Last summer, Steve tragically died of a massive heart attack. At his funeral, KJ spoke of their adventures together - Setting a world record on the Mississippi, trying to set a world record kayaking the Amazon, and kayaking up the western coast of Canada to Alaska. Kevin became inspired to reclaim the record for his uncle, Steve.
KJ, now almost 60 (center below), is teaming up with Steve’s nephew, Kevin Eckelkamp (left below), and Nate Lastinger (right below) to try to cut their old record in half! The current record is 18 days, 4 hours and 51 minutes.
During preparations, KJ shared a secret plan that he and Steve had drafted where they thought it could be done in 14 days! It involves 3 paddlers, 2 paddling at all times and third sleeping in the middle. Once the folks at Guinness approved the plan, Kevin and Nate invited KJ to join the team as a paddler. “Steve was my best friend. When Kevin and Nate invited me to be a part of their team, it reminded me of what it felt like to be on a quest with him again. I am beyond thrilled!,” KJ said.
They will paddle around the clock from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico starting as soon as the ice is out. Their goal is to average 160 miles a day. That means each of them will take over 1.5 million strokes in two weeks. Their success will sit on the shoulders of a support crew both on land and in the water that will be working as hard as the paddlers. There will a boat on the water 24/7 and an RV on land getting supplies, coordinating communication, gathering documentation for Guinness and shuttling food and supplies. The support crew will be working around the clock and sleeping in shifts. Please, be a part of setting a new world record with us!
- Derek Chin
- Jason Elles
- Kevin Brooks
- Dakota Crow
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