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DIRTY KANZA 2015 – Emporia, Kansas

Last year I wrote about the Dirty Kanza 200/100 gravel road race – the country’s premier gravel road event – and I included some photos of the event in the Flint Hills of SE Kansas. It was a highlight of my season, and this year I was eager to bag one of the 1500 entries for this year’s race. I was again signing up for the “Half Pint” 100 mile version – just not confident enough in my training program to be able to bite off all 200 miles. The race sold out in less than 48 hours after registration opened in early January, but I bagged an entry and was now committed. Commence training.

You probably read recently about the devastating floods in Texas and Oklahoma at the end of May. Well, the Flint Hills are in southeast Kansas, just north of Tulsa. Leading up to the May 30 race date, it was wet and flooding in the Flint Hills, and many roads around the host town of Emporia were closed – especially the gravel, backcountry roads. But the organizers kept peppering us the week before with communications telling us to quit worrying. Floodwaters were receding, and, in any event, they had contingency plans.

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