First paddlers cross finish line in Missouri River 340

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 | 11:14 p.m. CDT; updated 11:47 a.m. CDT, Thursday, August 26, 2010

A quick nap in Jefferson City made for a close finish in the Missouri River 340. 

Easy Living, with paddlers West Hansen, of Austin, Texas, and David Kelly, of San Rafael, Calif., led the race by 18 to 20 minutes most of the day Tuesday. But the chasing tandem in Los Humangos Paddleos closed the gap Wednesday morning, coming within a minute of the leaders after Easy Living took a 20-minute nap in Jefferson City.


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Easy Living got back on the river at 8:15 a.m., and Los Humangos Paddleos arrived in  Jefferson City a minute later. Easy Living was able to regain its lead, and it eventually became the first boat to cross the finish line Wednesday. Easy Living finished at 8:48 p.m. and won the men’s tandem division of the race and the first-place award of $600. The team set the race record for the men's tandem division in 36 hours and 48 minutes.

Los Humangos Paddleos, with paddler Wally Wederich, of Yorkville, Ill., and Nick Josefik, of St. Joseph, Ill., crossed the finish line at 9:02 p.m. Wednesday, finishing second overall.

Beauties and Barnacles crossed the finish line at 10:05 p.m. Wednesday, finishing the race in third with a time of 38 hours and 5 seconds. The dragon boat was the only one competing in the voyageur class of the race. The team consisted of 19 paddlers from across the country.

Paddlers are given 88 hours to complete the 340-mile race, starting in Kaw Point, Kan., and finishing in St. Charles.

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