Jefferson City will see a steady stream of boaters on the Missouri River next week as the 13th annual Missouri American Water MR340 takes place.
Organizers said some 600 paddlers will compete in the endurance race that travels 340 miles across the state.
Competitors will start Tuesday morning in Kansas City and finish in St. Charles. They have until Friday to complete the race.
The race leaders will start entering Jefferson City on Wednesday morning, checking in at the Noren River Access.
Participants are allowed exactly 88 hours to complete the course. There are nine checkpoints along the route, where paddlers are required to sign in and sign out.
Although the current is about 2-3 mph and there are no rapids, MR340 organizers said there are plenty of hazards for participants — the biggest being motorboats, fishermen and occasional towboat pushing barges. They also have to deal with wing dikes, buoys and bridge pilings.
Thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard, the river is marked over the entire course with mileage and channel markers, which should allow racers the ability to know their exact location within a mile or less.
The latest forecast shows the Missouri River will be at about 14 feet when racers arrive in Mid-Missouri.
The MR340 has been listed as one National Geographic's Top 100 American Adventures. Race proceeds benefit three environmental stewardship and education organizations: Missouri River Relief, the Healthy Rivers Partnership, and the Lewis and Clark Nature Center and Boathouse.