members are listed upon information and request. There may be additional
members on the team who are not listed on this site****
- Team Hope
Bradford, center of picture, at Ketter's Canoes in Minneapolis,
will be one of two paddlers to paddle the entire Mississippi River
during this Challenge!
has canoe raced competitively for the past 21 years.
list of winning accomplishments includes completing 14 AuSable
River canoe Marathons (120 mile course), 12 General Clinton canoe
races (70 mile course) and 5 La Classique International Canoe
races in Quebec.
and Al Widding Sr. currently hold the senior's record time of
15 hours and 21 minutes for the 120 mile AuSable River Canoe Marathon.,
(time 15 hours 21 minutes). In 2002, Bob placed first over all
in the Yukon quest canoe and kayak race of 460 miles with Bob
Vincent of Canada. In the Spring of 2001, Bob placed first with
Verlen Kruger in the Great Mississippi Race for Rett Syndrome
in 2001 completing the 2348 miles in 24 days 17 hours 51 minutes.
reports the most exciting of all this 2002 racing season was when
he raced with his oldest grand son David Phelps including this
year's AuSable River canoe marathon. Bob's family has been affected
by Adrenoleukodystrophy, a rapidly degenerative
form of Leukodystrophy.
Eid at Ketter's Canoes in Minneapolis, MN, 05/14/2003
will be one of two paddlers to paddle the entire Mississippi River
during this Challenge!
and his wife, Mary Potter, have two children, Amanda (10) and
Noah (6). Amanda has Rett syndrome
was raised in the small Northwestern Minnesota town of Fertile
and instructed canoeing at the Boy Scout's Camp Wilderness near
Park Rapids, MN. Soon after earning his BS in Chemistry from the
U. of MN, he and his life long friend Tony Swenson canoed to York
Factory on Hudson's Bay via the Red River of the North and the
graduate school at the U.C. Santa Cruz, Clark took up ocean kayaking.
He did many self guided kayak tours along the California coast,
in Baja Mexico, the Kingdom of Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand.
Clark currently works as a research scientist at Wyeth Research
in Pearl River, NY.
2001, Clark and his wife, Mary Potter, organized
The Great Mississippi River Race for Rett Syndrome, 2001.
Clark built the flagship Double Helix that was a unique 25' woodstrip
kayak with wooden rose vines wrapping around its hull. He raced
it with Kurt Zimmermann, setting a new world kayak record for
running the Mississippi River (26 days, 6 hours, and 41 minutes).
The Double Helix will be displayed at the New Orleans Convention
Crew - Team Hope
road crew will be directly supporting the team from May 10 to the finish
line, from nearby vehicles and occasional on the water support (paddling
out to the team). If you would like to contact the road crew during
the event, Mary Potter and Dana Hanson can take your contact information
and relay it to the team during the event. Road crew members will try
to call press/media when they can, and will return calls as possible,
but this will depend on what is happening when you call :-).
Crew Captain: Stan Hanson
Hanson is the Road Crew Captain for the duration of the Challenge!
58, Stan married his very supportive and wonderful wife Dana.He
is the proud dad to daughter Leisa in Missouri, and son Paul in
Washington. They are both married to great spouses (Jim And Kim).
Stan and Dana live near St Louis where Dana works as a paralegal.
Stan is retired from the USAF (air traffic controller) and civil
Stan writes: My love for paddling began in the summer of
1963 when he was a teenager working for the Park Service in Teton
National Park in Wyoming. My tent buddy and I split the $100.00
cost of a used 17 _ foot two-person Folbot kayak. It was made
of dark green nagahyde with a rigid wooden frame. We christened
it "The River Rat". Its maiden voyage was on the Snake
River from below Jackson Lake dam to the entrance of the park
at Moose, WY.
It was just
a day trip down a wonderfully clear, fast flowing river flanked on the
west by the most ruggedly beautiful mountain range named "Les Grand
Tetons" by the mountain man John Colter. We fly fished for trout,
spied on moose grazing in backwaters and startled great herds of magnificent
elk. We watched graceful eagles soar on the winds and hawks gliding silently
in search of an easy meal. That was when the embers of adventure began
to glow brightly within me.
then I have paddled and explored lakes and the river in Kansas (thats
right there really is one), the Ozarks in Missouri and Arkansas, South
Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, Washington, Wyoming, Illinois, Minnesota,
Alaska and Canada. My years of association with the Air Force enabled
me to travel to many of these places. I lived for a year on the banks
of the Yukon at Galena, Alaska.
My most memorable paddling experience actually took place last May when
Team Kruger won the Great Mississippi River Race and I didnt paddle
a stroke. It was a special time for those of us that helped Bob Bradford
and Verlen win this historic event. It was made even more special to
help raise funds for and awareness of Rett Syndrome.
I can honestly say my trip down the Yukon in the Spring of 2002 is the
biggest adventure I had ever envisioned. Of course it was more special
to be able to share the experience with Jenny and Verlen Kruger.
When my wife retires we will pack up the trailer, load our Sea Winds
on top of the Suburban, throw our dogs in the back and head north up
the Alaska highway for Fairbanks, Alaska (maybe on to Prudo Bay) and
paddle any interesting water we see on the way and back. Six months
of wilderness adventure with my sweetheart
..it just doesnt
get any better than that.
Crew Member: Janet Bradford (wife of paddler Bob Bradford)
Bradford (middle) with the Canadian Mounted Police.
Bradford will serve as one of several road crew members for the
duration of this World Record Challenge!
Michigan and among all canoe racers a road crew person is referred
to as a bank runner. Janet has been Bob's bank runner for over
20 years. She has taken care of him in the General Clinton Canoe
Ragada in New York, the La Classique International in Quebec,
Canada, and the AuSable River Canoe Marathon in Michigan, plus
many others. In 2002 she crewed for Bob in the Yukon Quest Canoe
Michigan Canoe Racing Association has presented her a Bank Runners
loves walking and she walks an average of 30 miles per week. She
has completed 4 Detroit marathons and one Chicago marathon. Janet
also likes to bike, canoe camp and do snow shoe races. Janet will
be going the entire distance with the road crew, although the
Canadian Mounted Police will not be able to make it this time!
Crew Member: Andrew Gribble
M. Gribble will serve as one of several road crew members for
the duration of this World Record Challenge!
M. Gribble grew up in Minneapolis, MN, and received his graduate
degree in Communication Studies from Northern Illinois University.
a college professor and freelance multimedia developer, Andrew
teaches about and produces CDROMs, online games and interactive
learning modules. During the summer he can be found paddling his
16' kayak on the lakes and rivers of the upper Midwest.
Crew Member: William Pullen
Pullen will serve as one of several road/race crew members for
the duration of this World Record Challenge!
Age 53, has been married for over 20 years to his lovely wife
Jean. Bill and Jean live in Fenton Missouri, a suburb of St.
Bill is a retired Police Officer from the St. Louis Metropolitan
Police Department. Jean is a Project Engineer for Union Pacific
Railroad. Although Bill and Jean have no children, they have
raised a Champion Bouvier des Flandres named Argus who is their
best buddy. Bill and Jean are travelers and adventurers and love
doing things together.
are both certified scuba divers, me for over 25 years, Jean for
about 20. We own three bicycles, two kayaks, two canoes, two
Jeeps and two collectible cars. It doesn't take much encouragement
to start us off on an adventure. We have climbed on the Great
Wall of China, watched the sun set behind Mt. Fuji in Japan, bathed
in a mountain waterfall in Venezuela, been through the Panama
Canal and was scared stiff driving up Mount Washington in NH."
from St. Louis, MO to Washington D.C. when he was 30 and helped
crew a 72' sailboat down the Mississippi from St. Louis to Fort
Meyer Beach FL in 1992.
said he is always open for a new adventure. "I was very pleased
to be asked to participate in such an undertaking and am truly
flattered to be part of this team. To attempt something of this
nature, and in doing so increase awareness and support for the
individuals and families of Rett Syndrome and Adrenoleukodystrophy
(ALD), is truly an honor."
Crew Member: Denise and Mike Bradford
and Mike Bradford will be joining the road crew during the World
Record Challenge around May 24 to the end of the Challenge.
Justin Bradford's Website and sign his guestbook - he loves
to hear from everyone (Justin is Bob Bradford's grandson)!
Crew Members: Angie Phelps, Sons David and Jacob, and Daughter Jessie
Phelps will be joining the road crew during the World Record Challenge
at the start of the race on May 10 and will stay with the road
crew for 1 to 2 weeks! Her 2 sons David and Jacob, and daughter
Jessie will be joining with her!
Crew Member: Jon Young
Young will be joining the road crew during the World Record Challenge
near the St. Louis area around May 20 to the end of the Challenge.
Crew Help: Tony Swenson
Swenson, from Blaine, MN grew up in Fertile, MN. Tony joined the
road crew for the first few days of the race when he was really
Crew Help: Tammy & Bob Hanson
and Bob Hanson, and their children, joined in and helped the road
crew during the first 4 or 5 days of the race. Tammy helped organize
the MN Dinner in Bemidji, was at the start, organized a couple
of coffees/meals for Team Hope during the frst few days and verryyy
importantly helped Stan Hanson get back together with his truck
Tammy, and special thanks to Rachel, her daughter who has Rett
syndrome. Please see their website at www.rachelhanson.homestead.com
(Supporting the team from home)
Army Corp or Engineers
Spading, P.E. - Kenton currently works as a hydrologic engineer
for the United States Army Corps of Engineers in St. Paul, MN.
Kenton was on the road crew support team for Team Helix during
the Great Mississippi River Race for Rett Syndrome, May 2001.
He will be coordinating the team's movements through the Corps'
locks and dams during the 2003 event.
Kenton is a native of Minnesota. He met Clark
Eid (paddler) while studying for his Civil Engineering degree
at the University of Minnesota (where they were roommates).
is a volunteer researcher for The International Group For Historic
Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). TIGHAR expeditions have taken him
to New Foundland in search of the French aircraft "The White
Bird" and to Fiji, Nikumaroro, Funafuti, Palmyra and Kanton
Islands in the South Pacific in search of Amelia Earhart's airplane.
He recently co-authored a book on Amelia Earhart titled "Amelia
Earhart's Shoes: Is the Mystery Solved?".
Webmaster - Mary Potter
The Eid family at the headwaters of the Mississippi
River during a summer vacation, July, 1998. Left to right, Clark
Eid, Noah Eid (then 3), Amanda Eid (then 7) sitting in the chair,
Mary Potter, standing behind Amanda.
Potter - Mary serves as the main webmaster for this website and
serves as one of many "off river" coordinators during
has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota,
Institute of Technology. She helped her husband, Clark Eid, coordinate
the Great Mississippi River
Race for Rett Syndrome, May 2001, and serves as webmaster
for that website as well.
is active in the special needs community. She is a founding board
member of the CT Parent Resource Library, a board member of FORConn,
and runs a grass roots support group for special needs family
in her home town of Cheshire, CT. Mary is also happy to talk with
anyone about Rett syndrome with anyone and is happy to talk with
"new" parents just starting out in the special needs
and her husband, Clark Eid, have two children, Amanda (10) and
Noah (6). Amanda has Rett syndrome.
also reminds Kenton Spading (above) that he knew her in college
as well as one of Clark's many girlfriends.
Website - Written Updates - Dana Hanson
Hanson - Dana will be writing daily updates from Captain Stan
Hanson and the team and serves as one of many "off river"
coordinators during the race.
Dana, at the Big 5-Oh, hails to be the other (but not necessarily
better) half of Stan Hanson, Road Crew Captain for this event
(see above). His bio above says it all. Almost....
He neglected to say (sin of all sins) that we have three
wonderful granddaughters -- Hayden (Jan 1997) and twins Cameron
& Devon (Nov 1999) -- who only add to the joy in our lives.
They live west of St. Louis, a little too far to see them weekly,
but close enough to see them on truly important days -- like when
Disney on Ice or the Circus comes to town or when the sun rises!
one bad experience at canoeing in my pre-marriage days, I vowed
never to paddle again. But after a few years of marriage,
Stan exposed me to the fun that can be had while paddling
(such as fishing from a canoe, and the joy of releasing my hook
from a tree, then a net, and finally my backpack). And of
course, there is always the necessity of getting from one
campsite to another. As a result, being on the water
finally appealed to me. Admittedly, I prefer to stay in
one location for a period of time & take day trips.
Guess that's why I'm not a Mississippi Challenge paddler and why
I didn't join them on the Yukon River last summer. Our dachshunds,
at 35 pounds and with their low center of gravity, make for excellent
canoe dogs. But they love to chase the squirrels and chipmunks
once we go ashore. My love for canoeing only got greater
when we obtained our SeaWinds. Thank you, Verlen, for introducing
us to these magnificent vessels. The freedom to paddle efficiently
on your own is exhilarating!
The other passion in our lives is golf. I keep telling Stan
that he should go on tour (Senior Tour, of course), but I just
enjoy being with him on the course. Good thing he's patient
with me, because my goal is to break 90. I've come close,
but haven't quite reached that magical number yet.
Our Expedition makes our lives complete. With our SeaWinds
on top, our golf clubs in the back, and our dogs trying to
climb into the front seat with us, we're ready to go
anywhere! Things could be better only if we could carry
our clubs in our SeaWinds (the dogs already fit)! We'll
have to ask Verlen to come up with a design variation to allow
I feel privileged to be part of this endeavor, even though I won't be
with the road crew like I was two years ago. I'll just have
to Stan convey for me -- "We Love You Bob & Clark!"
Now won't that sound grand!
will update us with daily "news" via email to everyone
interested in daily written updates during the event. These updates
will be added to our website.
- Written Updates
Assistance During the Event
Dimse, of findu.com, and
Andrew Gribble spearheaded an effort prior to the race that resulted
in live, real time mapping and positioning information of the paddlers
location to show online during the event itself. Mapblast provided the
maps, Clark Eid (ham operator and paddler) purchased the APRS system
needed to interface with findu.com, and Stan Hanson (Road crew captain)
provided the GPS unit.
assistance during the event is also provided by the folks at blogger.com,
for their nifty tool that will allow several team members to send live
reports directly to the webpage during the event itself. Special thanks
to all the folks who joined our blogger.
folks will be sending pictures of the event as it unfolds, we'll try
to get some shots online during the event from Race Pictures. Many thanks
in advance to the folks who will be sending us pictures.....
and Clark Eid provide the website and website updates as a public service
to spread awareness of this race, Rett Syndrome, and genetic disorders
that are considered Leukodystrophies.