Dirty Kanza 2020 Discussion, Training & Racing (DK200)

It’s that time of year to start training for DK 2020. That is if you haven’t already started! I started in the beginning of September. My main training occurs during the winter months of December, January and February and March I begin mixing in trainer and outdoor rides. I’ll do 50 to 100 km events every weekend in April, then do several 100 mile and at least one 150ish mile event in May. I’ll take a week off before DK and only do really light spins. This has worked well for me the past three years. If you are planning on going get your hotel reservation secured. If you don’t make the drawing then cancel your reservation or try to get in with someone who has to cancel. This will be my 4th year, hopefully!


I just checked and all Emporia hotels are sold out. Guess that shows how popular DK has become. Probably worth getting on waiting lists for the inevitable cancellations from people who don’t get in.

Those have been sold out for months now. People are reserving their hotels and then waiting to see if they get into the event.

Good times #facepalm

Last year I was able to get a room in Emporia in December/January.

Here are a couple of existing Dirty Kanza resources if you’re interested:

Good luck with your preparation!


I’m hoping to make my first appearance at DK this year. I booked a room already just in case. I started ssb mv the first week of November. My full base, build, spec won’t work out without modification since I have surgery next week that will put me off bike for ~2 weeks.
My gravel bike is getting a new drivetrain and brakes in the next few weeks. Hmmm…I may be able to work on that while I’m not supposed to be riding.
In the event that I obtain an entry I’ve already started mapping out gravel routes from my house in lengths from 70-125 miles. I’d also like to get one nearer to 150 just to get outside of my comfort zone a bit further in regards to testing my mental state and equipment/comfort.

looking for suggestions on tire choice. I won’t be any lead pack so I don’t need something considered super fast but obviously a fast-ish tire with good durability and wide-ish (700 x40mm (42+ preferred)) and generally good in most conditions. I will be running tubeless of course. Here is my list so far

Kendra flintridge - size 40 or 45
heavy but reviews all seem to indicate very durable. wondering how the 40s typically measure installed

X’Plor MSO - size 40
seem to get generally good reviews and sound like they’re durable

Terravail cannonball - size 42
decent reviews but are heavy and complaints about ride feel.

I’m leaning towards the X’Plor MSO. 40 is probably the bare minimum size I want.

Other tires I’ve considered.
Specialized Pathfinder Pro
sounds like they’re bad in any mud.

Maxxis ramblers.
I have these in size 40 but they measure small for me. and read complaints about durability.

WTB resolute.
I have these in size 42. They’re okay. But again on this forum and others have read complaints about sidewall durability.

Maxxis Ramblers were great last year,700x40’s. But would recommend the 60tpi version, not 120. You will acrifice some rolling resistance but gain durability.

Would definitely consider the pathfinders, as well. Looks like a fast rolling tread with enough knobs on the edges for cornering / traction.

I’m wondering if the Rambler 45s measure small on my wheels as well. The Rambler 40s measure maybe 38 on my wheels. Yep. I’m definitely looking at 60tpi versions

My opinion on DK tires is to prioritize durability over weight or feel. You will a save a lot more time not flatting than to have a little lighter tire. I used the terravail cannonballs last year (38) and no flats. As for lack of feel, the only thing you are going to feel is tired, beat up and sore!

agree. durability is high on my list. of course, I want a tire that I will still be happy with later. But of course, I have enough tires sitting around for my day to day use that I’m fine with. generally speaking I’ve been lucky and don’t get many flats but DK has that reputation of cutting up tires.

Hi all,

I have my TR training plan all set but was wondering what events you all are doing to prepare for DK200? Everything from races to “personal milestone” type rides (ex: my beau and I are doing a 200 mile road ride next month). Thanks!

I’m planning to do a training camp with friends and go for a century ride and 100km back to back in two days around end April. That would be the main “event” in preparation for the race. Other than that I’ll follow the TR plans during week and try to get as many miles possible outside during weekends.

I just did back to back weekends of 100 mile gravel rides so that’s at least got me on some solid footing for the rest of my lead up to DK. And I’ve done my typical increase in strength training over the winter and that will probably continue leading up to DK. Even though I still use TR for some workouts, my plan comes from my coach so not fully aware of what she has planned other than she has mentioned a longest ride of 8 or 10 hours (she’s leaving it up to me if I want to do 10) and then some back to back sat/sun rides. I just don’t know how many that will be.

Does anyone have a breakdown of what to expect in each different section of the course? Assuming the support point would mark the end of each section.

Trying to plan, for instance, carry a more complete repair kit for the section between aid station 1 and 2 in case that’s a tougher terrain. Or if I should leave more water for the last section. Just trying to think race strategy here.

The course (and number of aid starions) changes every year. They don’t release the course until the week of the race itself, but information re: aid stations and general course info should be available soon (or maybe even now…,haven’t checked).

I wouldn’t make any changes to the gear you plan to carry…flats / mechanicals can happen anywhere.

Last year, I started the race with two large bottles and then picked up new bottles and a hydration pack at the first aid station (mile 65). Pack had all food, powder and additional supplies I would need until the next aid station (other than water).

I looked up on the rider bible and they say there will be two aid stations + 1 water oasis for the 200.

So same set-up as lat year…which is unfortunate. I think having only 2 aid stations in a race that long puts some riders at risk. That was evident, IMO, last year when the temps soared into the 90’s and it looked like the Walking Dead out there.

EF Education First did their own aid station in between the two official aid stations…they gave out water and cooling bandanas for everyone. Hopefully they do that again this year.

I don’t agree it’s unfortunate.

As this race becomes a “bucket list race” anyone and everyone seems to want to do it. Having only two aid stations is a reminder that this is a 200mile adventure race not a weekend charity ride.

I get that everyone wants to do it. I get that everyone should be safe but people need to remember that this can be a pretty extreme race and is largely self-supported.


crew for hire email checkpoints are
Checkpoint 1 - Alma, KS
Checkpoint 2 - Council Grove, KS