Making Magic At The LandRun 100 - A Photo Essay

A brief moment of self-indulgence por favor.

There was a time in my life when I was an actual photographer, meaning that is what I was paid to do on a daily basis. My camera was with me all the time and for some years it almost felt like an extension of myself. It became part of me. Exposure adjustments were made without looking at the knobs because my fingers knew where they were and what small motion was necessary. I could change a roll of film in a few seconds flat on a moments notice. I looked at the world with different eyes. The camera just felt right in my hands. I don’t play a musical instrument but I can imagine what it must be like from those days in my photography career.

When I stopped playing my instrument the images I created stopped carrying much of a tune. I suppose that is to be expected.

You may never forget how to ride a bike once you learn, but that doesn’t mean you’ll stay fit or fast if you stop riding, right?

I bring this up because magic can still happen and for my camera and I it did this past March at the LandRun 100 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The LandRun is put on by Bobby and Crystal Wintle, the owners of District Bicycles, and their fine group of staff, friends, and community members. They pour out the passion and that passion creates magic.

The magic of riders and runners challenging themselves to reach for big, sometimes very intimidating goals. The magic of not giving up, but instead digging deep, conquering or even just surviving. The magic of sharing themselves in that moment and then celebrating the others all around them.

All of that is powerful magic, and the world can certainly use more of it. My thanks to Bobby and Crystal and all who took part or helped them with this year’s LandRun 100. I hope you enjoy these images because it was a magical day for me as well. On with the show...

Bobby, Crystal, and kids...

A cannon blast sent the riders on their way out of downtown Stillwater...

15 miles later on the red clay roads of Oklahoma...

23 miles in...

Nothing is heavier than self-doubt...

The first three winners...with hundreds of other winners to come in the hours to come...​

Ode to cantilevers and magic gear singlespeed conversions...

The real magic happens at the finish line...

A nine-year-old's struggle. A hero's welcome. A father's pride...

Making sense of it all...

Graceful accomplishment...

Shared celebration...




That is the LandRun 100...


This post filed under topics: Cutthroat Fargo 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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Jim C | May 9th, 2016

Beautifully done, Kid.  Thanks for sharing.

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Chris Peters | May 9th, 2016

Thank you for being out there with us. We are all learning that it can be more than just a bicycle race. More and more people are getting what it means to unlearnpavement in the abstract. Land Run is a time to test your mind body AND heart. Your photos make it clear that the heart is what takes you to the finish where it will be filled.

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Jason Falk | May 9th, 2016

Beautiful pictures, loved them. But I guaranty the reason my buddy Mike in the pic #5 is walking his bike has nothing to do with self-doubt.

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Mfrazier | May 9th, 2016

Thanks for the pictures, but there’s no doubt to that… thats Git’n Shit Done!

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Josh Combs | May 9th, 2016


Somewhere between mile 20 and 25, looking much like the gentlemen in picture number 5, you asked me if I was having fun.  I answered truthfully with “no”.  After much reflection I stand by my answer.  It doesn’t mean I was not grateful to be in that moment, nor am I dissatisfied with my decision to participate.  That moment was one of many that day in which I experience all the emotions I feel I am capable of.  I will be back next year with different preparation, equipment, and most importantly perspective.  I can almost assuredly say there will many more moments in life where I am not having fun, but much like life, cycling is more than fun.  See you next year.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | May 10th, 2016

Jason Falk - And I guarantee that if your buddy Mike finished he defeated at least one portion of self-doubt in the process…

Josh Combs - Well said!

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Brian McGloin | May 10th, 2016

Great pictures and writeup.

I have a camera with me 24/7 and can also recall a time of full-time photography employment.

The ride looks like a lot of fun, or maybe “fun.” That mud looks brutal, but at least it doesn’t have pebbles in it like here in Austin. Coming from the northeast, I had no idea mud could dry to be like concrete (or ceeeeeeeeement, as they say here) and one is doomed if the mud isn’t removed before it dries.

It’s great when events like this—not plastered with advertising and big-time paid pros—are covered with this level of professionalism.

That photo with the guy and the very muddy fatbike, carrying the wheel: what happened? That looks like one of those situations where one is allowed to cry a little.

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Jason | May 11th, 2016

Awesome stuff! Inspires me to go ride my bike AND take more photos. Well done.

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Bobby Wintle | May 11th, 2016

I keep coming back, again and again, to stare at these moments. Thank you again Kid. It’s so so so great.

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Logan | May 11th, 2016

Man, awesome shots, Mike!

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Jonathan Houck | May 11th, 2016

Well done in both words and images.

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Dedy | June 17th, 2016

Very nice photowork….. Keep going

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Steve | January 5th, 2017

Some great photography there. Great emotions in those closeup face shots

No avatar image | February 9th, 2017

You actually make it seem really easy together with your
presentation but I in finding this topic to be really one thing that I feel I’d by no means understand.
It sort of feels too complicated and very extensive for me.
I’m looking forward in your next post, I will try to get the cling
of it!

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