Editor’s note: Three local residents took part in the MR 340 river race that began the morning of Tuesday, July 23, and continued for up to 88 hours along the length of the Missouri River through the state of Missouri. On Friday, Aug. 2, we related the story of Gary Sanson, who undertook the 340-mile ordeal solo in a kayak. The other two local participants, Eric Busick and Kevin Snedden, raced as part of a team supported by The Elms Hotel and Spa. They say their experience was enhanced by working together in the difficult and challenging event.
There were 344 boats with 527 paddlers signed up for the race, listed as one of the top 100 adventures in North America by National Geographic.
Kevin Snedden: “A year ago I read the article in the Kansas City Star about the race; I had heard of it in previous years and decided it was time to give it a go. I reached out to Eric and asked if he would have any interest in teaming up and taking on the challenge. While our wives did not initially share our excitement and enthusiasm for the race, they supported us nonetheless and we signed up for the race as soon as registration began at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, 2013. Throughout the year we did some planning but our preparation and training swung into high gear 90 days prior to the race. We secured a canoe for the endeavor and scheduled training on the Missouri River for 23, 25, and 50 mile practice sessions. We planned each leg of the trip and had a basic idea of where we would stop to sleep and/or resupply.”
Eric Busick: “I feel incredibly blessed by the opportunity to take part in this adventure. My kids (Khloe and Brody) attended VBS at our church the week before the race and the message was ‘God helps us Stand Strong.’ With the challenges faced during the race, that message helped me to not only complete the race but appreciate His Kingdom.”
Snedden: “The first thing to note is the sheer beauty of the Missouri River. From corn fields to towering bluffs, the scenery was ever-changing and a constant reminder of how fortunate we were to be participating in this event. The river itself can be ominous and somewhat intimidating. There is a great deal of power and unexpected challenges on and below the water’s surface. While enjoyable, I would not call the trip relaxing and there was never a time that we could let our guard down.
For more on this story, see the print edition or e-edition of the Tuesday, Aug. 6, Standard.
By Standard Staff • StandardStaff@leaderpress.com