Life Time, the owner of many fitness clubs and bike races, today canceled the 2020 edition of the highest-profile gravel race in the world, the DK, which had already been rescheduled for September 12 due to coronavirus concerns. The organization also recently pivoted to calling the race DK instead of the Dirty Kanza — its title since its inception in 2006 — because of the racist connotations.
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“Our team has worked hard for many weeks to determine if an event could take place in Emporia this Fall and we have been in regular communication with local community and health leaders to determine our best path forward,” said race director Lelan Dains. “While we hoped that something could be done, if even with an altered capacity, we now realize the safest and most responsible thing to do for our athletes, volunteers, and community is cancel the 2020 event.”
For people who had registered to race, Life Time is offering four options.
- complimentary deferral into the 2021 event (June 5, 2021)
- complimentary deferral into the 2022 event (June 4, 2022)
- donation of entry fee to the Life Time Foundation (benefitting the Emporia
Unified School District 253 school lunch program) and receive a guaranteed, non-
complimentary entry into their choice of the 2021 or 2022 event
- full refund (excluding processing fees)
Participants have been requested to select their choice by August 7.
“The decision to cancel an event is never an easy one, and I appreciate the thought and work that Life Time has put into planning the 2020 race,” Emporia mayor Danny Giefer said in a press release. “While we are all disappointed the event can’t occur as planned, we can look forward to 2021 and a continued long-term relationship hosting the world’s premier gravel cycling race right here in Emporia.”
Life Time also reiterated its plans to rename the race, but it did not specify a timeline other than saying a rebrand “is set to roll out over the coming months.”