All packed and gabbing lunch the day before the race.

Now that we are in August, it is time to carry out my plan to race in the Missouri American Water MR340, the longest continuous canoe and kayak race in the world. I have continued to focus on my preparation for the event, especially since I am intending to be competitive and strive to finish at the top of the pack. I have taken up running to build my initial cardio kick at the beginning of the race and am working to get that half-marathon endurance established. In my previous race I had a very slow start for the first few hours and spent the rest of the race pushing to catch up. I finished in 9th place in the men’s solo division which was comprised of 250 participants. During that race, as in the upcoming one, I set the goal to “Paddle for a Cause” in support of Lydia’s House. My support team will be chasing me down the river sporting signage for Lydia’s House on their truck. My boat will have signage on it as well. I will be sharing the word of my efforts through my company’s newsletter, The HTA Post. The Greater St. Louis Medical Group Manager Association is sharing the story through their newsletter as well as choosing Lydia’s House to be the charity of the year for us to support.

So what does Lydia’s House do?

Lydia's House works in faith to end domestic violence by being a place of healing and a voice of hope for abused women and their children. We all know someone, and likely many people, who have been abused and victimized by someone that was supposed to be a trusted partner or family member. Lydia’s House helps victims get back on their feet by providing safe places to heal and stabilize, allowing them and their children to discover the comfort of a peaceful home.

It is very likely you know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence as there are a staggering number of persons afflicted. I have close friends who as children were victimized by their parents or other relatives. I have close friends who have been victimized by their spouses and have had their children weaponized against them when other domestic abuse failed. I have seen how this trauma impacts children, families, and people’s lives and the least I can do is raise awareness and donations to help others who need to find a safe place to collect themselves and get away from the cycle of abuse.

Any size donation will go through the “Paddle for a Cause” fund I setup on our GoFundMe page to. The funds go directly into the Lydia’s House PayPal to make a difference in a family’s life today. No funds will be used to support any of my efforts to raise awareness, I am self-funding 100% of the race to maximize the total impact for Lydia’s House.

Here is the link for the GoFundMe page:

If you would like to follow my progress during the race, here is a link for more information about tracking racers:

Thank you in advance for any donation you wish to make to support the efforts of Lydia’s House and to help support victims of domestic violence!