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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) – A canoe race on the longest Missouri River – the longest in the United States — ended in St. Charles this week.

The MR340 kicked off in Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday.  340 miles and almost two days later, the first competitors crossed the finish line at the Lewis and Clark Nature Center.

Athletes came from as far away as Denmark, but we spoke with Joe Zellner from Minnesota.  We asked him how he felt now that he finished is second MR340.

”I wanna go home and die,” he said, trying to smile.  “I’m sore.  I’m tired.  That’s what it is.”

But just before 5:30 Thursday morning, Zellner finished first in the solo division.  He has bragging rights, but hundreds other had an opportunity to raise money for the Nature Center, the Healthy Rivers Partnership and Missouri River Relief.  The organizations seek to remind others of the importance of the Missouri River as a source of drinking water.

The heat was an issue for some athletes.  Despite several water and food stations along the route, some dropped out.

The race was sponsored by the Missouri American Water Company.

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