2003 World Record Set:
18 days, 4 hours, 51 minutes!

The Mississippi River Challenge for
Rett Syndrome & Leukodystrophy

- May 10, 2003 6 AM to May 28, 10:51 AM 2003-

A 2,348 Mile Marathon to Support a Marathon of Research!

Bob Bradford, forward position, Clark Eid, in the back, approaching L & D 24

May 28, Wednesday

Map Location



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Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Just got a call from Dana, Stan and Clark.... Bob Bradford and Clark Eid crossed the finish line at Mile Marker 0 at 10:51 AM CST today, May 28.....

Everyone is fine...

More later...

2003 Record Set at 18 days, 4 hours, 51 minutes!

The support crew is on the Authority II as I type this, following Bob & Clark, who are 6.5 miles from the finish.

More to follow shortly...



At 7:45am, the support crew is waiting at Fort Jackson (River Mile 19).  Bob and Clark are expected around 8am -- they can see them at the far point.  The end is (almost) in sight!  Stan believes they won't be really stopping here, just picking up vittles and liquids.  (Probably too excited to get out of the canoe!)  Stan will have to start making phone calls to alert the Authority II that Bob and Clark are 19 river miles away.  The Authority II will be ready to jump out and escort them from Venice to Mile Zero.  Wish I could be there again for the end.  I'm so jealous!

The Captain of the Plaquemines Parish fireboat that escorted the paddlers from Venice to Mile Zero two years ago has retired.  His son Clinton was also present at the end of the 2001 race -- kept saying that history was being made.  Clinton is now the Captain of the Upper Parish fireboat.  Last night, Clinton met Clark & Bob 12 miles above Belle Chasse.  When the paddlers stopped for breakfast, Clinton stopped his fireboat and joined them.  When all were ready to leave, Clinton went outside to start up the fireboat.  He was going to escort them south of Belle Chasse for several more miles.  However -- he couldn't get the fireboat started again.  So Bob & Clark had to paddle without escort.  Like they're not used to that...   :-)    Regardless, it was neat seeing Clinton again!

Angie Phelps has started handling out special t-shirts.  At the headwaters -- some 2,348 miles ago -- she took pictures of Bob and Clark with all the various crew members.  She turned the pictures into iron-ons and made everyone a unique t-shirt.  Stan said the pictures were definitely taken at the headwaters because Clark has no facial hair and it was before he shaved his head!

Just think, as Clinton would say, we're about to witness history in the making once more!!!
Dana Hanson - 7:45 AM

The road crew is sitting in Fort Jackson, having the breakfast of champions: Twizzlers and Fritos. The mosquitos here are as bad as we've seen anywhere. Bob & Clark should be here in less than an hour. They called a short while ago, and said that they don't want any food, just enough drinks to get them to Head of Passes. Our plan for the next few hours is as follows:

Give paddlers water at Fort Jackson.
Road crew drives as quickly to Venice Marina and gets on the Authority II.
The Authority II escorts the paddlers to River Mile Zero (aka Head of Passes).
World Record gets smashed.

At present, it looks like Tony's guess of 18 days, 5 hours and 32 minutes will be the closest. High water (aka fast current), little rain and favorable winds have led to an amazinly fast time, one which no one predicted initially (Bob's schedule had them completing the event in 19 days and 15 hours).

All are in good spirits and looking forward to the dash to the finish line, which lies 20 miles downstream of our current location.


Final Bets Placed were:

Lisa and Chuck Evert May 27, 12:20 PM
Dana Hanson May 27, 4:20 PM
Denise Bradford May 28, 8 AM
Gary Halbe May 28, 4:53 AM
Regina Mingus May 28th 6:15 AM
Tammy Hanson May 28 8:08 AM
Tony Swenson May 28 11:32 AM
Earl Williams May 28 12:19pm
Angie Phelps May 28, 1 PM
Andrew Gribble May 28 2:12 PM
Mary Potter May 28 3:17 PM

If you placed a bet, and don't see it listed, pls remind me! - Mary Potter

I am sitting at the Point a la Hache Ferry Landing in one of the Official Support Vehicles typing this, while at the same time glancing periodically upriver. It is 02h21, and the paddlers are expected here shortly. Angie has just told me that the canoe is almost to the landing. With only 49 miles to go, this is the sprint to the finish line. We have felt for several days now that it is not a matter of _if_ they will break the record, but _by how much_ they will break the record.

Paddling conditions are ideal. The temp is in the 70s, and there is a light breeze.



At the Mile Marker 0 platform