Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Competitors in Missouri’s MR 340 have a reputation for being a friendly bunch, but not all of them were welcoming when they heard the rumor that a standup paddler was going to attempt the world’s longest nonstop river race this year. Before the October 11 start date, that paddler, Shane Perrin, noticed a particularly disparaging comment on the MR 340 forum: “It’s interesting, to say the least, to see folks attracted to a craft that is less comfortable, less maneuverable and slower on purpose.”

Instead of being deterred by his fellow racers’ skepticism, 35-year-old Perrin used their barbs as fuel, and became determined to make his mark in this grueling endurance event.

Over the past year, SUP athletes have attempted increasingly long and difficult paddles. Perrin finished the inaugural Kawnivore 100 (held on the Kansas River, aka The Kaw) in just 23:58 and last month, Jan Brabant, 62, became the first SUP racer to finish the Adironack Canoe Classic. Further afield, SUP magazine contributor Shelby Stanger and her team just paddled the Peruvian Amazon.

Contrary to expectations, Perrin not only finished the MR 340, but also came 31st out of 116—beating many of the canoeists and kayakers who had doubted his prowess and choice of craft. I caught up with Perrin after the race to ask him about this experience and the growth of SUP river racing in the Midwest.

Click here to read the full Q&A with Shane on the Standup Paddler website

No comments:

Post a Comment