kansas to Illinois. He said he loves floating down the Missouri, and said, “as far as rivers go, this is the most beautiful I’ve seen.”
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,