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MN Father-Daughter Duo Part Of Fastest Team To Row Entire Mississippi River

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A leisurely paddle along the Mississippi River is a great way to spend a few hours. But what a foursome in one canoe just accomplished is anything but relaxing, Mike Augustyniak reports (2:43). WCCO 4 News At 6 - May 19, 2021

Video Transcript

- A leisurely pad along the Mississippi River is a great way to spend a few hours, but what a foursome in one canoe just accomplished is anything but relaxing.

- They just set the Guinness World record for the fastest time to row the length of the Mississippi in 17 days and 20 hours. As Mike Augustyniak reports, two of the new record holders are a father daughter duo from Wayzata.

KJ MILLHONE: You know when I was 22 and did this originally, it changed me.

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: A love for the mighty Mississippi crosses generations in much the same way it crosses state lines, especially in the Millhone family. Almost 40 years ago, dad KJ set his first Guinness World Record as part of the fastest team to row the length of the river. Talk of a new attempt began in 2019, and quickly became a family affair.

KJ MILLHONE: When Casey turned to me at that dinner table and said, well if you're going to do this, I want to do it, I was on board immediately.

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: For the Millhones and their teammates, recognized paddlers Bobby Johnson Rod Price, the payoff comes not from a line in a book, but from the experience.

KJ MILLHONE: To have a world record, you realize they're not worth anything.

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: Why do you say that?

KJ MILLHONE: There's enormous value to the skills, and the knowledge, and the persistence, and the strength, and the everything that you learn in the pursuit of those things.

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: Starting at Lake Itasca, the team paddled in nine hour shifts around the clock for 17 days.

CASEY MILLHONE: You wake up from your three hours, three hours of sleep, and then you're pretty good for that three hours. You're like, you're the pin point person in the boat, you have the most energy. The next three hour shift, you're like OK, I still have some energy. And then the three hours before you go to sleep, you're just like trying to just like tape your eyes open.

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: Even knowing the trip ended successfully, the stories are still harrowing.

KJ MILLHONE: It was a meteorological nightmare.

KJ MILLHONE: The second night then we had like a complete blizzard, and we had a tornado warning one ti-- one day, where like a tornado jumped the Mississippi.

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: All stayed safe, with the exception of a few bruises.

KJ MILLHONE: All of us at one time or another were hit broadsided by Asian Carp jumping in the river.

CASEY MILLHONE: You'd put your paddle in the water, and one paddle stroke would be completely fine and then the next one would feel like you were hitting a rock. You're just hitting like fish.

MIKE AUGUSTYNIAK: Mike Augustyniak WCCO Four news.

- What a trip.

- Yeah, no kidding.

- Congratulations.

- KJ also became the oldest person to have completed the estimated 2,350 mile journey, and Casey is now the youngest female to do so.

- Yay. Well, you can learn more about their trip in their efforts to keep waterways clean, safe, and healthy at wcco.com/links.