You’re Asking the 10k Runners to Do What?!?

Yesterday, I decided to celebrate Halloween a few days early by running the Halloween Hustle in Lee’s Summit, MO.  Now, Lee’s Summit is about 20 minutes away from wear I’m currently hiding out in Overland Park, Kansas.  I figured it would be nice to get a run on a course outside before the NYC Marathon on November 6th and it was the first time for the race.  I figured the people of KC and Lee’s Summit might want to have this race again next year so if enough people signed up, the committee would put it on again next year.  Additionally, they were collecting food for the local food pantry and promoting health which is always important.

Anyways, I signed up for this after running my half marathon a few weeks ago thinking it would be a good taper run.  I noticed that I could pick up my stuff early which is always a plus if I can do it, just so I’m not rushing the morning of the race.  I went back and forth with this on Friday and just decided to do it so it would be done with.  A short, 20 minute drive later, I arrived at the gym that was putting the race on to get my stuff.  I got the generic RoadID bib, a t-shirt and a bag filled with flyers (the same flyers I actually got at my half marathon a few weekends ago).  As the lady was giving me my bag of goodies, she wished me luck tomorrow.  Tomorrow would be Saturday.  Now, the race was scheduled for October 29th, 2011 which was indeed Saturday.  It didn’t help me that all on Friday, I thought it was the 27th so I thought the race was on Sunday.  In order to not sound like a complete moron, I waited until I got back to my computer and internet in order to check this. And what do you know, it was a Saturday race and at least I didn’t show up this morning for it.

Saturday (the real October 29th), I headed out to some place called Unity Village, MO which is right next door to Lee’s Summit.  Now, you would think that I should have known things were going to go downhill if I couldn’t remember which day of the week it was.  I do one of the “I don’t know where I’m going but the people in front of me look like they do” things and follow a string of cars going into some entrance which turns out to be where the race was.  It was probably 40* out and there were tents, bouncy machines and a few vendors set up.  People were all decked out in costumes (I really can’t run in those sorts of thing).  For example, there were Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss, Batman, someone trying (and failing miserably) to be LeBron James, and then dogs dressed up as a runner and a Mexican.  At 7:55, we head over to the start line.  Since this was a 5K and a 10K race, there were theoretically 2 starts (one for each race).  The 10K was suppose to start at 7:55 (which didn’t happen).  We’re waiting and waiting and 10 minutes later (at 8:05 but I wasn’t keeping track or anything), the timing clock was finally set up.  One of the organizers came on over a microphone and said they were running behind (obviously) and then gave course directions.  The 5K runners were going to do 2 laps around the course while the 10K runners were going to do 4 laps around the course.  You have GOT to be kidding me.  I was standing at the start thinking, you’re already late with the start, you made it sound like there was going to be a longer course and know you’re telling us it’s essentially 1.5 mile intervals?!?!  Had we not started at 8:13 AM, I might have been in a better mood.

We finally got started and because of the cold, I felt like I was hacking up a lung.  It wasn’t a horrible course, but it’s not something I would ask a bunch of people running 6.2 miles to run around 4 times.  As I finished the first lap, I made the decision to just do the 5K and run another 3.1 miles at the gym back close to where I’m staying.  I didn’t care about my time.  I didn’t care about the money, I just didn’t feel the need to push something with my marathon coming up in a week.

I know this was the first year for the race so there are kinks.  My suggestion to them is 4 laps is too much to ask for during a 10K.  Most 10Ks that are incorporated with a 5K either do an extended course or are 2 laps around the 5K course.  Some people don’t like having to do the same thing 4 times while running!  I would also suggest another location.  It looked like it was being held at some sort of retreat or park center or something along those lines.  If you’re working with a track club, I’m sure they can help you figure out more likable locations for a race.  I’ll give it room to improve since it’s the first running of it.  That, and I’ll  probably never be in KC to begin with during Halloween again

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Kansas City Half Marathon- Running through the City of Fountains

When you’re in the Overland Park KS area, you’re basically right outside of Kansas City.  And when you’re in the vicinity of Kansas City, you have to specify if you’re on the KS side or the MO side.  Anyways, since I’m out here with no good idea of where to run, I decided to sign up for the Kansas City Half Marathon.  Specifically the Waddell and Reed Half Marathon.  Way to sign up for something 2 weeks before it happens, but I apparently am really good at signing up for half marathons with little to no notice these days.  Since I’ve been hanging out in Kansas, I have no idea where to run.  I was able to get into a local gym for a month that has treadmills and a short track which is good for intervals and runs of 6-7 miles (in which I lose interest in running on the treadmill).  However, I then have to time when I go so I don’t have to deal with the screaming volleyball players.  Solution: Half Marathon.  That, and I can now check off the state of Missouri (since it was on the MO side of Kansas City) of my states of half marathon.

The stronger bib that's 100% recyclable to boot. It will, however, go on my wall of bibs in Philly

Kansas City is home to Hallmark Headquarters and is also known as the City of Fountains.  Needless to say, crowns and fountains are integrated into the city, but that’s besides the point.  I went to pick up my stuff at the expo Thursday afternoon.  I was able to get free parking at the hotel it was being held at (score!) and since there was no one there, I was able to get through without waiting in any sort of line.  I got a decent bib this time around, one with more structure per se so it doesn’t get crinkled up or drip with sweat due to being made out of paper.  I also picked up my shirt, which only stated there was a marathon going on.  It would have been nice to mention us half marathoners- we work just as hard!!  Anyways, I then scoured the expo for any and every exhibit that  had anything to do with selling shoes.  I am in the process of switching from my Wave Inspire 6s to Brooks’ Ravenna 2s.  My feet of spoken and like Ravenna better (yes, through ESP, my feet can speak)- it was just a matter of finding them for not $100.  3 spots, no Ravenna 2s- insert sad face here.  I did get info on some half marathons, including one called the Oz Marathon.  At the Oz Marathon exhibit I was asked a trivia question- What color were Dorothy’s shoes in the original book? Not the movie, not Wicked; in the original book The Wizard of Oz (Answer: Silver).  Anyways, after making my rounds, I headed back to KS and prepped for a 7:05 start time on Saturday.

 

Come Saturday morning, I was up bright and early at 5:20 or so.  For a race that was 25 minutes away from where I’m staying, when you have no idea where you’re going, having to get up early is a price to pay to get there.  Anyways, my stuff was laid out and pinned on the night before.  Me, my long sleeves and 3/4 length spandex were off by 5:45 and in Missouri by 6:05 and parked by 6:20.  The nice thing was that I was parked 5 minutes away from the finish and close to where the high way was in order to get back to Kansas.  The porta potty lines were short too which is always a plus.  I’ve learned if you want a faster line, get into the line with more guys- they move faster.  I then went and hung out at the start (which was right around the finish line).  At one point, someone was moving past me and noticed me shaking. Yes, it was 45 degrees at the start and the sun wasn’t up.  Once I got moving, I was doing ok.  The first 3 miles or so, I was moving and keeping up with the 2:05 pace group.  Then Kansas City decided to introduce me to its hills.  This coming from someone who isn’t a fan of hills.  We’re talking hills that felt like it the were up a 30 degree incline.  The first hills hit around miles 2 and mile 3.25 into the race.  What made it worse was that you could see it coming.  We also got hit again after mile 4 at some point.  Through the first 10K, I was running under 10 minute miles (yay me!!).  Then, I started slowing down. My wall came between miles 8-9.  My legs hated me and the first half of the course’s hills.  That, and the dry heaves that decided to show up.  I was very appreciative to the guy handing out bottled water between miles 6-7.  And the DJ at mile 11 yelling it was all flat and downhill (which was true).  That and the sun was up but it wasn’t warming up all that much.  I had been hoping to finish under 2:10.  Official time: 2:13:20. I’ll take it but my mile wall I hit kinda stung later on.  Since I had to get back to my side of Kansas, I grabbed my medal, water, banana and chocolate milk and ditched the finisher photo op and got to my car.

I was back in Overland Park in 30 minutes thanks to highway construction down to one lane.  I appreciated the fact the hills were out of the way in the first half of the race.  And that there were water and gatorade stations every mile or so.  And that it’s a local race not associated with a race series.  The weather was gorgeous, although it could have been warmer, but that’s beyond my control.  The medal could have been more interesting.  I mean this is the City of Fountains for crying out loud!!  I’d come back for it.  If I’m ever in Kansas (or Missouri) again.

Toto, I Don’t Think We’re In Kansas Any More! Where Do I RUN?!?

The past week and a half, I’ve been in Overland Park KS where I’ll be for another 4.5 weeks.  I feel like I have no idea where I am!!  I know none of the areas to go running in or where any of the running stores are! I feel like a fish out of water or Dorothy out of Kansas. What to do, what to do?!?!  The only difference between Dorothy and I is that Dorothy was dropped on the Golden Brick road.  I had to spend 20 hrs driving from Philadelphia (which isn’t fun by yourself!).

For those of you who are unsure of where Overland Park, KS is, it’s right outside of Kansas City.  The crazy person I am, I have the urge to find half marathons where ever I go.  Thus, my favorite Half Marathon website came in handy to see if there were any half marathons in the general facility of my new home.  In 10 days, I get to at Kansas City, MO to list of cities run in! Another Half Marathon, another state!!

If anyone out there knows anything about trails, running areas or running stores around KC, KS/MO, let me know!!!

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