Wednesday, January 11, 2012

RUSA Distance Awards ... and the K-Hound Phenomenon

As a fresh year beckons, it's time to apply for RUSA Distance Awards if you're interested.  Deadline to apply is January 25If you've ridden 1000km or more in RUSA events in 2011, you may apply for one or more distance awards.

Distance and Randonneuring - Randonneuring is about a number of things.  It's above all about seeking out personal challenging events and finishing ... hopefully with some camaraderie thrown in.  But rando goals by their vary nature involve considerable cumulative distance: 1,500km for Super Randonneur, at least 2,400km for R-12, and, well, 1,200km for a 1200k grand randonnée.  Plus the added training randonnées.  Plus the sheer-joy-of-riding randonnées.

Distance volumes can be a byproduct of your main goals, or an added goal in itself.  In either case, if you're doing a fair volume of randonneuring miles, why not get recognized?

Some Perspective - Certainly, for many randonneurs, beyond a certain point, life intervenes.  Not everyone's life obligations, structure, and priorities make room for countless hours on the bike.  Fortunately, there are many other splendid goals within randonneuring.

A Bit of Extra Credit - RUSA Distance Awards are in denominations up to 5,000km.  Lone Star Randonneurs RBA Dan Driscoll saw that there were some overachievers who could use a larger denomination, hence the LSR K-Hound award, for finishing 10,000km or more in RUSA events in a year.

This year, Catherine Shenk became the first Colorado randonneuse, and second Colorado rando overall, to earn K-Hound status - this through a variety of far-flung, challenging events, from Texas to Alaska.  Congratulations, Catherine!

Dan will be giving us an update on his program in an upcoming issue of American Randonneur magazine.

For now, simply maximizing the number of happy, challenging, rewarding rides sounds like a great goal for us all.



  1. I feel ambivalent about the whole award thing. As RBAs, I think we should honor everyone's goals, whether they have taken up cycling to return to wellness, get lean, meet new friends, have an adventure, or explore the natural world in which we live. That's one reason I work at the lunch checkpoint. It gives me time to talk with everyone and learn a little bit about their journey in life.

    In my opinion an award for overachievers (aka, elite athletes) isn't my idea of randonneuring.

    Given the myriad of goals in the peleton, giving an award to everyone may not be practical, so I can understand how a Distance Award can be an added incentive. What isn't obvious to me is whether the K Hound award is an incentive, or an attempt to create an elite category of rider. I'm always suspicious when people create awards for themselves.

    Susan Plonsky

  2. Speaking as someone who is about to hit 10k this year, the awards give me a personal goal, the same as hitting 10 SR's this year. It's not about competing with others.

    Am I an elite athlete ? I think not. I just have the time to devote to something that I enjoy doing. I respect and encourage anyone who even tries to do a 200k. To the "general public" that's about the same as climbing Mount Everest !