Dirty Kanza is Coming!

Posted on May 17, 2016

Dirty Kanza is coming! Emporia will soon welcome approximately 2,200 bicycle riders to town who will compete in the Dirty Kanza. There are 1,000 riders registered in the signature event, Dirty Kanza 200. The 100-mile DK Half Pint has 600 riders and the 50-mile DK Lite has 300 riders. Registration for the 20-mile DK Fun Ride is still open. On top of all these numbers, event sponsors will also have riders who will be participating. Forty-four US states and six foreign countries will be represented!

According to dirtykanza200.com:

“The Dirty Kanza was founded in 2006 by Jim Cummins, with the assistance of fellow cycling enthusiast Joel Dyke. At that time, gravel grinding was just beginning to catch the interest of the endurance cycling community. However, Jim had grown up in the Flint Hills of east central Kansas and had been riding gravel for decades. Inspired by some of the early gravel grinder events… and convinced the Flint Hills had the best gravel to be found anywhere in the world, Jim and Joel decided to create Dirty Kanza 200.”

To say the event has grown is an understatement. Each year the entrant cap is raised and each year the event sells out. In 2013 the field size was more than doubled allowing for 1,000 entrants and 938 riders register. In 2015 the field of 1,500 sold out in 32 hours and 1,600 spots for the 2016 race sold out in 2 hours! Below is a recap of the DK 200 participation history.

DK200 Participation History:

2006 – 34 Entrants… 18 Finishers
2007 – Field capped at 50 entrants. Sold out in four months. 19 Finishers
2008 – Field capped at 75 entrants. Sold out in two months. 42 Finishers
2009 – Field capped at 100 entrants. Sold out in two weeks. 19 Finishers
2010 – Field capped at 200 entrants. Sold out in 14 hours. 65 Finishers
2011 – Field capped at 350 entrants. Sold out in 48 hours. 68 Finishers
2012 – Field capped at 450 entrants. Sold out in 2 ½ hours. 267 Finishers
2013 – Field capped at 1,000 entrants.* 938 registered. 479 Finishers
2014 – Field capped at 1,200 entrants.* Sold out in 13 days. 785 Finishers
2015 – Field capped at 1,500 entrants.* Sold out in 32 hours. 772 Finishers
2016 – Filed capped at 1,600 entrants.* Sold out in 2 hours.

* 2013 saw the addition of the 100-mile DK Half Pint.  Field limits include riders in DK200
and HP100.  These numbers do not include those participating in the DK Lite Fun Ride.

Here are some quick facts provided by Jim Cummins, Executive Director of Dirty Kanza Promotions LLC:

  • Kanza 200 is widely recognized in the ultra-endurance cycling community as the world’s premier “Gravel  Grinder” event.
  • Over the years, Dirty Kanza has drawn riders from every US State, as well as from Australia, Canada,    Finland,  Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Mexico, Nevis, and Norway.
  • The Dirty Kanza 200 weekend has grown to be more than just a bike race.  Activities include the 200-mile  DK200 feature event, the 100-mile DK Half Pint, the DK Lite fun ride, bike parades, live bands, vendor booths,  food and beer vendors, and various activities for the kids.
  • All events start and finish in front of the historic Granada Theatre, in downtown Emporia, Kansas.
  • The course is a 200-mile long single loop through the Flint Hills region of east-central Kansas.  This area is  the  last remaining tract of natural tallgrass prairie in North America.
  • Fastest Finishing Time = 10 hours, 42 minutes by Brian Jensen in 2014.
  • Last Finishers usually come across the line in 22 to 23 hours.
  • Numerous checkpoints are located along the course.  Riders may receive assistance from their personal    support crews at these checkpoints.  Other than that, Riders are completely on their own, and may not receive  any outside assistance.  Riders must navigate the course by using the provided maps and cue sheets.
  • In 2015, Gear Patrol named the DK Half Pint 100-mile route as one of “The 25 Best Road Cycling Routes in  America.”
  • In 2012, Dirty Kanza 200 and Emporia, KS were featured by Velo News in their “2012 Ultimate Ride Guide”,  as one of nine “must do North American cycling destinations.”
  • 2011 saw the creation of the “Dirty Kanza 200 Trading Cards” featuring twenty-five select event participants.    Today, riders will often petition to get their picture on a card for the coming year.  We have even received  requests from collectors in cycling-crazed Europe to purchase sets of trading cards.
  • In 2010, XXC Magazine created a 32-page Special Edition issue on Dirty Kanza 200.
  • In 2010, Dirty Kanza 200 was listed in Bicycling Magazine’s “Top 10 Rides You Must Do.”

Dirty Kanza 200 has been featured in:

Bicycle Times
Bicycling Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine
Dirt Rag Magazine
Fox Sports
Mountain Bike
New York Times
Outside Magazine
Road Bike Action
Road Bike Review
USA Today
XXC Magazine

Dirty Kanza 200 is a single-day gravel road race through the Flint Hills region of east central Kansas. This area is one of only two remaining tracts of natural tallgrass prairie in the entire world. While traveling through the Flint Hills you can enjoy 40 grass species, native stone fences, hundreds of wildflowers, 150 species of birds, barns, bridges, historic towns, breathtaking views, and serenity. The remoteness and ruggedness of this region makes it the perfect setting for an epic bicycling challenge.