2016 UPDATE

The Kansas Ultrarunners Society sponsors 4 annual races including Rockin K 26.2/50M, Heartland 50K/50M, Heartland 100, and the annual KUS 6/12/24. We would love any one with the vision and creativity for planning future “KUS Members Only runs and trips”, etc. Contact KUS President Adam Monaghan.

HISTORY OF KUS EVENTS, NEWSLETTERS AND PHOTOS

The Kansas Ultrarunners' Society (KUS) was founded on March 1, 1995, as a non-profit ultrarunning organization with the following mission statement. 

The sole mission of our society is to organize, sponsor, staff and support ultrarunning events/competition in Kansas and the surrounding region. Our vision is to create an atmosphere that fosters not only the enlightenment of the novice ultrarunner, but nurtures the needs of the veteran ultrarunner as well. 

The original founding members, Eric Steele, President; Scott Demaree, Vice President; Randy Albrecht, Secretary; and Marc Friesen, Treasurer, recruited members and by the organizations first event that fall had a small membership of around 15. 

KUS first official event, the Flatrock Trail 50K was held on September 30, 1995. With 28 paid entrants and 24 starting the event, KUS as an organization was also on the starting line early that morning. As the last finisher crossed the finish line, so did the small band of KUS members and plans started for the next event. 

The KUS 24/48 hour Ultramarathon was held at Camp Hiawatha in Wichita Kansas on May 3-5, 1996. The 48-hour event started at 8:00 p.m. on May 3rd with the 24 starting at 8:00 p.m. on the 4th. With Mother Nature making a brief appearance, by sending a mini-hurricane to remind them we were in Kansas in the spring, the KUS organizers recovered quickly and had taken a few more steps down the trail toward the KUS mission.  The successful results of KUS' second event brought in a few more members and KUS family continued to grow.   

KUS continued with the Flatrock events annually until 2004, links to results, reports and some photos are listed below. In 2005, Eric Steele the race director decided to take the race out on it's own, you can find out more about the race at the Flatrock website. 

KUS timed events also continued, links to the results and reports are below.  One of the original founding members, Scott Demaree had moved to Texas and had founded his own timed events, sponsored by KUS. The TAMU event was held on November 12-14, 1999 on the Texas A&M campus.  The year 2000 brought a return of the timed event to Kansas with the event held in Hesston, the 2001 and 2002 events were held in Linwood Park in Wichita. Scott had by then moved to the Houston area and along with KUS member Wes Montieth started the Houston Ultra Weekend events at Bear Creek Park.  The last Houston event was held in 2006.

 In 1999, Phil and Stacy Sheridan directed the first Rockin K race held at Kanopolis State Park.  This event is held annually the first Saturday of April. For more information go to the Rockin K page. In 2000, KUS members Randy Albrecht and Jim Davis decided to host the inaugural Heartland 100 Spirit of the Prairie race. In 2001 they decided to add a 50-mile to be held in conjuction with the 100. More information is on the Heartland page. 

In 2003, Marc Friesen decided to host a new event, the Ad Astra Ultra and Relay held on a 4-mile loop along the Arkansas River in Wichita. The course was beautiful and would have been a great place to hold an event, however the in the days before the event the ever-challenging Kansas weather dumped rain in the area and by race day the swollen Arkansas River had claimed some of the course.  Marc and his volunteers did a great job of remarking the course and the event went smoothly from there but in the end Marc decided that the Ad Astra was a one time event

Marc has turned his attention now to the planning and direction of our KUS Members Only events, these events only open to KUS members are one time events and each one is a new course and format, the Trans-Kansas event was a multi-day adventure across Kansas held on Memorial Day weekend in 2006. The Prairie Spirit Trail Run was held March 10th in 2007 on the Prairie Spirit Trail starting in Ottawa and ending in Welda, all run on the rails to trails railroad beds. The 2008 event Sun to Sun was held in Newton and North Newton on the Sand Creek Trail. The event started at 7:00 in the evening and ended the next morning at 7:00.  In 2009 Marc hosted the Flint Hills 50, utilizing the Heartland course, the event started at the Heartland turnaround point and finished in Cassoday.  The 2010 event was the River City 50, a 50K at Sedgwick County Park in Wichita