you go after, but the effort along the way is worth it.
Katie Pfefferkorn, 22, Chaffee, Mo.
Chemical Engineering Major, MU, Women’s Solo—58:57
Pfefferkorn is a self-proclaimed “sucker for new adventures.” She entered the first MR340 on a lark, using a borrowed boat, and finished second. It was her first paddling competition, and she beat the 100-hour deadline by a mere 24 minutes. This year she finished second again, but she almost cut her time in half.
She gave Magee, who is one of the nation’s top women competitors, a run for her money, passing her in the night about 100 miles into the race. Pfefferkorn’s time in the lead was brief, but she continued to pressure the front-runner, arriving at the Carl R. Noren Access in Jefferson City just as Magee was getting up from a nap.
“I didn’t expect to do that well,” confesses Pfefferkorn, whose goal was to finish in under 80 hours. “After sitting at the boat ramp the first night, I decided I wanted to do it in as few nights as possible. Paddling is hard if you’re not with someone, and sleeping is difficult, so it became my priority just knocking out checkpoints left and right.”
Pfefferkorn paid for the remarkable improvement in her performance with badly blistered hands. “Paddling wasn’t too painful, but repositioning the paddle was agony. I didn’t put on ChapStick or sun screen that last day, because I didn’t want to take my hands off my paddle.”
Why would somone subject themselves to that sort of pain?
“You find out a lot about how you deal with adversity,” she said. “You learn so much about overcoming obstacles and where you get your motivation from when things get tough. Those are things that transfer to other parts of your life.”
Christina Glauner, 33, Lawrence, Kan.
Customer Claims Representative, Women’s Solo—96:12
Glauner enjoyed her experience in the women’s tandem division of the 2006 MR340 so much that she bought a solo kayak three weeks later and began training for 2007. She paddled her new boat almost every weekend to get ready.
She and her former tandem partner, Edie Jackson, wanted to stay together and shave as many hours as possible off their first-year time of 100 hours, 32 minutes. When Jackson had to withdraw the second day, Glauner threw herself into paddling. She made excellent time, but ultimately decided that being alone didn’t suit her and changed her approach.
“This year was a joyride instead