Tracy Lynn Martin

A photo posted on JustAroundThePointe's Facebook page shows Traci Lynn Martin passing Dubuque Saturday. 

CLINTON — Last fall Erich Mische motored down the Mississippi with a makeshift raft to raise support for the charity Spare Key. In May of this year, four canoeist broke the Guinness world record for fastest time paddling down the length of the Mississippi, and another team of four lost its battle with the river just shy of the end of its journey while on pace to break the new record.

Now it's Traci Lynn Martin's turn.

On May 17, Martin entered the Mississippi River alone in a kayak in an attempt to break the record for fastest time down the river by a single paddler. Her goal: 45 days.

Martin hopes to paddle 60 miles a day, according to her Facebook page, JustAroundThePointe. She hit 59 miles Saturday and locked through Lock 12 at Bellevue before stopping for the night.

Martin is on her way to Lock and Dam 13 in Fulton today.

Martin is an expedition kayaker who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2010.  In 2017, she became the first known person in history to circumnavigate the three largest lakes in North America—Lakes Michigan, Superior and Huron—in a single calendar year, according to

Despite painful rheumatoid arthritis, the Missouri native, in her early 50s,  attempted to circumnavigate all five great lakes in the same year during 2020.

A nurse by trade, Martin encourages people not to let suffering—even from a chronic illness—keep them from living their lives and doing the things they love, according to a 2020 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article.

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