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Attempt to canoe the length of the Mississippi River ends in Iowa for Minnesota man and his friends

They were in pursuit of the world record in honor of their friend.

A Minnesota man's mission to break the world record for fastest canoe trip down the Mississippi River has come to an end. 

Kirk Millhone of Minnetonka and his friends Kevin Eckelkamp and Nate Lastinger departed from Lake Itasca at the mouth of the Mississippi on May 9, and on Friday their pursuit of reaching the Gulf of Mexico in 14 days ended in Guttenberg, Iowa. 

The problem they ran into was exhaustion, mainly because they were down to two men after Lastinger had to leave Wednesday because of a family emergency.

"Kevin is up for it," said Millhone in a Facebook post Friday night. "I'm not as young as I used to be. So our expedition is coming to a close. It's been an extraordinary time."

"Sadly, I just can't do it anymore." 

Even though their pursuit of the record is over, they still plan to canoe the entire length of the Mississippi in honor of Steve Eckelkamp, a friend to the group who set the record with Millhone in 1980 by trekking the river in 35 days, according to the Pioneer Press

Eckelkamp died of a heart attack last June. 

"The record may be over, but the adventure continues!" the group posted to Facebook. "Though the original team cannot continue as they had hoped, Kevin’s heart is still determined to follow the river. His dad (Steve’s brother) Ken is leaving the support crew and hopping in the canoe. They will paddle at a much less aggressive pace, and with all safety in mind, come off the river to sleep, but they both want to go for as long as possible to honor the memory of Steve."

You can track their progress down the river right here

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