Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Jeremy rides in the Dirty Kanza

Starting Line
The Dirty Kanza was an event that started in Emporia, Kansas back in 2006 with 34 participants and has grown to over 2,200 riders in 2017. The main event consists of a 200-mile bike ride through the gravel roads of the Flint Hills. The Dirty Kanza also offers a 100-mile course.

In 2016, Jeremy Rusco decided he wanted to participate in the 100-mile event and after many months of training he was able to successfully complete the event. Fast forward to 2017 and Jeremy decided he needed to conquer the gravel roads again and this time, he wanted to bring along his wife, Wendy.

We ask Jeremy a few questions about his 2017 Dirty Kanza experience.

Why was this something you wanted to do?

When people think of Emporia, disc golf and biking come to mind for many. We host the largest disc golf event in the world, the Glass Blown Open, and we host one of the largest and best gravel bike races, the Dirty Kanza. I guess you could say that I want to be involved with what is important in our community and also hopefully learn a thing or two from the event and incorporate that into our disc golf events. On a more personal level, I am always looking for a challenge, and this is quite a challenge that gives me something to train for and stay more active and healthy.

How did you train for it?

Wendy and I spend about an hour or so each day going to the gym, so we are somewhat physically fit anyway. To train for the race, we just added some saddle time on our bikes, but it certainly could have been more. The furthest that we rode prior to the race in one setting was 62 miles and a dozen rides in the 30-45 mile range. We probably should have done more, but life is busy and the spring rains in Emporia made for a lot of challenges to getting on the gravel.

Did you ever feel yourself giving up at any time during the 100 miles?

Halfway Check Point
Nope, not once! Wendy and I had our mind on crossing the finish line together, and the only thing that was going to get in the way of that would have been a mechanical issue. I'll have to admit that I struggled quite a bit last year during the race from mile 60-80 as I was cramping like crazy and was wondering at times what I was doing.

How did it feel accomplishing such a goal?

It feels great to work towards something and actually accomplish that goal! 100 miles on a bike on gravel roads is no easy feat and brings a sense of accomplishment to mind. I have always been a believer in the saying that you can do anything that you put your mind to and I encourage others to find something that they think is slightly out of reach today to accomplish tomorrow. This can be on a personal level or on a business level as there are many goals to accomplish in both.
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