Dirty Kanza 200: Through My Lens - The Emotions

The finish line of the Dirty Kanza is perhaps the most emotional one I’ve ever witnessed. The town celebrates ever finisher regardless of what place they in or how long they were on course. Riders from Kansas may get an extra hurrah, but the loudest cheers of all are reserved for the riders from Emporia itself.

At the racer’s meeting the night before the event, one of the slides on screen said “It Changes You”. Make no mistake about it, for many riders it truly does. 

Here are some of my photos from this year’s finish line.

Dirty Kanza promoter Jim Cummins welcomes a rider back to Emporia...

A finish line where finishing next to someone may matter more than finishing in front of them...

...where a smile isn't a good way to figure out who finished first...

...and accomplishment sets in...

...and where some celebrate finishing with a surprise wedding proposal at the line!

...and others just need a moment to themselves to soak it all in...

My sincere thanks to the Dirty Kanza promoters, the volunteers, all of the racers and their families, the town of Emporia, and all the other sponsors for helping to make these moments, and these images, happen.

This post filed under topics: Dirty Kanza 200 Fargo Gravel Kid Ultra Racing Vaya Warbird

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Mike Riemer

Mike Riemer

I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.


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Derek Wilson | June 11th, 2014

One of the greatest accomplishments of my life. Thank you for including me in your post-race coverage (last photo above). Couldn’t have done it without my Warbird 3, what a great gravel machine.

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Eric | June 11th, 2014

Best post ever. I love that race, will be on the bike for it next year again. You captured it’s essence in these images.

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Marty Johnson | June 11th, 2014

It’s great seeing the early finishers, but the best stories are the ones of regular people doing dk.  People that never thought they could do something like this.  Maybe never had confidence in themselves to start let alone finish 100 or 200 miles on a bike, in the flint hills.  we’ll all remember and cherish crossing the finish line for the rest of our lives.

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Matthew | June 11th, 2014

Thanks Kid. I’ll post the video I shot coming down the chute with your smiling face at the end

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Steve Harmon | June 11th, 2014

Wow-  your photos captured how awesome an event it is at the finish line for all who ride, SAG and wait…  Thank you Salsa for coming to our community and we hope to see all of you again next year.

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Steve Cannon | June 11th, 2014

Here’s an invite to what will become another great grinder weekend.
400k 24 Hour time limit. http://www.24hoursofcumming.com

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GregY | June 11th, 2014

That’s a great read and great photos.  Everyone I saw come across the finish line either smiled or cried or both.  Emotions were running faster and stronger then the pedals.  I think once you race on gravel and especially the DK, you are changed for ever.  I think about the sound of gravel and the smell of the Flint Hills everyday.
Carpe viam Sabulum

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Jim C | June 14th, 2014

Kid, thanks for capturing… and for sharing… these images.  And thanks for all your support of Dirty Kanza.  Salsa Rocks!!!

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Pat Irwin | June 18th, 2014

Thanks Kid for posting this. I guess Kathy and I will just have to add it back to our bucket list!

These pics really capture it!

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Editha | November 24th, 2014

Hey! Very cool that you’re going to be at DK! I have a couple fendirs who are doing the 100-mile version neither of them are named Jessica, though. :) In my experience (from the far back of the pack), the full race is as competitive or non-competitive as you want it to be. While there are certainly people there RACING, they’re up near the front.  I’d imagine the 100 mile race to be the same.It’s coming soon good luck and maybe I’ll see you there. :)

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Lucas | February 22nd, 2015

Way to push yourself to the litims.  Congrats on getting as far as you did.  I’ve experienced the feeling of DNF, and it sucks.  But that’s the game of endurance racing.  Some days are good and others bad.  You made the right call.  Major props Rafal!

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