Stingers Up!

Stingers Up!

Want a life-changing experience? Try riding your bike in the rain, mud, on gravel roads — and doing it voluntarily. Emporia State University student Natasha Krause did just that — rode in the Dirty Kanza 200.

The race provides opportunities for students, along with riders all over the world, to challenge themselves. By participating in the race through internships, the race provides high-impact learning for students.

On race day, riders gather at dawn on Commercial Street. Among the DK100-mile riders in 2017 was Krause, a graduate student at ESU who is studying in the Health, Physical Education, & Recreation department. Krause finished the race in 10 hours and 56 minutes, after a bout of rain followed by a muddy hike for five miles. Despite the weather conditions, Krause was singing praises for the Dirty Kanza.

“The route itself is phenomenal and coming down the chute brought me to tears. The feeling I got from finishing one of the hardest things I’ve ever done was…indescribable,” Krause said. “I learned that your mind will give up long before your body does. That you have to dig deep and fight the pain. Take it one hill at a time, one pedal stroke at the time. This race will teach you that if you push yourself and believe in yourself, you persevere.”

Jevon Taylor, who recently graduated from ESU, assisted the Dirty Kanza Promotions team with marketing the race. He worked closely with LeLan Dains, event coordinator for the DK200 and co-owner of the Gravel City Adventure & Supply Company in Emporia. Taylor was tasked with marketing to the younger audience; creating visuals and taking charge of the social media content.

“LeLan had a system in place and being around someone so efficient was amazing,” Taylor said. “To witness the way the Dirty Kanza is changing the culture of the little town of Emporia — and not to mention internationally — and then have some hand in it was one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever done.”

About ESU:

  • 98 percent placement rate for graduates
  • DK200 riders can vouch for this! The only thing flat about the Kansas Flint Hills is ESU’s flat-rate tuition — take an overload of courses and not pay extra!
  • Second-lowest student debt load of any four-year regional university in the Midwest.
  • Millions of dollars in scholarships, including the Sunflower Scholarship for out-of-state students.
  • Over 200 academic programs in the School of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Library and Information Management and The Teachers College.
  • The first and only public university in Kansas to have earned national recognition as a College of Distinction, an honor for universities that demonstrate innovative application of high-impact education.
  • Join us for campus tours at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Friday, June 1, the day before the Dirty Kanza 200 during our ESU College Experience event, which is from 1-3:30! Learn about majors, campus life and more!
  • To learn more about ESU schedule a campus tour, or take a virtual tour, go to
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All Life Time, Inc (Life Time) events and activities are subject to changes, alterations, and/or elimination in Life Time’s sole discretion as it evaluates and works to provide a safe event for all participants.