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Dirty Kanza 100 Half-Pint - Cycle

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Emporia, Kansas
United States
75F / 24C
Total Time = 7h 39m 48s
Overall Rank = 11/484
Age Group = Males
Age Group Rank = 8/424
Pre-race routine:

Leading into the race I felt reasonably trained, had been hitting the Saturday 2-3 hour ride with a couple quality mid-week trainer sessions for months, so fitness was good but endurance for a 6+ hour race was underdeveloped thus pacing (i.e. early restraint) would be critical.

Also had some last minute nervousness about spares, tools, & nutrition. Installed race tires a couple weeks before the event, rear clearance started good but the tire stretched after a week of inflation and would rub frame a bit under high load so changed out the rear within a week of the race. Also bought a frame bag and switched from camelpack to frame bag (worked out awesome, lotta space for tools, tubes, & my 2L camelpack bladder) and found myself doubting my nutrition plan and number of spare tubes so stopped at local bike shop, again, and bought more last minute tubes, some hammer gels (a proven HIM food for me) and a Cliff bar (a proven all day activity food).

Met up with some friends the evening before in Emporia, caught the riders meeting, had a couple drinks, dinner after a long wait, signed in, headed back to fairgrounds to set up camp.

Camped in tent with kberger at the fairgrounds under the roof of a cattle pen. Didn't put rainfly up since it was hot, we were under a roof, and the weather showed zero chance of rain. Later, during the storm that started at 2:45am, while propping the tent sides against the gail force winds that were generating horizontal rain and small hail, the weather forecast still helpfully showed a zero percent chance of rain. Managed an hour or so of sleep in wet sleeping bag with wet pillow, fortunately it was still warm enough that I didn't get hypothermia. kberger went to his car. The guys who stayed in a hotel room made fun of us.

Ate a bowl of yogurt and a cup of milk for breakfast, willed myself to poop a few times, this took longer than planned and didn't get to the race sight until just as the 200 was starting, this let to a less than stellar starting position for me in the 100, more on that later...

Lubed my chain just prior to leaving camp.

Race Setup:
Front tire: Clement MSO 700cx40, 60 psi, Stan's in the tube
Rear tire: Clement USH 700cx35, 70 psi, Stan's in the tube
Frame bag w/ 2 liter water bladder, a nice Velcro rig for the hose on my stem
Under seat bag
Desoto long sleeve white top
20 oz and 24 oz frame mounted bottles (all that would fit under the frame bag)
3 spare tubes, 4 CO2 bottles, mini tire pump, a patch kit, 2 set of tire levers in different bagsspare wheelset, tires, & tubes at the checkpoint, bike multitool, chopstick for mud, small screwdriver, needlenose pliers, map & compass, turn by turn directions, Garmin 920 with breadcrumb trail

Event warmup:

2 mile ride from campsite to race start.
  • 7h 39m 48s
  • 100.5 miles
  • 13.11 mile/hr

As mentioned above, seeded myself poorly (looking at past results and some names I recognized I thought somewhere near the top 20-30 would be attainable), thus should have arrived earlier or scouted routes into the starting corral near the front. Wasn't too worried as it is a long day and I wanted to avoid the temptation to burn matches by getting caught up in a too-fast group right from the get-go.

Rolled out of town in a semi organized manner, and 1.8 miles in we turned off the pavement into a small lake with a road through it, Strava flyby shows a step loss of 2 minutes to some comparable finishers who started near the front. Fairly soon encountered a rider walking the wrong way on the course carrying his bike, bad day. Picked my way through the water, things cleared up a bit then we encountered the mud. Another step change to 4 minutes down as I slowed to a crawl and waited my turn to tackle this obstacle. The mud road was lined both sides with riders and bikes, mostly broken rear derailleurs but a few flat tires as well. At some point the road changed from wet and muddy to dry and dusty, my lips got caked with dust and could feel it in my lungs.

Spent the next couple hours chasing and catching the riders ahead of me. Caught Otte in the 200 at about mile 20, that meant I made up 1 minute per mile on his 20 minutes head start. He crashed shortly after that, bent his derailleur and sat around until someone helped him fix it. From this point on it was crowded having caught the bulk of the riders from the 200, both 'lanes' on the road were usually taken solid and passing meant waiting for opportunity and usually taking a bit of a risk with rocks up the middle or around the side. Had a couple pretty hard rock hits on the rear sidewall, the kind that make some noise and throw your rear sideways a foot or so, but tough tires and relatively high pressure made it a non-issue.

My drivetrain got real crappy by 30 miles in, finally stopped for a quick chain lube and it was back to buttery. Through the ranch section there were lots of pretty steep descents, generally a small creek crossing with some ruts at the bottom then a climb back up. Looking ahead these areas were marked by piles of water bottles and spare parts just around the creek and then groups of people standing next to broken bikes just past the creeks. I'd watch the lines and results of those ahead of me and throw in a bunny hop where needed, thus no problems here.

There was a large stream crossing around mile 38, only a few miles after I lubed my chain, the stream was filled with walkers but it didn't look that bad, a guy ahead of me tried to ride so I followed his line and road as well. Worked fine until a walker I was overtaking stumbled, went wide and gave me a light shoulder check, enough to need to dab, there was no recovery so now I was walking as well. Gave the drive train a solid dunking to remove any lingering mud then carried my bike up the muddy hill out of the stream.

The 200 split off about mile 43, it suddenly got very lonely. Was a bit confused by my Garmin's breadcrumb trail as I headed into Madison due to it being an out and back into town, overlapping breakcrumb trails kinda look the same, it took me way too long to realize what was going on but I chose lucky at the fork and headed towards town. There were a maybe 6 riders heading out of town as I came in.

Rolled in at 3 hours and a few seconds, felt great, found my support crew, dug the preloaded Tailwind bags from my pack, dumped into bottles, loaded them and my camelpack bladder with water and headed back on course. Also pulled a gel and Cliff bar from my pack and stuck in back pocket. Based on the number of riders I saw in and around the checkpoint I was guessing I might be around 20th place. In first 3 hours I drank a 20 oz and 24 oz bottle, both with 3 scoops of Tailwind, and nearly 2 liters of water.

The second half pretty quickly headed into the wind, which was a steady 10-15mph straight otta the north, after riding into the wind long enough to start to get demoralized we turned East onto a small road, I saw some guys up ahead walking and my tires quickly picked up a layer of mud so thick the front locked up as I was dismounting, no pushing this sucker it was carry only for just shy of 1 mile. During this walk I just threw my arm through the frame so frame bag rested on my shoulder and started marching up and down the hills through the mud, pulled out the Cliff bar and ate half, noticed that being off the bike felt pretty good, almost enough to offset the fact that I was moving at around 3 mph. Tried to push the bike a couple times as my shoulders got tired but decided that the 'MSO' in 'Clement MSO' stands for Mud Sticks Obsessively as the front would lock up with peanut buttery mud laced with glass shard like flint chips and pebbles anytime it touched the ground. Dug out my mud clearing chopstick and went to town on the tires as I walked, switching from 1 shoulder to the other to get front and rear tires and balance the load. Stopped once and peed, with the wind. Actually caught and passed a couple guys during the 1 mile mud walk. Remounted when we turned south again on a slightly larger road with more gravel and made a point of pushing a bit on a descent to centrifugally clear as much mud as possible.

Over the next 10-20 miles there were several more mud fields, most only a few hundred feet long. Stopped once on a hill in the shade for a chain lube and to walk the steep part of the hill. I had noticed that digging in to climb hills caused my back to hurt and threatened leg cramps so repeated the hill walking a few more times. These were the normal quad/hamstring/calf cramps you'd expect plus some new hip flexor/inner thigh muscles that I apparently started using once everything else got tired. I continued generally catching and passing folks through this part of the race, a few passed me back as we yo-yoed back and forth. Thought I might be up near top 10 at this point. I was also out of Tailwind in my water bottles, worried about quantity of water left in the bladder when a dear old Rancher couple was standing at the end of their driveway with a cooler of water bottles and a bottle of WD40. Stopped a drank a bottle, made some chit-chat, squirted some WD40 into the chain and decided that I better get moving again or I might never leave. It was also during this stretch that I started leaning on the advice Paul had given out, "Just keep the pedals spinning and good things will happen."

Mile 80 had another Ranch family at the end of their driveway with water and Gatorade, also a few kites flying in the sky highlighting how freaking windy it was and which direction it was blowing. I re-loaded my 2 empty bottles. There were a few guys who rolled into this impromptu roadside rest stop as I was heading out, I managed to keep them at bay for the next few miles but when they caught me I couldn't even stay on their wheels, 4 guys blocking the wind and I couldn't hang. Fell back, decided to eat one of the Hammer gels, freaking love Montana Huckleberry, and chased it with water. Yum, over the next few miles I caught back up to a couple of the guys I couldn't hang with before and dropped them, started slowing down again as I burned through the Hammer fuel, realized what was going on and slammed another gel caught and passed one more of the guys about 3 miles out from the finish and as the finish neared I could only see empty road ahead and behind me, we were pretty spread out.

Picked my way through town for the last mile, there were some signs out and the Garmin breakcrumb trail continued to work perfectly as we went down a dead end and onto trails and then onto an ESU campus sidewalk. The finish was awesome, straight pavement, tailwind, slightly downhill and 20some mph came easy, gave a few kids high fives as I rode down the finish chute and the block party was already well underway.
What would you do differently?:

Nutrition: went through 200 calories per hour and could have eaten more.

Hydration: 36 oz per hour in the first 3 hours while drinking ahead of thirst to try and finish my water by the checkpoint. 38 oz per hour over the next 4.5 hours, could have drank more but was conserving.

Start near the front of the field, most of the people that finished around me were 5-10 minutes faster into the checkpoint, 5 minutes easily due to early traffic the rest might have been smart pacing on my part.

look for a slightly narrower front tire or something that sheds mud a little better.

A dedicated bike computer, something with turn alert

find a way to carry another bottle or two worth of water

Short aero bars would also be a nice addition, spent a lot of time with forearms on the bar tops trying to duck out of the wind.

Power numbers: ~165W avg with watch running the whole time, roughly 10 minutes of stops plus about 30 minutes of total walking so that is ~180W avg while riding. Depending on the normalization method ranged from 205W 'weighted power' to 215W Normalized Power.

Used a 12-26 cassette & 34x50 compact crank, 28 teeth or even 32 would have been nice, used the 50 x 12 a couple times, didn't need it just grabbed all the gear there was going downhill
Post race
Warm down:

sat in an inflatable recliner for awhile then rode back to my campsite, took a cold hose shower, put on some clean clothes, drove back to the finish line ate some BBQ and a couple beers and cheered on the rest of the race.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

fatigue in the later parts of the race, need to get in at least a couple big training days, either back to back shorter days or a long day in the saddle

Event comments:

Really well done race, a big event for the towns involved with amazing community support. I was also really surprised how good I felt immediately after and the next couple days, not at all like after a HIM and this event took 50% longer, I guess the beating from running really takes a toll. I recall somewhere around mile 80 thinking to myself, "I wonder how long it will be before I consider doing another event like this." After a hot hard HIM it might take a couple weeks or months before I consider redoing the distance to be an attractive idea but I started thinking what it would take to train for the 200 within an hour of finishing.

Last updated: 2016-06-07 12:00 AM
07:39:48 | 100.5 miles | 13.11 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/424
Overall: 0/484
Wind: Strong
Course: Flint Hills gravel and mud. Generally a CCW ovalish loop starting at 12 o'clock, roughly 30 miles North to South. The pre-race riders meeting talked about how fast and concrete like the course was, with all the flint encased below a hard layer of dry clay and some deep hard ruts to look out for. The surprise rain changed things up a bit. The first half involved a lot of amazing private ranch land, huge sky views, long winding narrow roads. But first was the swamp and mud bog just outside of Emporia, say miles 2-8, quickly changed to dry desert climate, then the cool ranches. The second half was mostly gravel roads, a few smaller b-roads that were insanely, unridably muddy, and a very healthy dose of steady 10-15mph headwind.
Road: Rough  Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2016-06-08 12:23 PM

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New user
Overland Park, KS
Subject: Dirty Kanza 100 Half-Pint

2016-06-09 9:12 AM
in reply to: #5185982

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Extreme Veteran
Olathe, KS
Subject: RE: Dirty Kanza 100 Half-Pint

Great race report.  Good equipment and nutrition detail as well - gives me an idea what to think about if I ever tackle this event. However, with all of the mud I couldn't decide if this sounded like a great event or a horrible one. I suppose it's called "dirty" for a reason.

2016-06-11 9:26 AM
in reply to: #5185982

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Subject: RE: Dirty Kanza 100 Half-Pint
Nice report, I love all the details! This must be an addictive race, because I hear people go back year after year.
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