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Mississippi Speed Record

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They are starting sometime soon. One heck of a team this year with Scott Miller, Paul Cox, Wally Werderich and Judson Steinback. If anyone would like to follow along check out their website and Garmin tracking page.

 
They picked a good year for it ! The Miss is roaring right now !
 
Fixed minds with hurried goals. On the other hand one might explore the big river with broader views.
Kinda like speed walking Americana history.

Excellent article, Odyssey.

Note the "crooked canoe" in the foreground of the Lake Itasca water color,

lake itasca.jpg

...similar to the one in Adney and Chapelle's Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America. It must have been tough to paddle on a windy lake. The posture of the bow paddler in the third canoe suggests that he/she is poling.

crooked canoe (2).jpg
 
I ran into Scott and a paddling partner on a portage in 2020. They were trying out a brand new Wenonah Minn-4. Turns out we have a few mutual friends, coincidentally all with the same last name.

miller2020.jpg
 
"For 16 hours of the day, three will paddle while the fourth gets four hours of rest, rotating every four hours. For the remaining eight hours at night, two will paddle while the other two sleep in four-hour shifts."

Mississippi Speed Record Attempt

 
When I was younger, the thoughts of such endurance contests really held some interest for me. I was a dedicated masochist, and routinely proved it.

The thought of paddling the Mississippi would still hold a lot of interest for me, just not the record breaking part, although I totally get the mindset. Although I would draw the line at the aforementioned "hit and sh*t" practice.
 
Looks like they started this morning.

From the article you posted @Glenn MacGrady I find their sleep schedule interesting. I could not imagine paddling that Min4 at night with 2 people. I bet that is a slog. But maybe it is more of just guiding it down the river and less about propulsion?

“When you stretch a race out to this long, it becomes as much about teamwork, logistics, planning and strategy as it does about pure paddling ability, athletics and being in shape,” said Miller.

Miller and his teammates are well versed in what it takes to stage a successful campaign. Each has a resume of long-distance paddling and endurance race accomplishments, including finishing some of the most grueling events like the Great Alabama 650.

For 16 hours of the day, three will paddle while the fourth gets four hours of rest, rotating every four hours. For the remaining eight hours at night, two will paddle while the other two sleep in four-hour shifts.

Without a sleep schedule, “your brain just stops functioning,” said Cox. “It’s a race against the clock, but at the same time you’re trying to stave off as much physical suffering and decline as you can.


I do not think I would ever try it. But it is nice to dream about.
 
Quite an adventure with a record waiting to be broken. I paddled against one of the previous record holders, Rod Price, in the first Yukon River 1000 mile race in 2009. By making some lucky successful and risky shortcut choices we out paced him by a few hours at the finish.

There are a few differences in the Y1K:

- We were allowed to paddle up to 18 hours/day (we timed it to the exact miinute) and were required to random location primitive camp for six hours each "night" to include the hours between 2315 and 0200 as officially verified by SPOT tracking. We paddled at our 6.5 mph pace some days as far as 190 miles/day in the average 6 mph current in the upper river.

- Absolutely no direct contact or support from any pit crew assistance was allowed at any time from start until the finish. But if you wanted to stop in Carmacks for an ice cream snack, or Dawson, for example for any reason, then as that option was available to any other team as well, but without taking support from or making pit crew contact. In 2010, one team spent the night in Dawson (and finished the race poorly).

- In this first 2009 race, each team was required to start with 22 Kg (44 pounds) of food/paddler on board, not including weight of water necessary to rehydrate the food. That was a lot of home dehydrated food for my seven paddler voyageur team (in six days to finish we consumed less than 1/3 of it). That ridiculous requirement was dropped in following year Y1K races.

- No WAG bags or special accommodations other than the guys using a (wide mouth) gator aid bottle, and the ladies on board brought various specialized contraptions made for their needs (met with limited success). Other than verbal warnings, there was no privacy. For more serious needs, we would stop on shore once, no more than twice a day, with total timing while stopped kept to no more than seven minutes.

-In the first few years, the entry fee was $250/paddler. More recently, with the race under new management organization, the fee has shot up to $2150/paddler! Carrying of cell phones or two way radios is no longer allowed as it once was. No stopping for self-support in Dawson or any place else outside of your primitive night camp. Originally, near-real-time online SPOT tracking for location timing calculation was made openly available to support crews and to the public waiting for a passing glimpse and encouraging cheers at the few observation points and at the finish line, but that is no longer the case under the new management rules. I used the data from each year's race to update and improve my own mapped best route for efficient planning in my future races.
 
There are a few differences in the Y1K

In brief, there apparently are no rules at all for the Guinness record run. It's just a group of paddlers running the Big Muddy however they want to.

I do think there should be a distinction between a supported run, like this one, and a self-supported run. I'd personally be more impressed by a team that has to carry, cache or buy their own food and supplies along the way than a team that has infinite barge and personnel support and supplies.
 
Quite an adventure with a record waiting to be broken. I paddled against one of the previous record holders, Rod Price, in the first Yukon River 1000 mile race in 2009. By making some lucky successful and risky shortcut choices we out paced him by a few hours at the finish.

There are a few differences in the Y1K:

- We were allowed to paddle up to 18 hours/day (we timed it to the exact miinute) and were required to random location primitive camp for six hours each "night" to include the hours between 2315 and 0200 as officially verified by SPOT tracking. We paddled at our 6.5 mph pace some days as far as 190 miles/day in the average 6 mph current in the upper river.

- Absolutely no direct contact or support from any pit crew assistance was allowed at any time from start until the finish. But if you wanted to stop in Carmacks for an ice cream snack, or Dawson, for example for any reason, then as that option was available to any other team as well, but without taking support from or making pit crew contact. In 2010, one team spent the night in Dawson (and finished the race poorly).

- In this first 2009 race, each team was required to start with 22 Kg (44 pounds) of food/paddler on board, not including weight of water necessary to rehydrate the food. That was a lot of home dehydrated food for my seven paddler voyageur team (in six days to finish we consumed less than 1/3 of it). That ridiculous requirement was dropped in following year Y1K races.

- No WAG bags or special accommodations other than the guys using a (wide mouth) gator aid bottle, and the ladies on board brought various specialized contraptions made for their needs (met with limited success). Other than verbal warnings, there was no privacy. For more serious needs, we would stop on shore once, no more than twice a day, with total timing while stopped kept to no more than seven minutes.

-In the first few years, the entry fee was $250/paddler. More recently, with the race under new management organization, the fee has shot up to $2150/paddler! Carrying of cell phones or two way radios is no longer allowed as it once was. No stopping for self-support in Dawson or any place else outside of your primitive night camp. Originally, near-real-time online SPOT tracking for location timing calculation was made openly available to support crews and to the public waiting for a passing glimpse and encouraging cheers at the few observation points and at the finish line, but that is no longer the case under the new management rules. I used the data from each year's race to update and improve my own mapped best route for efficient planning in my future races.
Sounds like the new mgmt has sucked the fun out of it and is trying to turn a profit. Boo hiss.
 
Increase of 250 to 2150 per paddler. That is insane. 4000 bucks to do the Amazon race. That is a huge bar to cross for most folks. I am finacially better off then most folks and could afford to do these races but still find the opportunity cost way to high. That is a great way to destroy a sport.
 
We had the opportunity to watch them go under a couple of bridges near our house on Wednesday, their first day, they're really cruising along. I don't think I'd ever want to travel this way, but I'm fascinated watching their progress online.
I hope they can keep it up all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
 
"...and, most crucially, cut-outs in the middle two seats to deploy WAG bags." Now that's what I'd call hit-and-sh*t paddling.

The great thing about the MR340 is it's about at the limit of what you can do without sleeping or pooping, ~36-48 hours for podium finishes in most classes. You don't see anybody slamming bran muffins at the start.

...

“When you stretch a race out to this long, it becomes as much about teamwork, logistics, planning and strategy as it does about pure paddling ability, athletics and being in shape,” said Miller.

Miller and his teammates are well versed in what it takes to stage a successful campaign. Each has a resume of long-distance paddling and endurance race accomplishments, including finishing some of the most grueling events like the Great Alabama 650.


...

If anyone is looking for a crazy race, the AL650's qualifying races list is a good place to start:
R2AK - USA (no sails)​
Yukon 1000 - Canada/USA​
Yukon River Quest - Canada​
Everglades Challenge (paddle only, no sails) - USA​
Suwanee 230 - USA​
Lowcountry River Rats Challenge 235 - USA​
Massive Murray Paddle - Australia​
Texas Water Safari - USA​
La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge - Belize​
Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Marathon - UK​
Loire 725 - France​
Mississippi 140 - USA​
Berg River Canoe Marathon - South Africa​
Campus to Coast 160 - USA​
MR340 (60-hour finish or faster) - USA​
Dusi Canoe Marathon (non-stop version only) - South Africa​
Au Sable Canoe Marathon - USA​
SUP 11 City Tour - Netherlands​
Kingston to Ottawa (200K distance only) - Canada​
Tour du Teche - USA​

So many rivers, so little time.
 
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