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!
May 13, Monday
Just saw the
latest position update come in about 10 minutes ago - the statistics
table created by Steve Dimse at findu.com ( on our site at Team
Hope's current position vs. 1984 record ) show the paddlers are
100 miles ahead of the 1984 record right now, pretty incredible.....
can that be right? I had to look at that a few times, but it is
When I look
at the schedule Clark left me of the paddler's "best guess" of where
they would be when it shows they were guessing they would be at
Brainerd Pot Latch Dam at 8 AM this morning. I can see on the Where
Are They Now? they are just north of Brainerd now...
When I talked
to Clark last night (Monday) around 8 PM he was eating some of the
Palisade's "feast" and was very happy to see the turn out in Palisades.
He was feeling much better than the last time we had talked (right
after the Lake Winnie crossing). He almost sounded like he had finally
gotten some sleep.... I mentioned David Harrington had sent pictures
from Bemidji and he said "What a great guy - David paddled with
us through some really difficult part of the river". I also told
him we have had several emails from paddlers "down" the river (and
one nearby) who were hoping to paddle with them when they came through
and he was very happy to hear that... I believe his response was
very enthusiastic "Great!". I'm sure the paddlers love that when
they have some "on the water" company....
to the kind folks at Palisades too, for helping Team Hope during
this very exciting event....
Go TEAM HOPE!
From Dana Hanson:
and all is great. The paddlers are 100 miles ahead of the world
record. Right now, the road crew is in a parking lot in Brainerd.
Although they'll try to get a few winks, they also need to do
laundry and might do a bit of shopping for odds & ends. And today
is the day that Stan is supposed to return to Park Rapids (half
way between Brainerd and Lake Itaska) to retrieve our Expedition.
The paddlers are expected to arrive between 11am and noon.
the land crew did some scouting around the Diversion Dam. It
was rather low in spots -- a drop, a pool, and then another drop.
No huge drops, but big enough that the paddlers would probably
have to portage if they couldn't figure out something. (Portaging
is unloading & carrying all the canoe's contents and the canoe
itself, then reloading the canoe.) After walking half a mile
to help check out the dam, Verlen Kruger suggested that Stan &
Davey put 3" to 4" logs over the drops. Turns out it was a fantastic
idea. When the paddlers got there, they were able to line the
canoe without taking the time to unload and reload it. (Lining
the canoe means you attach a rope to the fully loaded canoe and
pull it thru the water.) They slipped gracefully over the logs
to the next level. Being able to avoid portaging enabled them
to make up extra time. (When somebody who has paddled over 100,000
miles speaks, most paddlers listen closely. Thank you, Verlen!)
Diversion Dam, the land crew was waiting for the paddlers at Highway
6. They were catching a few winks knowing the paddlers would
probably be there around 6am. Well, thanks to Verlen's suggestion
of using the logs to slide the canoe over, the paddlers woke everyone
up when they arrived at 5am. They ate and relaxed a tad, and
were on the river by 5:35am. When the land crew started packing
up, they noticed there was frost on the sleeping bags. Kinda
chilly, huh.... Regardless of the temperature, everyone is
warm inside and in great spirits!
still talking about his experience of two nights ago. As we all
know, lack of sleep can make strange things happen. When Clark
was paddling by himself (Bob was asleep), he started seeing things,
some of which were quite bizarre. He said those 12-foot raccoons
were something to behold. Go to bed, Clark!!
I sent the
following to the Team Hope road crew today (May 13)
The lock and
dam phone numbers are your primary points-of-contact. Work with
them at the local level whenever possible as opposed to involving
the contacts that are listed for the main offices. With travel on
the river being in a "normal" state (no river closures etc.) you
should not have any trouble locking through (or portaging if necessary).
today, around 4 PM CST to say ..... they were at mile river 984....
paddling went well today.... they were at Camp or Fort Ripley....
and that he had to go now....literally... something about after
you were sitting all day and then stood up that it had certain effects
on the body.... they do plan to eat and get right back in the water....
I can't remember whether Bob or Clark is sleeping "next", but it
sounds like they sleep in 3 hour blocks a couple times a day, and
they make sure both of them are awake during the the deep night
I also heard
from Tammy Hanson, road crew groupie :-), and mom to Rachel Hanson,
who has Rett Syndrome... she was travelling with the crew today,
said things were going well overall, and that she saw Clark and
Bob during their "MacDonald's" lunch today. She said it was amazing
watching them eat - that she didn't think the food even touched
their tongues before they swallowed it.... something about eating
like mad dogs and not watching their "fat grams"... too funny. Sounds
like they are all having a good time. I still remember from the
last race Clark telling me a story about being so hungry he ate
a Milky Way wrapper and all while paddling..... something about
burning 10,000 calories a day....
like things are going well overall, hopefully Stan has his truck
and camper back, and hopefully warm nice days are ahead - on that
note, I will go check the official weather forecast for the area....
The team is
north of St. Cloud, MN ....... looks like they are heading into
St. Cloud, MN is:
of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 40s. East winds
10 to 15 mph.
We had our
last encounter with Team Hope today in Brainerd which is about
45 miles from us. I guess meeting up with them 5 days in a row
would probably make it obvious that we are addicted huh?! My husband
Bob is a turkey farmer so he can be a little flexible when it
comes to work so he was able to go every day too. We met them
at the Kiwanis Park right in Brainerd, which allowed us to have
McDonalds for lunch ;-), it was a really gorgeous day and the
sun was warm, one of the first real nice days we have had in a
very long time around here. We sat around and visited with the
road crew and Verlen and Jenny Kruger were still there too. Bob's
daughter Angie did some more nice artwork on the windows of her
suburban explaining the race, her artwork even included the outline
of the states bordering the river.......she is quite an artist!
and Clark came in they literally stood on the bank and wolfed
down some food, I bet they have no idea what they were even eating,
just packing down some calories to burn I am sure. They had the
video camera hooked up pointing at them when they took off with
microphones attached, so we should get some interesting footage
We were a
little sad to have to part with the group knowing we wouldn't
be catching up with them anymore, but they are doing so well,
it is good to see them get closer to that finish line. A Rett
family from BelGrade, MN is meeting them in Little Falls tonight
bringing pizza for supper.
As of 7pm,
the land crew is in Little Falls, MN. They expect the paddlers in
less than an hour. Still 114 miles ahead of the world record. Stan
got his Expedition back, and talk about a strange problem -- the
windshield had lost its seal and whenever the truck got wet, water
flowed into the computer center. Isn't technology grand?
arrived at 7:30pm in Little Falls. A local Rett family is providing
the food. They have twin girls, both of whom have Rett. When their
mother was talking with Clark and Bob, she got very emotional. She
was giving them long hugs and was thanking them from deep in her
heart for their efforts to bring Rett & Leukodystrophy to the forefront
of people's attention. Stan, with tears in his speech, said that
during the last race in 2001, Team Kruger usually never saw these
emotions -- they were reserved for Clark and his paddling partner,
Kurt Zimmermann. Watching it happen today really makes one stop
and realize exactly what it's all about. "Moments like this make
the whole challenge worth while - regardless of whether we break
the world record or not."
When the paddlers
leave, Bob will be taking his 3-hour shift nap, while Clark paddles
the 9 miles to Blanchard Dam. The River looks more like it did during
the 2001 race, with the water current picking up.
a moment a couple days ago when they were at the Paper Mill Dam
in Grand Rapids. He said they were surrounded by electrical outlets.
All Andrew could say was, "I'm in heaven -- sitting in the middle
of a place with all this electricity!"
I got this email from Pete Colas, he lives near Aitkin and is a member of the Minnesota Canoe Assn, he heard about the race on the internet and was hooked up with Bob and Clark just north of Brainerd yesterday morning to do some paddling with them.
paddle with the guys was fun as I was able to stay with them and
not slow them down. I was impressed with Bob's memory he seemed
to remember more than I could recall about some of the races we
were in. They looked good on the way down and appeared to be fresh
for the time and distance they had traveled so far. Just rec a message
from some friends in Mpls and they are planning on hooking up with
them at St Cloud and will paddle to Anoka or maybe to Ketters just
above Hiway 694 in Mpls.
Bob and Clark paddling near Riverton, MN, 5/13/2003 - Picture by Pete Colas
Bob and Clark paddling near Riverton, MN, 5/13/2003 - Picture by Pete Colas