A record 620 paddlers have registered to compete in the Missouri American Water Missouri River 340 (MR340) river race, which kicks off at 7 am July 8.

Racers travel 340 miles across the state from Kansas City, KS to St. Charles, MO to celebrate the importance of the longest river in the U.S. to Missouri’s environment and as a source of drinking water to millions of people. One of National Geographic’s Top 100 American Adventures – the race combines extreme sports and environmental stewardship. Race proceeds benefit three environmental stewardship and education organizations: Missouri River Relief, the Healthy Rivers Partnership and the Lewis and Clark Nature Center and Boathouse.

The fastest paddlers are expected to arrive at the finish line beginning late Wednesday night on July 9.

The event is sponsored by Missouri American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.5 million people.