Unbound Gravel is a 4,000 participant-strong gravel race in the Flint Hills in and around Emporia, Kansas. The race first took place in 2006 with 34 participants; the event is now, according to the Emporia Gazette, the World’s Premier Gravel Event. This was my first time in Emporia. I was in town to photograph the race for two teams and a handful of privateers. These are my stories.
If you need a group of photographers to be at a particular place at a specific time, tell them there will be muddy-faced racers milling about. Like moths to a flame. Everyone will be there. Muddy faces are photographer catnip, and nobody is immune.
Post-race is a whirlwind. Sprinting from finish-line to slumped over riders farther down the pen. Jockeying for position, looking for a different angle than the ten other lenses stuck in a racer’s mug. You can end up firing off more frames in the minutes following a race than you did for the entire race itself.
No real stories from this part of the race. Just the images. Thanks for following along. Hope to take the lessons learned from this first time in Emporia and apply them to next year.