The Stage Is Set for 2024 Life Time Unbound Gravel

May 10, 2024

The course is unveiled for UNBOUND Gravel; the Elites get their own finish chute, and more additions grace the 2024 event

Emporia, KS (May 10, 2024) /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The new route for the 2024 Life Time UNBOUND Gravel 200 has been unveiled, which will see a world-class field of riders tackle a taxing loop to the north of Emporia on Saturday, June 1st.

The race has only ventured north twice before (in 2019 and 2021), and this year’s course is arguably the toughest yet. It encompasses 202.9 miles of harsh gravel roads and amasses 11,000 feet of climbing – 2,000 feet more than those two former editions – as it winds its way through the undulating prairies and awe-inspiring Flint Hills which Kansas is famous for.

Divide Road, which comes after 45.5 miles, is one of the hardest sections of the entire route and provides a relentless onslaught of rough terrain. Heading into Alma, the race hits a series of rollers and takes in the Prairie View Road climb at 65 miles for the very first time. The western route out of Alma is also new and hillier than ever before with the addition of the Volland Road climb after exiting Volland. At 104 miles, the athletes will then encounter Little Egypt; a steep and storied ascent over chunky rocks which has previously provided the launchpad for race-winning moves.

A further 44 miles into the course – after the riders have experienced more new roads between Alta Vista and Council Grove – they will find the longest climb of the day up Kahola Hill. This exposed and often windswept ramp will serve up another formidable challenge.

The approach into Emporia has also been revised for 2024, this time heading in from the east, but Highland Hill will still need to be scaled after 201 miles before the action culminates, as always, on Commercial Street in the heart of the city.

Click HERE for the full route map, and HERE for a more detailed route overview.

The Life Time UNBOUND Gravel 200 is not the only race taking place at this year’s event; Life Time has also revealed the routes for the 25, 50, 100 Mile and XL (350-mile) contests which are taking place over this four-day celebration of cycling. This year’s courses will all finish from the Northeast, approaching the city of Emporia from Burlingame Road, a change made to promote a safer race experience. Additionally the 100 Mile and 350-mile will encounter roads never ridden in past editions of the event.

Since its launch in 2006, the Life Time UNBOUND Gravel has switched route directions, allowing more communities to enjoy the benefits that come with hosting the ‘World’s Premier Gravel Event’. This is just the third route in event history to go as far north as Alma.

The Life Time UNBOUND Gravel 200 is the second event of the groundbreaking seven-race series, the Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda, and is far and away the longest race of the competition. Its length and difficulty will push the endurance and character of the world’s best off-road riders to the limit. This is the first time that a northern route has been used as part of the Life Time Grand Prix, which is currently in its third edition.

Click HERE to find out more about the Life Time Grand Prix.


Other 2024 additions include:

  • A new Race Director in Sean Thurman, who will oversee the operational aspect of this iconic event, and will also work directly on the Life Time Big Sugar Classic in October.
  • A longer gap between the start of the Elite Women and Amateur races. The Elite Women will commence their race five minutes after the Elite Men at 6:05am, with the Amateur riders setting off 25 minutes later.
  • Full street closures for the last 1.5 miles of the route to aid the safety of all riders.
  • Two separate finish chutes along Commercial Street to guarantee the best racing experience for the both Amateur and Elite riders who will be competing on the same day.
  • Additional measures in place to protect safety of both the riders and general public on road crossings and throughout the course.
  • Extended race highlights which will be posted on the official Life Time Grand Prix YouTube channel within 48 hours of the race’s conclusion.

Kimo Seymour, Life Time President Media & Events, said: “Our team has been hard at work for months to design this new route for the 2024 Life Time UNBOUND Gravel 200 and we are excited to share it. The course is going to provide the world’s best off-road riders with an epic day in the saddle and we hope it will excite and challenge them in equal measure. We’re looking forward to seeing the race visit new places this year and we’ve introduced a host of changes to take it to the next level of experience. I want to thank everyone who’s helped make this possible and we’re going to be in for some awesome action.”

Round 1 of the Life Time Grand Prix saw Keegan Swenson and Sofia Gomez Villafañe emerge triumphant in the Fuego XL 100k, which took place at the Life Time Sea Otter Classic presented by Continental. Both riders also took maximum points in the UNBOUND Gravel 200 last season. Click HERE to view the current leaderboard, HERE to watch extended race highlights from Round 1, HERE to play the Life Time Grand Prix Fantasy League, and HERE to download the Press Kit.

As with every event on the 2024 Life Time Grand Prix calendar, other Elite riders from around the world will have the chance to compete alongside the Life Time Grand Prix riders at the Life Time UNBOUND Gravel 200. The full start list for both the Men’s and Women’s races will be announced soon.

It’s not just the Elite riders who’ll be getting the chance to compete in Kansas though, the Life Time UNBOUND Gravel will welcome thousands of Amateur riders as well over this four-day adventure in the Flint Hills, taking place between May 30th and June 2nd. Click HERE for more information on the full schedule of events, the various additional routes on offer, and much more.

About the Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda

The Life Time Grand Prix presented by Mazda is owned and produced by premier leisure brand, Life Time. It is among 30 iconic athletic events owned, produced and operated by the Company, including the Chicago Half Marathon, Garmin UNBOUND Gravel, and the Leadville Race Series. To learn more about Life Time athletic events, click here

About Life Time®

Life Time (NYSE: LTH) empowers people to live healthy, happy lives through its portfolio of more than 170 athletic country clubs across the United States and Canada. The health and wellness pioneer also delivers a range of healthy way of life programs and information via its complimentary Life Time app. The Company’s healthy living, healthy aging, healthy entertainment communities and ecosystem serve people 90 days to 90+ years old and is supported by a team of more than 37,000 dedicated professionals. In addition to delivering the best programs and experiences through its clubs, Life Time owns and produces nearly 30 of the most iconic athletic events in the country.