The world’s longest nonstop river race will have to wait. The Missouri River 340 has been postponed because of dangerous conditions along the Missouri River. The race, scheduled to take place July 27-July 30, has been moved to Aug. 24. Participants registered in the race who can not make the re-scheduled event will be offered a voucher to participate in the 2011 race.
Race Director Scott Mansker announced the possibility of the decision on a forum at rivermiles.com, a website covering paddling events. The post cited the following reasons for possibly postponing the race:
- Checkpoints along the race would likely be impossible to reach by car.
- Paddlers would have increasing difficulty landing a boat on the shore to check in.
- Higher, faster currents on flooded rivers would increase the danger of obstacles such as bridges and wing dikes.
Mansker confirmed the postponement of the race in a phone interview on Wednesday.
“We have deemed that the river is unsafe at these levels to hold an ultra-endurance event like the race,” Mansker said.
Mansker said that race officials were already monitoring river conditions, and that a heavy rainfall Tuesday night forced him to finalize his decision. Mansker consulted with the United States Coast Guard as well as a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
“It was this last rain event up in Northern Missouri. It’s all barreling down the Grand River and the Chariton River,” Mansker said.
Check back with The Missourian for updates on this story.