PHOTO GALLERY: At the starting line of the Missouri River 340
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | 10:07 p.m. CDT
Ryan Von Bevern, 27, left, of Kansas City, Kan., and his rowing companion, Scott Bird, 23, of Roeland Park, Kan., carry their canoe Tuesday down to the Missouri River to begin the Missouri River 340 race. Von Bevern said that he and Bird have been practicing rowing up the river and working out to ready their bodies for the race. "They say it is a killer on your back and shoulders, so I have been working on those," Von Bevern said.
The Missouri River 340 — a canoe and kayak race across Missouri — began on Tuesday at Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kan. Paddlers are limited to 88 hours to travel the 340 miles from the starting line to the finish line in St. Charles.
Scott Bird, 23, of Roeland Park, Kan., prepares the canoe in which he and his paddling companion, Ryan Von Bevern, 27, of Kansas City, Kan., will be riding for the next few days as they make their way across Missouri. This is the pair's first time participating in the Missouri River 340. They became interested in the race after their co-workers competed in 2009.
Scott Bird, 23, of Roeland Park, Kan., uses duct tape to secure a "dry box" for his cell phone underneath his seat on August 24, 2010. Bird spent minutes ripping duct tape off the roll with his teeth in an attempt to keep the box in its place.
Dressed as members of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Jim Stanley, 79, of Bonner Springs, Kan., left, and Mike Calwell, 69, of Mission, Kan., signaled the start of the Missouri River 340 race with ringing shots from their rifles. Calwell has been starting each race with a bang since the very first Missouri River 340 race in 2006. He said that the rifles were exact replicas of one of the 13 rifles that were originally issued to the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Missouri River 340 race participants begin their more than 300-mile journey on the Missouri River from Kaw Point Park in Kansas City, Kan. Minutes after the race began, canoes, kayaks and a dragon boat, among other paddlers, passed by the starting point of the race, which will end Friday in St. Charles. The fifth annual Missouri River 340 race was postponed for nearly a month from its original July 27th start date this year due to the high water levels on the Missouri River. The race is the world’s longest nonstop river race, and according to the race's website only two-thirds of last years' participants finished.
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