Competitors have 88 hours to complete the Missouri River course. The race, first held in 2005, typically draws hundreds of canoeists and kayakers. The event record, set by a two-person canoe team in 2018, is 34 hours, 34 minutes.
Team Mississippi, led by Scott Miller, 44, of Minneapolis, will be paddling a 23-foot Wenonah Minnesota IV.
“The MR340 is usually held in July or August and is famous for being hot,” said Miller, right. “This year, however, the forecast looks shockingly mild, with highs in the upper 70s. We will be working hard, however, and expect to be in the bright sun much of the time and still generating plenty of body heat, so we anticipate the vests still being very useful during the sunniest and hottest times of the day.”
Glacier Tek cooling vests are designed to maintain a microclimate of 59 degrees F for up to 2.5 hours in 100 F heat. The cooling packs are powered by PureTemp, a phase change material certified as 100 percent biobased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The packs can be recharged in as little as 20 minutes in ice water. A support crew will supply Team Mississippi with fully charged packs as needed.
About the paddlers:
Rod Price, 60, of Winter Garden, Fla., has won approximately 300 canoe races in his 40 years of competition. He is the only paddler to complete North America's three longest distance races: the 1,200-mile Ultimate Florida Challenge (2012), the Yukon 1000-mile canoe race (2009) and the 750-mile Race to Alaska (2017). In 2019 Rod was selected for the Team USA Senior Dragon Boat Squad that competed in Thailand and won three gold medals. He has written three books about his racing adventures: “Racing to the Yukon” (2009), “Racing Around Florida” (2012) and “Have Paddle Will Travel” (2019).
How he copes with extreme heat: “Constantly hydrates with cold fluids containing electrolytes, wears light clothing and a sun hat and puts on sunscreen several times each day.
Oliver Simes, 27, of Cornucopia, Wis., has spent the last few years as a sea kayak guide in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Paddled the length of the Mississippi River solo in a kayak in 2016.
How he copes with extreme heat: “Keep ice in an insulated bottle. Going for swims.”
Bobby Johnson, 42, of Dunedin, Fla., has been been kayak racing for four years.
How he copes with extreme heat: “Depends on race. Clothing , hats, energy output. I run along shore under trees. Use the water I’m paddling on. Deal with it. Train hard.”
Scott Miller, 44, Minneapolis, Minn. In 2005, he paddled over 2,000 miles from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay (where the polar bears live), to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the trip taken by Eric Sevareid and Walter Port in 1930.
How he copes with extreme heat: “Dip hat or headband in water, hydrate before, during and after paddling, wear body-covering clothing to protect skin from the sun.”
About Glacier Tek
Glacier Tek LLC of Minneapolis, Minn., has been making high-tech garments that help defend the wearer from heat stress in extreme environments for more than 20 years. Glacier Tek’s first product, the Original Cool Vest, was among the earliest completely self-contained body cooling vests on the market. Our satisfied repeat customers include Dow Chemical, General Electric, General Mills, Kaiser Permanente and the FBI.
Glacier Tek cooling vests feature PureTemp phase change material, a biobased technology designed to absorb heat generated by the wearer. Glacier Tek vests maintain a comfortable 59 degrees for up to 2.5 hours, even in the most extreme heat, and never over-cool. Our vests offer better safety and cooling duration than that of evaporative, ice or gel-cooled vests.
Each Glacier Tek vest includes a set of cooling packs powered by PureTemp, a safe and effective biobased material. All Glacier Tek cooling packs have earned the USDA Certified BioPreferred® label, verification that the amount of renewable biobased material in the product meets or exceeds levels set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.