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Archive for Sunday, July 24, 2011

Paddlers row, row, row their boats in 100-mile Kansas River race

Nearly 200 people climbed in their canoes and headed down the Kansas River Friday and Saturday. The race was the first ever Kawnivore 100, a race that starts in Manhattan and ends in Lawrence.

July 24, 2011

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Joe Baisa, of St. Louis, pulls his canoe out of the Kansas River on Saturday afternoon. Baisa was one of nearly 200 paddlers who participated in the first ever Kawnivore 100, a 100-mile race down the river.

Joe Baisa, of St. Louis, pulls his canoe out of the Kansas River on Saturday afternoon. Baisa was one of nearly 200 paddlers who participated in the first ever Kawnivore 100, a 100-mile race down the river.

The Kaw can be unforgiving during a Kansas summer. About 200 paddlers found that out the hard way Friday and Saturday while competing in the first-ever Kawnivore 100, a 100-mile ultra-marathon canoe race on the Kansas River.

Starting in Manhattan and ending at Riverfront Park in North Lawrence, the race tested participants with shallow waters and sandy braids. St. Louis resident Joe Baisa reached the finish line Saturday afternoon, visibly exhausted from the long haul.

“Last night was like a scavenger hunt for deep water,” Baisa said of the overnight trek. “It was not a river, it was the devil’s playground.”

Race director Scott Mansker said the feedback from racers had been positive, with participants enjoying the in-state rivalry spurred by the beginning and end locations.

The Kawnivore race, named for the river on which it takes place, was a substitute for the MR340, a longer race that has run the course of the Missouri River since 2006. Mansker said the change in locale was due to dangerously high river levels in the neighboring state.

“The MR340 has really put the Midwest on the map,” Mansker said. “Rivers are great resources for tourism and testing yourself.”

After the test was complete, participants took some time to relax and grill with family and friends.

The weekend’s event, which took the fastest racers about 15 hours to complete, won’t be the last if plans go Mansker’s way.

“People really enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s the first of what we hope will be an annual event.”

Comments

Lawrence Morgan 3 years ago

This is a great idea! A little like the Oxford-Cambridge race in London. The towns along the way and the universities should make a big deal of this next time - with picnics, bands along the way (including high school bands). It could become a real Kansas attraction.

Especially when linked, sometime in the future, with trails along the Kansas River from Manhattan to Kansas City.

Take a look at:

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Phog67 3 years ago

I love your idea and excitement. It was sad that Lawrence or the LJW didn't even really know about this race. Manhattan's Mayor came and spoke to the racers before it started Friday night and there was a huge turnout of supporters.

It was the first year and it had a ton of paddlers. It will keep growing.

On a sad note, there was a moment of silence in Manhattan for Dr. Ryan Moore as he was scheduled to race in this and each boat had his race number in his honor.

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the_realest_mccoy 3 years ago

This race is so stupid I can't even believe it. Why would you ride a canoe all the way from Manhattan down that stinky polluted old Kaw when you could just take I-70?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Maybe because they know you won't be there.

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riverdrifter 3 years ago

They were in kayaks, not canoes. You row with an oar and you paddle with a ...oh, the hell with it!

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longislandjhawk 3 years ago

Did they stop doing the student goverment sponsered KU K-State canoe races? We paddled in teams(usually from dorms) from Manhattan to Lawrence with an overnight stay in St. Marys Ks. It was a blast. Coed teams with at least 1 female in the canoe at all times. My claim to fame, Our Temlin Hall Team lead the 1st leg, until we made our 1st switch of paddlers. 1977 or 1978, don't remember for sure.

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Phog67 3 years ago

uhhhh.. Nope, riverdrifter, most were in canoes. My husband was in a canoe. He used that instead of one of his kayaks because the river was so low he knew he would have to get out and drag his boat.

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riverdrifter 3 years ago

Joe Baisa, of St. Louis, pulls his canoe out of the Kansas River on Saturday afternoon. Baisa was one of nearly 200 paddlers who participated in the first ever Kawnivore 100, a 100-mile race down the river.

Joe Baisa, of St. Louis, pulls his canoe out of the Kansas River on Saturday afternoon. Baisa was one of nearly 200 paddlers who participated in the first ever Kawnivore 100, a 100-mile race down the river. by Joe Preiner

Whatever, I stand corrected. Congrats to all to survived the sweat-a-thon. I know for sure that it wasn't easy.

One hour, fifteen minutes: http://www.diamondbackairboats.com/airboats/pleasure/pleasure70.htm

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