Canoeists and kayakers in about 450 boats turned the Missouri River into a floating traffic jam Tuesday morning as the Missouri American Water MR340 got underway at Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kan.
This is the 12th year for the race, which is the longest nonstop river race in the world. The race travels 340 miles down the Missouri River from Kaw Point to St. Charles, Mo.
Competitors have 88 hours to complete the race, but the front-runners will complete it in less than half that time. There are checkpoints along the way where paddlers are required to reach by a certain time. Failure to make two consecutive deadlines is grounds for disqualification.
About two-thirds of the teams finished the endurance race last year.