Trans Iowa is a self-navigated, self-supported, 300-plus mile gravel road event. Held in late April primarily on Iowa gravel roads.


Date: April 28, 2018

Time: 4:00 am


Cost: Free

Event Website

Organizer: Guitar Ted

UPDATE (Race Recap): As I sit here well after the event has finished I have several thoughts. First, I think the event was a success, although some may point to the 120th thing and say that wasn’t perfect. I get that some folks are not happy about it, but I have also heard from others who got it and made it work. In the end, it wasn’t an easy set of cues to navigate, but then again, it wasn’t meant to be “easy”, was it?

And in the end, you can say that about the entire event. It looked as if it might be an easy year, but that was deceptive. It certainly was anything but easy and it turned out that it was very difficult. All the factors that make up a tough Trans Iowa were there with the exception of rain and mud. They weren’t missed, by the way.

The event had 19 finishers. Probably about average for Trans Iowas. This was good. It certainly could have had more finishers, but circumstances must have kept more than a few from reaching the end. I noted several DNF’s at CP#2 between 9:00pm and 10:pm, which, on the surface of it, seems odd. But that’s just me looking in from the outside.

– Guitar Ted, Event Organizer

Reaching “The End”

Trans Iowa race organizer Guitar Ted has announced that this year’s event would be the last. The Trans Iowa website is still currently active, so head over there to learn more behind the decision to cancel the event. Stay tuned to see if someone else steps up to the plate…

The Trans Iowa course is a 320-340 mile loop that approximates what it would take to cross the State of Iowa at any given point West to East. The course changes every year. There are time limits to checkpoints, which, if not met, mean you are out of the event. The ride is self-supported, guided by cue sheets, and the route is secret until the day of the event. It is approximately 95% gravel road, 5% pavement.

The Trans Iowa is started at 4:00am in the morning on a Saturday, (usually the last weekend in April), and is run straight though Saturday, all night, into Sunday, and usually ends at 2pm Sunday afternoon.

There is a Pre-Race Meeting which is mandatory and is held the night before the event.

Make sure to check out the event website for the most up-to-date info.