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Exploring the Seas of Gravel Worlds


Exploring the Seas of Gravel Worlds

This year, Gravel Worlds is setting sail on a new voyage and has presented Fleet Feet the task of navigating the Land Ho 50K. We sat down with director of operations and marketing, Jason Strohbehn, to give you all the inside scoop on what to expect from the first gravel race of its kind in the state of Nebraska.

Q: When and how did Gravel Worlds start?
A: Gravel Worlds was founded in 2010 by Corey Godfrey. The event was originally called The Good Life Gravel Adventure in 2008, but was renamed in 2010 to Gravel Worlds. The first year, in 2010, there were 150 cyclists that showed up. Now for our 13th event in 2022, we are over 2500 participants from 48 states and 16 countries who will be running or biking the rolling gravel seas around Lincoln, Nebraska.

Q: What gave you the idea to add a running component to this event?
A: Our friend Bobby Wintle added a run to his cycling event, The Mid South, in 2017. We've seen the passion and community around his event and we wanted to bring runners here to Lincoln to experience our gravel. Ultimately we hope that Gravel Running is the next big growth segment of running. Fewer cars, closer to nature, and a new challenge with ever-changing road conditions are reasons to fall in love with gravel. We've seen what gravel does for the mind and body with gravel cycling and we want to be a part of the movement for gravel running. The more people in the "Gravel Family" the better.

Q: How did you Land (pun intended) on the 50K distance?
A: Our event is hosted by the "Pirate Cycling League". The PCL is a club/team that welcomes every type of rider (and now runners) from pro to average joe. It's a team for the teamless. The pirate name came from exploring the gravel seas and doing something that (at the time) wasn't the mainstream thing to do. Throughout all our distances of Gravel Worlds, they all have a pirate theme to match. Privateer 75, Long Voyage 300, and Buccaneer 50k are the names of our biking distances so we knew we needed a fun pirate-themed name. What better than Land Ho 50k for those who will be exploring our gravel seas on foot. 

Q: What inspired you to reach out to Fleet Feet as a sponsor for this event?
A: Fleet Feet and owner Lori Borer have been a stable voice in the Lincoln Running community for well over a decade. Gravel Worlds has been supported so heavily by our local bike shop Cycle Works since the very beginning. We've seen the community of sport often starts at the shop and it made perfect sense to do the same for our running event. We knew we weren't runners and wanted to go to the local experts. Fleet Feet and their staff have gone above and beyond to make sure our first year will be a success, from introducing us to sponsors, hosting training classes, answering runner's questions, to helping answer our questions on how to put on a running event. We will always support our local shops above all else, and we are so thankful to have such an amazing local running store to help elevate Garmin Gravel Worlds Land Ho 50k. 

Q: What kind of atmosphere can runners expect from the first year?
A: This year is going to be special. Runners will start early Friday morning right at sunrise. Within 1 mile they will be on gravel roads that make their way across constant rolling hills. Of the 50k course, less than 3 miles of that will be pavement, the remaining will be entirely on gravel and dirt roads north of Lincoln. While the runners will be leaving in the dark and calmness of morning, they will come back to one of the largest gatherings of people on dirt ready to welcome them in! There will be thousands of people around the finishline area. The runner/rider expo will be in full swing, group shake-out rides lining up, pro panels going on, food, beer, live music, and so much more. And don't forget to stick around for Saturday as it will be an even bigger party for the main cycling events. 
Registration will remain open until August 1st.
Please consider volunteering. From check-in on Thursday to finishline teardown Saturday night, we'll have a way you could help!

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