Thursday, November 17, 2016

2016 MR340: Finding a new family on the river - Pt.3

Shoving off of Katfish Katy's banks at 5am gave us a jump on the day. Starting your paddle in darkness and allowing the sun to glow across the river before it rises is magical. Then, when you've been waiting for the glow to turn to light, it happens. The sun peeks over the land and illuminates the water, your face, and the land surrounding you. Life starts again. Day 3.
    The plan for the day is to get to Wilson serenity point (known as Noren access to commoners). The team decides we need to stop at Cooper's Landing  before we get to See Joe Wilson at his native land. Paddling down river we have some interesting moments. Two in particular are when we " Had out shit together". AKA we all had our tree crouching moments of relief. More interesting was the vehicle we saw submerged in the water. Wierdest thing of the race, other than the motley crew configured on the Greystoke had to be the newer VW car that was 90% submerged off the river bank.


Approaching Cooper's landing, which if you haven't been, it's a must see landmark on the river. Good people, good food, and good times. We pull in to the boat ramp to some hootin' and hollerin' by resident Churchill Clark, a descendant of you guessed it, the Clark of the famous Lewis and Clark expedition.  "Church", as he's called by some friends, is the great-great-great-great grandson of William Clark.  In life he's found himself as a dug out canoe carver, river lover, entrepreneur, and public speaker.  We spend some time with Church and check out the latest canoe he's chopping on.  We also get a glimpse of his most famous dugout, affectionately named Knotty.  Works of art hand carved with primitive tools. Church literally set up camp at Coopers with a tent and works from home.
                                     Church meeting us on the ramp of coopers with Dale
                    Jerico, Churchill, Dale, and me on Church's canoe in process
Dale next to the world famous Knotty

    After we wolf down some made to order food we say our goodbyes to Church and the locals. Pack up Greystoke and make our way to our most anticipated stop.  A few short hours and we pull into the most well maintained sought after stop of this whole race, Joe Wilson's Serenity point. Brenda is there with Ron prepared to help us in any capacity, TJ as well.  Rod Wellington, (a traveling paddler from Canada known for Paddling long rivers, writing books and poetry, and  living life has been following along the trip and popping in and out to say hi.
      However, Jerico and I are mostly interested in talking to one person, Joe Wilson. Joe was the most kind and genuine man you will ever have met. Always smiling, always there to give you a hug or a handshake. Just, not one to always having his teeth in. He'd make you laugh by his laughing and saying, Dang it Shane, I don't have my teeth in. No-one cared teeth or not. We loved his smile. Joe tirelessly created and maintained this boat ramp and every year paddlers looked forward to being there.
  We found Joe and spent all the time we could with him. Even people that had never met him Like TJ and Brenda found he left a lasting impression.  TJ later told me he felt he knew Joe all his life. He was that type of man.

                                                Jerico and Dale have a chat with Joe

Me, Jerico, Joe, Rod Wellington, Dale

   We lost A treasure a few months after the this race was over. Joe lost his battle to cancer. Jerico and I did get to see him one last time in the hospital a week before he passed. Even then he was smiling and laughing, no teeth and all.  One thing  he said in the hospital to us that stood out was he always thought he'd be a hell of a paddler. He wondered why he never took it up. Yet, Jerico and I knew why, because he was a river angel. He watched over all the paddlers coming through his boat ramp.

     Departing Joe's home turf we made way down river with our hearts full. 223 miles into a 340 race and we now know we have a distinct possibility of finishing as long as nothing happens unexpected. The next distance to the Hermann checkpoint is a long one, 46 miles. We have quite a bit of light left in the day and figure we can make Hermann late evening/early morning.
Although it's a long stretch it flies by. It's as if our meeting with Joe has reset our bodies and minds and we have the spirit of the pre-race.

      My teammates and I assume the usual banter between Jerico and myself.  Dale seated in the rear of the board has a hard time hearing us. Yet, as always, when he speaks we listen.  It's along this section of the river we find an interesting discovery.  Back in the late 50's Dale worked in a naval hospital in Hayward,CA. At the time Jerico's Mother worked at the same hospital.  As we chatted, the math worked where Dale technically could be Jerico's Daddy. We all had some good laughs and henceforth Dale became Daddy Dale to Jerico. Then as the Math Worked out I technically could have been been Jerico's son. I just called him uncle Jerico for some reason.
We Spent the time swimming off the side of the board, munching on snacks, and entertaining ourselves the best we could. The time flew. We made Hermann at a decent hour and decided to spend some time and rest.
                  Our fearless crew, Brenda says it all. Tired and beat up and Why The F are you taking my picture?
In the safety vest is James, a checkpoint volunteer

It's here we really met James Crawford.  A 340 volunteer, prior 340 participant, and Insurance fella by normal day life.  He had the personality that fit in with our crew.   The team, crew, chip and Phil-O-cookie;  James was one of the fun wierdos. An intelligent guy that liked to joke and have fun. After we all ate I ventured back down to the boat ramp to chat with him a bit.  The rest of the crew slept and I asked james' story.  He nearly finished the 340 a year prior but had made a pact with his brother that if one of them pulled out so would the other. Unfortunately his brother had decided to pull out.  As we talked I told him that if he really wanted to finish the 340 that in 2017 I'd be happy to have him on my craft.

                                Yep, James catching a nap on the Hermann boat ramp

At the Hermann ramp Chip and Phil catch up to us and rest. It's dark and late and we have 42 miles to get to the Klondike checkpoint.  There's no way we want to paddle through the night without sleep and get into Klondike so we decide to break it up. About half way there's a boat ramp at new haven. It's not the best option as there are trains that run through the area but it's the only feasible option at this time. So the Greystoke trio followed by Chip and Phil-O-Cookie set out for New Haven in the dark.
   It's good to have Chip and Phil in tow. Chip adds a humor that can't be replaced. Always happy and smiling. Always positive. He's a great person to be with o and off the water. Phil is quiet and reserved. I've known him a few years now and he selectively speaks. This race he's opened up a little with Phil-O-Cookie humor. When he speaks, he slips in some funny goodness.

 We make New haven.  Essentially a parking lot with some patches of grass that butt up to railroad tracks. Ron (crew) and Brenda are waiting and it's here we decide to get some good sleep for a few hours.  Dale disappears and we all decide he just knows how to find the quietest spot (away from us). We all fall into tents or vehicles and crash.

   An early morning start and we're closing in on Washington. It's not a checkpoint but just a cool place on the river.  It's about an hour upriver from Washington where we find ourselves in a violent storm.  Winds, rain, and all kinds of water chop.  We maintain paddling through it all and are suddenly confused as the Washington fire department makes a beeline towards us on a rib boat.  They ask for me by name and I say good morning or something of the sort. They apparently were alerted by my spot tracker that we were in distress.  The funny part is Phil-O-Cookie is using my spot. So I ask him if it's been activated for SOS. He checks and nothing of the sort has happened. Dale also has a spot and checks his. Nothing.  An odd occurrence that at the end leaves all parties involved puzzled. (post race we find that Dale's spot tracker malfunctioned).

    Odd occurrence behind us we paddle on and make the Klondike checkpoint. Brenda and Ron are waiting for us and it starts to mist/rain. So we all pile into the sup van and chow down on some Hardee's breakfast.

                                                        Our Crew Brenda and Ron
The Final Push!!!
  Leaving Klondike is an amazing feeling. Knowing that in less than 5 hours you will be on land where your pain and suffering is done. You'll no longer need to paddle. You can be with family and friends. Drink a beer or 20. The feeling of accomplishment overwhelms and your body thanks you. Yet, for us paddling, we were a bit saddened. The past few days brought us together in a way unlike what you can find in life. The river has bonded us together in a way we have become this wierd little family. We don't want it to end but are eager to finish.

                                    Phil-O-Cookieand Chip on the final stretch

   Approaching the finish is a rush of emotion. Each individual has a different one. Jerico has attempted this race 4 times and had yet to cross the finish line. This is is his first. Dale, at 81, was uncertain if he'd be able to make it through. Chip dealt with a disgruntled paddler but remained happy and positive through it all.  Phil-O-Cookie was smiling the whole time and said it was fun. 340 miles over 4 days and it was fun? got to love Phil. For myself this was a monumental race. Paddling a craft my friend Daren and I built in 9 days. Doubted by many. Winning over all. Learning who all these people in my group were as the days passed. Seeing the river differently than my previous four 340 races.  Touching lives by our actions and not words.  It all became my most cherished race I have done to date.
                                                 Dale celebrating at the end
Finish line welcome. Scott reeves congratulating Jerico.
Bryan Hopkins welcoming Dale and I
My River Family

My future River rats


2016 MR340: Finding a new family on the river - Pt.2

    We spent some time resting at CP1 Miami. Each of us got a nap in. There's a lot going on there being the first main stop for paddlers to sleep.  They will have paddled a total of 106 miles in less than 24 hours and it'll be the wee hours of the morning around 2am. Their crews are setting up tents and van spaces to crash. Some folks sleep on the ground.  We kind of hung out and rested. Everyone got some good nutrition in and refueled for the night ahead.

  Night time paddling was a slightly welcome change. The day's heat beat up all of us, myself included.  As we paddled through the night headed towards Glasgow we were all still in good spirits. Jerico and I talked quite a bit through the race as we both stood towards the front of the board. Dale was towards the back of the board with his camp chair propped up and seated as he double bladed. The combination of the splash of Dale's paddle, the distance between him and us, and his bit of hearing loss made it difficult for us to have a lot of conversation with him. Yet, when he talked, we listened.

    This race was a significant one for many reasons. The obvious, there never has been a 3-4 man sup enter the race. It was an untested vessel. I had a few people tell me the board would break under the strain of the race. We were definitely the under dogs with many people thinking we didn't have a chance to finish after losing our fourth paddler. Dale even had had thoughts of backing out after we lost the 4th paddler.  My choice for a team was questioned by many. Jerico had attempted this race four times prior to this attempt and DNF'd (did not finish)  each time.  Many people questioned him as a choice. I was asked if Dale could survive a race like this? I heard it all.

 Even with all of this in the mix I knew we would finish.  Why? A few reasons.

     I made a promise to Jerico in 2015, that I would build a vessel like none other and get him to the finish line. I guaranteed a finish! Pretty ballsy, I know.  That was good enough for him. Also I chose Jerico because I like underdogs. People that aren't usually given a shot. I knew what he had in him. What most people lack, Grit. It's something you can't teach. The man has Grit coming out of his ass! I knew he was a good choice and he wouldn't give up on me.

                                                          Jerico at a checkpoint

   As I looked for a 4th paddler, Jerico suggested Dale. Jerico actually had asked Dale about it and Dale declined the invitation. So I reached out to him and told him what my plan was and that we were going to finish.  Slightly hesitant, he said as long as his health was good he was in. (later Dale told me he only agreed because he knew of me and what I was about. An awesome compliment). Did I mention he is 81? I wasn't too worried about Dale though. He has been an adventurer all his life. In 2015 he paddled the entire Mississippi river in 80 days! Granted, SUP was something somewhat new to him but paddling wasn't.

                         Dale on his source to sea paddle of the Mississippi 2015 at 80yrs old

  The hours of cool night made for good paddling. Our pace was slower at night but we kept steady. Despite a long day of paddling the fellas kept paddling steady through the night. Dale would paddle for hours and then slump down in his camp chair and snooze a bit. Easily I'd say Dale put in 12-14 hours of solid paddling daily. I know 18 year olds that can't do that. Jerico and I jawed away with each other and talked about most everything. A little about Dirty Nancy, a 1971 VW bus he owned in the 90's which now resides in my driveway after we rescued it from the woods of Mississippi last year. To women, life, music and learning. All the while he was smiling and saying I can't believe we're still hauling ass.

  And haul ass we did.  We made Glasgow paddling in the dark and later witnessing the first sunrise of the race.  Pulling into Glasgow late morning we were pretty tired.  We got the report from Brenda where all the other paddlers were. Lauren, Frank, and Ryan were all 15 miles ahead. Chip, and Phil were a few hours behind us. So we lodged the 123lb greystoke board on the boat ramp  and clambered up to where Brenda parked the Big blue Bertha B*tch and found Tj Holman had joined us to help crew.
                                                         Always smiling, TJ Holman

This was a much needed break for the team. We were all a bit tired and needed a rest and to get some good solid food in. Total tally=142 miles.  We each found different spots to sleep after wolfing down some grub. The highlight for me was the Asian style food truck that was up by the bathroom. As I waited for the lady to cook my food she gave me a free watermelon drink that I gladly sucked down.  Some type of noodle dish came out and it was amazing. Amazing enough to cause me to expeditiously walk to the bathroom.  Nonetheless, after my trip to the commode I walked back to hang with the team and found everyone lounging which I gladly did too.

  Not too long after I woke I got to see Chip and Phil-O-Cookie paddle in.
They were hung up by another paddler through the night that they helped limp along to get into Glasgow. They were a welcome sight to the Greystoke crew as we pretty much paddled by ourselves all night and had not seen any of the sup paddlers since we left Miami.  They were in good spirits despite the night paddle with a disgruntled paddler in tow. Phil was all smiles and no talk as usual. Chip was all smiles and all talk as usual. I love Chip's demeanor in tough circumstances. Calm and collected. He reaffirms that what happens in life is supposed to the way it does.  All for a reason. I believe he's right.

                              I guess we were there long enough that dale grew dreads! 
                                        (with the help of Rod Wellington of course)

   After we had our lounge session we decided to load up and press on. The goal was to make Katfish Katy's before Thursday (Day 3) morning, get some sleep and paddle on to Jeff City to get in late morning.  This was a long stretch. 42 miles. Roughly 7.5-8 hrs of paddling going into the evening. We'd have to maintain about 6mph to get into Katfish  paddling steady.  Yet, the paddle was not too bad knowing we were going into this:

   Keep in mind its still a heat index of 100+ everyday. We're sweating bullets and having to keep close tabs on our hydration and food. Dale has been down this road before but not on a level this extreme. Jerico has never pushed this far in a paddling race. So my concern was for their health and keeping hydrated. I felt like a father always asking them,"you drinking enough". You getting those electrolytes in"? When's the last time you had an electrolyte?"  An odd position considering Jerico could be my dad and Dale could be my grand-dad. But the fellas had their needs down. They continued to push hard paddling through the evening hours.

    Some of the most rewarding times were when we collectively decided to all jump off the board in the river. Generally it happened 3-5 times a day.

                                                      Dale jumping in off the side
The night passed easily and we paddled into Katfish Katy's arriving before 3am. Brenda was awaiting our arrival ad happy we me it with no problems. We caught a ride on Ron's truck up away from the ramp and pitched tents.   I asked the fellas what they thought for sleep and somehow ( I think I pushed the time a little) we went for 2 hrs so we could get on the water before daybreak.  So like scurrying rats we went our ways to find a place to sleep. Dale's patterns were becoming apparent to us. He sought out the more secluded and high ground areas away from everyone. Years of adventuring gave him knowledge of how to get good sleep.

   2hrs went fast. I awoke in my one man tent by someone touching my leg. I jumped up ready to gouge someone's eyes out. False alarm. Just Brenda doing her crew duty. Apparently I sleep likek the dead. Silent. unstirring. Words dont't wake me. Touch startles me.
   Good thing we didn't sleep too long, or should I say good thing For Bryan Hopkins being at the checkpoint. Apparently while we slept, the Greystoke drifted off the banks and out into the river. Bryan told us he has to wade/swim out and save it!

   Crisis averted, we gathered our gear and loaded up. The next stop was the one Jerico and I looked forward to most of all out of the whole race, Jeff City, Noren access. Better known as Wilson's serenity point. Our beloved river angel, Joe Wilson, was waiting for us. A man you will never forget if you've ever met him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

2016 MR340: Finding a new family on the river - Pt.1

  Those of you that know me understand the MR340 is a race close to my heart as it's in my backyard here in Missouri. It's where I found myself back in 2011 when I became the first SUP to enter and complete the race in a sea of kayaks, surf ski's, and canoes. Out of 117 vessels that year I placed 34th. Not too shabby for a guy standing up. I thought that was a pretty good accomplishment for myself and by far the most memorable 340 I would ever have.  Little did I know 5 years later (this year, 2016) would become my most coveted 340 race I have ever had and probably will.  Why? Because I found a new family on the river (oh, and there's that whole 3 man sup thing too)  Read on.

     Since my first 340 in 2011 I've tried to figure out how to get more SUP's to enter the 340.  It's a grueling, heat filled slog-fest that takes a special person to complete. People paddle 340 miles over 3-4 days on the Missouri river starting from Kansas city ending in St charles, MO. We've had a couple solos enter a couple years after like John Straub of Seattle and Local friend Blake Thornton (2015 record holder) but never have had a lot of stand ups in one race. In the fall of 2015 I came up with the idea of trying to bring more SUP paddlers by creating a group that would go down the river together. I asked a select group to paddle with me. First asked was Chip Walter,  a friend I met in 2013 while racing the 300 mile Florida Everglades challenge. A seasoned paddler who I knew could handle the race.  Chip's best attributes is he can assume a leadership role when needed but also can follow when needed. A trait hard to find in people.
Chip With His daughter

     Next was a friend  that has emerged over the years that had zero sup experience except a 20 minute "here's how to sup" 2 weeks prior to the race. Jerico Lefort, A.K.A. The traveling Gnome.  Having never been on a SUP before,  he would seem a very un-likley person to ask. Yet, what he lacked in experience he more than made up for in grit and determination. 

                                           Jerico at work chopping a dugout canoe

Dale Sanders A.K.A The Greybeard adventurer.  I met Dale about 6 months prior to the race as he was giving a talk and showing a video about his 2015 source to sea paddle of the Mississippi river. Yes, at 80 years old he paddled the entire Mississippi  in 80 days. As you've already guessed from his Picture, Dale is no kid. But that was no concern to me. He's legit on the water in every respect. Asking him to join the group was Jerico's idea. It came from a picture from Dale's talk. He was a great choice to join us.
                                          left to right: Jerico, Dale Sanders, Janet Mooreland, Me


Phil Rodway
 A.K.A. Phil-O-Cookie
   Phil is a heck of a paddler. Quiet and introspective, he's a person of few words. But he can paddle. He has never attempted a  race of this magnitude.  This was his first ultra-distance race. Longest one prior to this was 50mi. You may ask why Phil-O-Cookie? Well, just because. Everyone needs a nickname.

                                              Phil-O-Cookie on the yellow Bark board

     Joe Alfafaro. 
 Joe Owns Alfa SUP in Springfield, MO. He's immersed in the business and does a great job supporting and building the sup community there. Joe was the least seasoned long distance paddler on the team, but I knew he was a good person to ask as he needed the test and knew he'd go all out to finish. He chose to paddle an inflatable sup for the race, one of his own design. Ambitious and ballsy.

Lauren Rodriguez
   I met Lauren at a race a year prior. She's from the west coast and has a lot of experience on a board but never has taken on a race of this length.  She's an athlete. I knew she wold train hard for this and be ready.                                    

   Frank Drelling
 Frank is friends with Lauren and they are training partners. They prepared for the race together.  In the Same boat as Lauren, never having attempted a race of this length before, but also the same, Frank is an Athlete.                           
                                                                                        Frank far right
Ryan Far left

Ryan Fullerton 
    I had never met Ryan prior to the race. He's friends with Joe Alfafaro. The youngest of all the team I wasn't too worried about him. Not because of his youth, but because of his military background. A strong smart guy, well capable of this race.

 Last but not least we needed a crew member to drive the Big Blue Van to meet us at each checkpoint and haul our food and supplies. To make trips to the store for supplies that were needed as the race developed and stuff broke or went wrong. To essentially keep us together and healthy. Brenda Herndon was originally dedicated to be Lauren's crew.   Fortunately for us  Lauren's father offered to be in a safety boat following Lauren documenting her 24hr record attempt and serve as her crew. Leading us to pick up Brenda as our dedicated crew. 
                              Brenda                                                       The big Blue Van
                                                                                  Brenda deemed it Big Bertha B*tch

So It begins:

   After we all check in for registration and go through the safety briefing we head head out for a decent night's sleep. We awaken to some scrambling and getting everyone fed and loading the van and make the 20 minute drive to the race start.  The start is always a little chaotic. Boats flood the launch ramp. Cars crowd the lot. Foot traffic is plentiful. If you want to get in the water easily you need to get there early or scurry down a bank.

                                                        The Ramp at the 340 start

The plan was for everyone to start together and go down the river together. The plan changed drastically fast.  The 4 man sup was supposed to have just that, 4 men. Days prior, our 4th man had to bail due to life circumstances. So Now there were only 3 of us left to paddle a 123lb one of a kind sup. Jerico, Dale, and myself. This meant we would be slower than anyone. So I told Lauren to just go as fast as she can. (She was attempting a 24hr moving water word record).  Frank and Ryan would stay with her and keep her motivated. I saw Chip on the water that morning and told him to stay with Lauren as well. Also, the Phil-O-Cookie. So now the big blue board would be its own entity going down river.

   So I should probably explain the big blue board that came to be know as Greystoke.  The concept of a multi-person board has been explored most recently via inflatables hitting the market. With price tags ranging from $1500-3500 you can get a floating air mattress of your own. The problem with them is that the when the person next to you moves it shifts your balance.  It becomes less about paddling and more about counter-balancing.  Hence the idea of a rigid 4 man sup, not a completely new concept for SUP's. The most famous 4 man I'd say would be the quadnundrum made by Steve Boehne of Infinity sup, built for 4 people to stand inline. 
   The greystoke (received it's name during the race due to all the grey facial hair on board and the stoke we experienced) was designed for 4 people to stand shoulder to shoulder or staggered depending on conditions, and also able to hold plenty of gear for everyone. Essentially a long hauler designed for decent speed and large carrying capacity.  
   The board was built in 9 days by myself and good friend Daren Wolf.  The last Hotcoat was applied to the board 2 days prior to the race. Generally you want a board to "cure" for 7 days before touching water.  While loading the board the day before the race it was still tacky.
The first time the board hit the water was 20 minutes prior to the race!

8 days before the race. 
Rough cut foam. Deck recessed.
Still needs to be shaped

  We were so crunched for time race day we didn't bother to carry the board to the boat ramp. Nope, just scurried down the steep slope on Kaw point with the  risk of dropping it on a rock or root. Yet, the board hit the water, supplies were thrown down the hill and dropped on it. The 3 of us hopped on and a paddling order emerged. I stood up front, Jerico in back of me, and Dale manned the rear. Keep in mind not only was this the first this board hit the water, it also was the first time the three of us paddled together.
      A quick launch and the learning curve began. We figured out pretty quickly the board floated. Paddling was easier than we thought from a good hull design.  Surprisingly,  maneuverability was smooth. We took to the starting line, had about 10 minutes to prep, paused for the singing of our national anthem, received our 2 minute warning, a countdown from 10, and a race start commencing from a cannon being fired.
  We managed to keep somewhere middle of the pack for the start. By about an hour in we fell back towards the rear of the pack.  No worries, being a veteran of the race I assured the team this was a long haul, all we had to do was make the check points on time and we'd catch plenty of boats through the night.  The team put their faith in my abilities and paddled steady. We made the first 50 miles to Lexington, checkpoint 1,  in about 7.5hrs. As we pulled in I looked at Jerico and Dale and saw nothing but smiles. (I promise, Dale was smiling)

     We didn't spend much time here as we had only beat the cutoff time by about 45 minutes.  We met up with Brenda and Ron Abel (crew for another sup paddler, but good friend of ours) and they took care of us. We didn't need much at this stop. Pretty much water took care of it.  Loaded back up and we took off for the next stretch to Waverly a mere 23 miles. The team joked about it even. 23 miles? HA,  piece of cake.

 23 miles was only a few hours of paddling, an easy stretch after the previous. But again we were in a time constraint as we made the checkpoint with about 1hr 15 mins before the cutoff time and reaper boat. For those of you who don't understand the cutoff times I''ll brief it. The race is set up for you to make the cutoff times/checkpoints based on finishing the race in 88 hours or less (see below). Once the race starts there's a boat, deemed the Reaper boat, that if it catches up to you, you're our of the race (it's designed to arrive at the checkpoints near exactly the checkpoint cut off time).

Kaw Point, mile 367, Race Begins, 8am (7am for solo) Tuesday, July 19th.   
Lexington, mile 317, (50 miles) 5pm Tuesday   Leg avg.  5.56mph  Total avg. 5.56    
Waverly, mile 294, (23 miles) 9pm Tuesday  Leg avg. 5.75mph  Total avg. 5.62    
Miami, mile 262, (32 miles)  11am Wed.   Leg avg. 2.29mph  Total avg. 3.89    
Glasgow, mile 226, (36 miles) 6pm Wed.  Leg avg. 5.14mph  Total avg. 4.15    
Katfish Katy's, mile 180, (46 miles) noon Thurs.  2.56mph  Total avg. 3.60    
Wilson's Serenity Point at Noren Access (Jeff City), mile 144, (36 miles) 7pm Thurs.  5.14mph  Total avg. 3.78     
Hermann, mile 98, (46 miles) 10am Friday  3.07mph  Total avg. 3.64    
Klondike, mile 56 (42 miles) 6pm Friday  5.25 mph  Total avg. 3.79    
St. Charles, mile 29, finish line, (27 miles)  Midnight   4.50mph  Total avg. 3.85 mph 

In no time we left CP2 (Waverly) and made our way to the Miami Checkpoint (CP3) 32 miles away. This is a crucial checkpoint as it's decision time for all paddlers. By the time the vast majority of paddlers get there it's dark.  About 1-2am. They need to decide if they are going to try and get some sleep or paddle through the night. The next checkpoint is Glasgow another 36 miles. About 6.5 hrs of paddling. Keep in mind at this point we've paddled 106 miles already. I'm now asking the team to push forward with little rest and another 6 hours of paddling to go. Additionally keep in mind of my two teammates on Greystoke: Jerico has had 20 minutes total time on a SUP before this race. Dale is 81 years old and his max distance paddling in a day is about 40+ miles.  Yet, despite these facts, they were still all smiles and happy to press on. To Glasgow we go!