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Missouri woman kayaks Mississippi River in record time

July 12 (UPI) -- A Missouri woman who started kayaking the Mississippi River in May broke a Guinness World Record when she completed her journey 45 days, 8 hours and 17 minutes later.

Traci Lynn Martin, a Kansas City nurse nicknamed the "Mississippi Mermaid," started her trip May 17 at Lake Itasca in Minnesota and paddled down the Mississippi River until she arrived at the Head of Passes in Louisiana.

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Martin's support team chronicled her journey on the JustAroundThePointe Facebook page.

She said the obstacles she faced during the trip included beaver dams, ships on the river and numerous bug bites.

Martin, who has two autoimmune diseases, said she wanted to inspire others with her journey.

"I hope people never give up, if you can dream it you can do it. Life is short, don't sit at home in despair. If you have chronic pain you are going to hurt regardless so you might as well do what you love," Martin told WGNO-TV.

Martin said she is now gathering the required documentation to have her trip officially recognized as a Guinness World Record.

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