Friday, September 22, 2017

The Missouri River 340...

Well hello there!  I did not mean to take a six week break from blogging, but alas, I did.  It is funny how quickly time can get away from you.

The first week of August Ken set out to complete the Missouri River 340 (MR 340), which is a canoe/kayak event from Kansas City to St. Charles, MO.  If you came to the conclusion that this is 340 miles long, congratulations, give yourself a cookie.

The race started on Tuesday morning and runs until Friday night at midnight.  Given the fact that Ken has followed me around numerous cities during my marathons, Ironmans, and now 100 mile run, I was required by law by marriage to be his crew for the event.  Spoiler alert, it was actually a lot more fun that I imagined it to be.  Oh, our friends Rob and Michelle joined me too!  Michelle had planned on it the entire time and then Rob decided to tag along.  I guess he was worried about Michelle and me driving on back-country roads alone.  Good call Rob!

Anyways, I have some pictures to share from my point of view from the race.  I have asked Ken if he would like to write a race report for my blog, but he is still thinking about that one.  So, here you go, pictures from my time crewing during the MR 340!

Ken is ready to roll!  Kya came along to wish her dad well, but was too concerned with all the excitement to pose for a picture.

The boats starting to get into the water

The Missouri Man shooting off the gun to start the race.  Part of me wondered if this was supposed to be Lewis or Clark of Lewis and Clark?  Anyways, Mike and Katie joined me to watch Ken leave and they did not know either.

Ken took off and I was off to run Kya and get her to the vet before Rob and Michelle met up with me for our adventure.  The first part of our morning started off a little rocky as the first place we were meeting Ken was not entered into the GPS.  Not to worry, we figured it out.  We did have a good laugh though about driving for two hours in circles and still only being 30 minutes from Kansas City.  We made it to Napoleon just as Ken was pulling up to the ramp.  

We were good crew people and had gotten him a sandwich, chips, and cookies.  I took the liberty of getting him the kind of cookies that I would eat in the event that he said he did not want the cookies, I would eat them.  I mentioned a few times how good the cookies looked in hopes he might offer me one, but my subtle hint did not work.  I was fearful that he would not eat the cookies and the cookies would end up in cookie heaven, but alas, he reported later that they were delicious!

The dragon boat coming into Napoleon.

After seeing Ken at Napoleon, we drove to Marshall, MO to check into our hotel and grab some lunch.  Afterwards, we made our way to Waverly to see Ken and make some signs.

Michelle and me enjoying our wine in Waverly.  Wine and Waverly just seem to go together, don't they?

Our signs for cheering.  Thanks to our friend Scott for helping come up with creative signs!  

Ken rolled into Waverly looking happy!

Ken and Nolan getting ready to head out towards Miami.

Ken continued on and we saw him at the Miami aid station.  He decided to stay the night there and we would see him in the morning at the stop in Glascow, MO.  Rob went to Jeff City to see a friend, so Michelle and I were flying solo.  I am happy to report that we successfully bought ice, filled the coolers, and made it to Glascow all on our own.  :)

Glascow ended up being my favorite stop of the race.  We had a great view and the downtown was adorable.  After seeing Ken, we went to the winery in town and enjoyed lunch at a little bakery cafe.

Ken leaving Glascow.  He is the red kayak in the middle with the American flag

Ready to take on the day!

Giving us a big cheers while he was waiting on a friend to get into the water

Leaving for the day.  The next stop would be several hours away.

Us girls hitting up Bushwhackerbend Winery in downtown Glascow.  It was really cute with a seating area over looking the river.  I told Ken that next time I would just hang here and throw supplies into the river as he passed by.  

Michelle enjoying her glass of wine on the deck

We stopped at a bakery for lunch and this girl was thrilled to get a turkey reuben.  She was in Heaven!

We saw Ken at the aid station at Franklin Island and then again at Coopers Landing.  He decided to stay in the night with me in my hotel room in Jeff City, so we picked him up at Coopers Landing that night and I drove him back at 0500 the next time.  We planned on seeing him in Jefferson City later in the day, where Ken's parents would be joining us.

Getting a kiss in Jefferson City.  I am sure it was because I came with Chik-fi-a chicken biscuits.  

Looking pretty happy in Jeff City.  I love that you can see Ken's mom behind him and she is smiling at Ken.

Back in the kayak, leaving Jefferson City.  Next stop, Hermann!

The rest of us loaded up and made our way to Hermann for a little wine tasting and lunch.  

My crew enjoying lunch in Hermann.  Do not let Michelle's face fool you, she was having a good time!
After lunch, we went down to the boat ramp to wait for Ken.  This is where Michelle and I provided entertainment for Ken's parents.  We were just being our normal selves but to those who are not around the two of us together all the time, find it quite entertaining.  Soon enough, Ken came in and we enjoyed a glass of wine and pizza with him.

Ken with his parents

Linda got this great picture of Ken leaving Hermann.  

Ken's parents went home for the evening and the remainder of us retired to our hotel, while Ken slept outside in New Haven that evening.  The following morning, which was Friday, involved us driving to Klondike to see Ken one final time before the finish.  The drive from Klondike to St. Charles was the prettiest drive of the trip, in my opinion.

There was a detour that required a little driving on gravel roads.  This is not something I have done in the last 15 years or so.  A little different that my roads around Leawood.

Once in St. Charles we set up shop and waited for Ken to come in and finish the event.

Here he comes!

Proud MR 340 finisher!

Ken with his new friends Steve and Justin.  He met these guys on the second day and ended up paddling most of the race with them.

So proud of this guy!

Whew!  That was quite the week.  When people ask me how it was, I like to make a joke about taking four days to drive across Missouri.  :)  It really was a lot of fun.  I was glad to be able to support Ken in something that was important to him, since he never hesitates to do the same for me.  

In true endurance event fashion, I asked him if he would ever do it again.  Unlike me, right away he said YES!  So guess what we are doing at the end of July next year???

Congratulations Ken!  You worked hard and it paid off.  I cannot wait to join you in the event again next year.