Dirty Kanza has come and gone. The report, like the race itself, promises to be epic in scale. While you wait, here’s a quick recap for those of you who don’t facebook or twitter and so missed out on the chance to catch a couple brief updates. And for those of you who do and who took the time to support and encourage me, THANK YOU. The facebook and twitter comments truly kept me going. Seriously. I probably would have quit at 9:30 if you people had let me.
|The historic Granada Theater, site of racer registration, the pre-race meeting, and the start line.|
|All smiles before the race… (about 5:45 a.m.)|
It was an amazing experience.
|And still smiling afterwards (about 2 a.m.) (reapply your sunscreen)|
The Flint Hills are beautiful, vast and green and wide open.
|Note the road snaking up the hill in the distance.|
But anyone who tells you Kansas is flat is a damn liar.
|Kansas: not flat|
I had some highs…
|Some time around 2 or 3…maybe…|
And some lows…
|Some time around 7:30ish after turning down a ride back.|
In the end, my Dirty Kanza lasted from 6 a.m. Saturday until around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. I didn’t finish, getting in just 160 of the 200ish miles. I ended up needing a ride back after falling and hurting my knee, but I was two hours past the time cutoff for the checkpoint I was riding to, so my race had long been over.
And though I didn’t finish, four of my teammates as well as several other friends did, and I got to be there cheering for some of them at the finish line. Watching Luke, Bob, Adam, and Derrick finish was almost as sweet as making it there myself because I know how hard they worked to get there.
|Finishers!! (sometime around 2:30 a.m.)|
Dirty Kanza was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done, or attempted to do. It was wonderful and terrible. I was tested in so many ways, and though I fell short overall, there were many small truimphs throughout the day. I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish, but I’m ok with what I managed. It would have been really easy to not register for this race because I knew I had basically no chance of finishing, but it was never about finishing. It was about attempting something big and seeing what I was made of…and finding out that I’m stronger than I ever knew.
Now, next year…that’ll be about finishing. I’ve got a score to settle.
Check out the full version here.