Dirty Kanza: Ad Astra Edition kicks off this weekend

Published: May. 29, 2020 at 5:45 PM CDT
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The Garmin Dirty Kanza: Ad Astra Edition weekend kicks off Thursday, May 28, and continues through Sunday, May 31.

Life Time, a healthy lifestyle brand owning and producing the annual race, is bringing cyclists together for a virtual weekend with a virtual expo including featured products, professional athlete videos, family activities and content from Dirty Kanza’s event partners.

The state motto of Kansas “Ad Astra Per Aspera” is Latin for “to the stars through difficulty.” It points to the spirit of pioneer settlers as well as the 7-year struggle to make Kansas a state. The motto now is being applied to recent hardships due to COVID-19. The Dirty Kanza team thought the motto fitting for the special weekend.

“Dirty Kanza has a 15-year history of happening on this weekend. We had hoped to be welcoming all of you this weekend to the Flint Hills and to be inspired by you as you accept the challenge of Dirty Kanza and seek to reach to the stars through difficulty. Or in other words, to realize the impossible of conquering your own personal Dirty Kanza challenge. But our Ad Astra experience is one way we can connect and soften the blow a bit until we can ride in the Flint Hills together again,” says Jim Cummins, Dirty Kanza founder and Chief Gravel Officer at Life Time.

“The interesting silver lining to this time is having the opportunity to reidentify how we engage with our participants and spectators. After seeing great success with our DK Virtual Camp in April, we are excited to evolve into the next phase of “virtual” for our Ad Astra event weekend,” says Michelle Duffy, Director of Off-Road Events Marketing at Life Time. “Providing digital opportunities that still build community, give value to our partner and vendor brands, and create unique experiences for our athletes helps us reach our goals as event promoters for Life Time, and also helps fill a void for our athletes and local community, who should be traversing the gravel roads around Emporia this weekend.”

There is a full schedule of events for the weekend which include product launches, training tips, giveaways and discount codes from participating stores.

The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 28 – Sunday, May 31:

All Things Gravel *Ad Astra* Expo – Users engage with 70 different industry brands, family-friendly activities and more.

Saturday, May 30:

#DIYGravel – multiple winner Ted King and his DIYGravel initiative create a Dirty Kanza experience in your own yard.

Sunday, May 31:

Klean Kanza! – Each year post-ride the team scours the race path through the Flint Hills for trash left behind, this year the event is asking participants to work together to make your own communities a little cleaner.

Expo participants will be allowed a sneak peek of Dirty Kanza’s new membership site, an online community platform to help participants prepare for the actual race, which has been postponed until September 12, 2020. The platform will take off in June and will provide content on a weekly basis, offering tips and advice on gear, nutrition, training and other entertainment from sponsors and athletes.

Registration is free and opened Thursday, May 28. For more information visit

and to register visit


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