2003 World Record Set:
18 days, 4 hours, 51 minutes!
Mississippi River Challenge for
- May 10, 2003 6 AM to May 28, 10:51 AM 2003-
A 2,348 Mile Marathon to Support a Marathon of Research!
Approximate Location May 11
this from a David Harrington... a friendly paddler who was able to
paddle with Clark and Bob a little bit yesterday:
I went looking
for the team upstream from Bemidji and was lucky enough to run into
them in a tree clogged portion of the river. It's not exactly what
comes to mind when thinking of the "mighty Mississippi". I paddled
with them for a spell and took a few pictures with Clark's camera.
They paddled on in to Bemidji, and I drove ahead and caught them there,
where they stopped for quite a while, perhaps 30 minutes. There was
a lot of fussing over gadgets on the boat, and the video camera was
set up behind Clark. I don't know if they used it, however, and I
think it came back off again at the next stop.
The weather wasn't
the best, with brisk north winds on the day they paddled the stretch
of the river that flows north. It was wet, but not overly so, and
it actually was cool enough so they shouldn't have overheated. The
winds are not too bad, which should allow them to go straight across
Winnie, which would be a big time saver.
I took a dozen
photos or so, and hope to have them developed as early as tomorrow.
I'll send them your way when I can.
After a rough
overnight crossing of Lake Winny, the paddlers arrived at Winny Dam
a few minutes ago. Very cold, very windy here. No rain at the moment
but dark clouds can be seen in all directions.
All in good spirits;
Bob & Clark just had a hot meal and a change of clothes, and are preparing
to depart via the boat ramp below the dam.
ahead of world record pace, according to the stats from findu.com
from Clark - he said the crossing at Lake Winnie was quite rough,
couldn't really go into it, just said it was very rough. He said
he has not slept since the start, and was going to sleep now. He
called around 3:05 PM CST and was at mile marker 1217. He said everyone
the team is West and just a little South of Hibbing, MN as of this
writing, so I'm adding a weather update from the National Weather
Bureau for Hibbing on Sunday night, 5/11/2003. Looks like better
weather tomorrow for the team.
With clearing skies overnight. Lows 30 to 35. North winds 20 to
30 mph. Gusting to 35 mph. Decreasing to 10 to 20 mph after midnight.
a friendly email from Steve Dimse of findu.com, I've updated the
Where Are They Now Page to show the our Team Hope's progress (2003)
vs. the 1984 record (1984) at about the equivalent time. Thanks
Steve! The maps show we are quite a bit ahead at this time! Very
my husband, Bill Pullen, earlier today (approx. 12:30pm CDT). The
paddlers were ahead of schedule (about 20 miles) and everyone was
doing well and in good spirits. That was about all the time we had
to talk. As I hear more, I'll relay the info.
Talked with Stan about 7:30pm CT. He said all the land crew was doing fine and trying to catch a wink, or at least do some heavy resting. They are at Grand Rapids MN and expect the paddlers at 9pm.
has returned to Stan. Somehow they figured out a way to fix the
loaner truck so it could tow the trailer. Tammy & her husband
have already headed for home. Then on Tuesday, they will return
and re-hook up to the trailer. Stan will then drive to the Domino
Ford dealership to pick up our Expedition. Once he gets back to
the crew, he'll re-take possession of the trailer. Sounds like
musical trailers to me. Or what was that other kids game -- stone,
stone, who's got the stone? Oh well, at least they know
what's going on!
Day wishes were abundant today. I hope all our readers had memorable
days as well.
After a blustery
day, the wind is finally dying down. The road crew is waiting
for the paddlers in Grand Rapids, MN, near the Blandin Paper Dam.
We expect them around 10 PM tonight.
The sun is
shining for the first time since the start of the race, though
it is still a bit chilly (lows in the 40s tonight).
We plan on
feeding Bob & Clark KFC chicken, biscuits and coleslaw when they
get here tonight.
at the Dam is _much lower_ than it was in 2001. It makes me wonder
what Sauk Rapids looks like this year...
Before I write
about todays adventure with Team Hope, I have to add something about
the morning of the start. We were leaving the headwaters around
6:15 am or so and stopped at a little convenience store for some
directions and when we pulled out a tan Chrysler conversion van
went by. We had 3 vehicles with us, my parents, and Chuck and Lisa
Evert who were the other Rett parents there for the start. Well,
as we were going down the highway, we caught up to the tan van and
it said "Kruger Canoes....Mississippi River Rett Research challenge"
or something like that and I said "That is Verlen Kruger"! I met
Verlen at the first race 2 years ago and didn't realize what a legend
he was until after the race started and I did some reading about
him. Well, if anyone doesn't already know this, he has canoed UP
the Mississippi. We pulled over and rolled down our window and his
wife Jenny was driving, then Verlen popped his head up from the
back seat and I was so excited to see him. I have always wanted
to get that chance to visit with him about his extraordinary adventures
he has been on over the years.
I got that chance, my husband, Bob and I went to the headwaters
to bring Stan's camper to the road crew about oh, 70 road miles
away. When we got to the landing where the road crew was, it was
only about 1:00 and the paddlers weren't expected until 4:00. Verlen
and Jenny were there and we got the chance to hear alot of good
river stories from Verlen and tell them a little bit about our daughter
Rachel. I didn't think we could stick around until Bob and Clark
got there so around 2:45 we started to get ready to leave. Some
of the road crew were zonked out sleeping just about anywhere, I
guess after being up over 24 hours straight sleeping on the ground
under a blanket will work just fine :-). When we were about ready
to say goodbye at 3:00 someone yelled "Here they are" so we ended
up getting to see them afterall. We headed home and they were moving
on to Grand Rapids.
We are planning
to meet up with them again tomorrow evening when they are in our
town of Aitkin.
Well, as I'm
heading off to bed, I'm thankful this Mother's Day that my daugher,
Amanda, who has Rett Syndrome, fell asleep for the 1st time in about
6 months without having a seizure. She has been home bound from
school with seizures for some time, we think in part due to puberty
and of course, in large part due to Rett syndrome. A nice Mother's
Day present. Recent medications we are working with do appear to
be "the key" we were looking for to control the seizures, but it's
been a long fall, winter and spring for our family. I am hoping
she may be seizure free by the end of the race - that would be a
nice Father's Day present for Clark when he returns home after this
long journey. Happy mom's day to all you moms out there who care
for someone who needs that special mom's love..... and special thanks
to Team Hope and to everyone who has made this race possible.
They were running
four hours behind Bob's 19 day 15 hour schedule at Winny Dam, and
they were only three hours behind at the next scheduled stop. Now
they're only two hours and fifteen minutes behind Bob's schedule,
as of their arrival at Cohassett Dam.
road crew goes 40 river miles downstream and gets a good long rest.
(Bob ordered it.)
Road Crew and friends waiting at Leech Lake/Mississippi River access
L to R, David Harrington, Verlen Kruger