Join Date: Jul 2012
Bikes: Trek 8.3 DS, Trek Ion CX
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Here is some info for specific questions people asked.
Course: The event is the Dirty Kanza 200 (DK) and in the past they offered a double century and 2 "fun rides". The two fun rides are 20 and 50 mile corses. This is the first year that they had a 100 mile course that they called the half pint. The Double century is still the main event and they did not have podium for the 100. The course was 110 miles long through the flint hills of Kansas. It started and ended in my home town of Emporia. For the record we (Kansas) may not have mountains but the state is not flat. I had 4544 ft of climbing. Luckily the gravel was good. There were very few sections that had new rock on them so most of the day was not too bad.
The mud was not too bad. We had about a quater mile of hike-a-bike on a minimum maintenance road with 8in deep ruts. A few small water crossing. If I remember I will upload a picture of my bike post race.
Nutriton: As the DK is self supported I needed to plan to have enough food and drink with me for each leg. The first leg was 60 miles and the second 50. I had 100 oz of GU Roctane Grape, 45 oz of plain water and a variety of chomps and gels. The roctane was my foundation and the other was there in case I started to hate the roctane which didn't really happen. I did have some "sour stomach" about 4 hours in and had to try to get that sorted out. Flushed it out with some plain water and some goofy vegan snacks a friend gave me at the sag. I don't think that anything about those snacks being "natural" or whatever was what saved me I think it was that it was different. I had tried them before and liked them. So that was good.
What I learned: DON'T BE MESSING WITH YOUR SADDLE POSITION THE DAY BEFORE THE RACE. This foolishness on my part caused 2 problems. 1st I did not properly tighten the saddle back up and it came loose before we even got out of town. 2nd and this is the biggie, my saddle was a touch too high. About 4 hours in my right hip started screaming at me. I slowed down and just focused on getting to the checkpoint. Which was 60 miles in. The DK is self supported so the only time your support people can be on the course is if you are quitting or at the check point. I was ready to quit when I was getting close to the checkpoint, but I told myself to give the hip a chance to rest, lower the saddle and try. Spent longer at the SAG than I had planned (planned 15-20 minuets stayed 35). After I got going again it was sore for awhile and then calmed down about the time we started going with the wind rather than against it. OH MAN THE WIND 20mph + headwind most of the day.
Sore After: My hip for the even after and most of the next day (see what I learned for more info on the hip). Muscle Soreness from my neck to my calves. A gravel century is a good full body workout! If you can I highly recommend it.
Next Goal: Not sure, I did hire a coach to help me prepare for this as I had never trained for any thing like this before ( I was the chunky kid in highschool that stayed inside and did not do any sports). I think I will keep the training going and look for some more gravel rides. Maybe next year I will attempt the DK 200.