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      Missouri River Race passes by Jefferson City

      It's called a "Dragon Boat." Nearly two dozen people man the paddles.

      "We've got three guys from Florida, at least one from Texas, several from Kansas City, St. Louis area, Springfield, Branson, Dragon Boat Crew Chief Maria Crusius said.

      This team came together to raise money for the Shriner's Children's Hospital in St. Louis.

      The 5th Annual Missouri River 340 passed by Jefferson City Wednesday morning. The race features all kinds of boats and all kinds of people with all kinds of motivation.

      "One of the crew members on the boat received treatment from Shriner TMs as a child, Crusius said.

      Hundreds of race teams left Kansas City Tuesday, bound for St. Charles, in what is billed as the world's longest non-stop river race. The event was delayed a month by high water and fast currents. The winners could finish as early as Wednesday.

      Those just in it for the float trip will slide in sometime on Friday.

      Kevin Schwartz, a student, is part of a two-man crew from Jefferson City called the "Aquaholics." They command a high-tech, hybrid canoe-slash- kayak. It's their third year in the race.

      The competitors battle both fatigue and the elements.

      "Yesterday, it got really windy on us, really slowed us down, Schwartz said. But today, the conditions have been good. Last night it got a little cold but.

      Under the rules, the teams have 88 hours to complete the course.

      They have to stop at nine checkpoints and each checkpoint must be reached within a certain amount of time. Any competitor who misses the deadline for two consecutive checkpoints is disqualified. Last year, two thirds of the race teams were able to complete the course in the allotted time.

      Schwartz said it's important to remember to eat and drink regularly in the boat, to protect against fatigue and dehydration.

      At the Noren Landing in Jefferson City Wednesday, Schwartz said they were about twelve hours of paddling from the finish line.