MDC offers free Missouri River 340 clinic on Dec. 18 in Blue Springs

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Want a challenge? Try racing from Kansas City to St. Charles by paddling a canoe or kayak on the Missouri River along with hundreds of other racers. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free Missouri River 340 clinic from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 18, at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs. The 2023 race is not until Aug. 1-4 in the new year. But preparation now can help participants enjoy the race and perhaps be a contender.

This clinic will help racers and support crew members get ready. It’s also open to anyone who is just curious about what it takes to paddle across Missouri in four days. Veteran racers will talk about the history of the race, how to prepare, what to take with you, paddling day and night, race logistics, and what kind of nature can be seen on the journey. The session will be led by John Rittel, who has entered the race five times and who has also served as a safety boat pilot.

The Missouri River is big and can look intimidating to paddlers unfamiliar with its flows. But the river is remarkably benign and obstruction free once you’re on the water. A four-day race, however, requires some planning and practice.

This clinic is open to paddlers ages 17 and older. COVID-19 safety precautions will be observed. Registration is required. To register, visit