When researching a Kansas race, I didn’t find many that looked worth traveling for…Kim and I decided months ago that we would meet for a quick race and turn around. I typically like to make a trip/vacation out of each race but didn’t think it would be necessary here. I was literally in Kansas for 24 hours. SHOCKED at how much we did in such a short period of time.
Kim and I landed around the same time, picked up the rental car and headed straight to the first BBQ place that was recommended to us (and we read about it), Arthur Bryants. It was good, not great, and my first bit of cheating since lent (skipped the bread but still had me slightly worried).We then headed to downtown Kansas City (technically Missouri) to do a sightseeing. We stopped by the WWI Memorial and the Hallmark Visitor Center (free) and then a definitely geared towards kids Wizard of Oz museum (also free).
After several hours of being a tourist, it was time to actually head to Kansas to pick up our packet and attend the race dinner. Packet pickup was uneventful, not a real expo so it only took a few minutes and we grabbed good seats for the race dinner.
Initially, I had no desire to do the race dinner even though Meb was speaking (I had just seen him in ATL in January). Right after he won Boston, I told Kim get our tickets ASAP. I am SO glad we did. It was an entirely different speech. It was really cool to hear him talk about what was going through his head and how he ran it. I took away several things, but one of them was he said to just compete. Forget about the watch. I’m so guilty of this and need to work on it. He also said that it’s not just about the medals, but getting the best out of yourself.We were able to get autographs and pictures and then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for bed. We stayed in Overland Park (at a Marriott for a free night from work points) and it was about 15 minutes to the start.Race Day
We got up around 5:30, got ready, had breakfast and headed to the start. We had plenty of time, at least 35 minutes before the start and I needed the bathroom..again. We snapped some pics as Dorothy and Glinda, met a few new blogger friends that are racing the states as well and then it was time to start.
I told Kim I would pace her to a sub 2 hour race and I needed something to hold me to that so I wouldn’t over do it.
The race had 4,000 runners and no corrals. The beginning was a bit of a mess, pace groups taking over the entire course and all jumbled together. We broke away and were able to settle into an easy pace. I was instructed by Kim to do exactly as I did in New Orleans when we first met. Just keep talking to her and keep her entertained while we ran. So I did. The course was pretty uneventful. Rolling hills, some creative Oz themed cheer spots but mostly quiet streets, cute neighborhoods and a few main roads/shopping centers. The only eventful part of the first 8 miles was being stopped by police on the course for some sort of emergency at an apartment complex. It only took a few seconds, but I was curious all throughout the race what happened.
I could see the clouds early on in the race and just hoped they would hold off. 30% of rain is nothing, right?
Well, as my continued racing luck would have it, the rain started. We had actually hit a pretty enjoyable part of the course along a paved path in a park. Soon after the rain, the thunder and lightening started. Somehow, Kim still had on her foil crown (which now looking back wasn’t so smart) and we joked about how the race really was like Oz and she said all that was left was hail.It was pouring. And literally, around mile 11, the hail started. I’m not gonna lie, it hurt. We were back in a residential area, and it would’ve been a great place to run without any of the weather issues. At this point though, I was really ready to be done. Done jumping in puddles, done running in rain, done with lightning. I kept pushing Kim towards the finish and I swear, as we turned into the finish area, the rain let up.
Official Results:1:56:59 573/2199 overall 193/1317 females 54/242 females 30-34
Right at sub 1:57 for Kim. This girl has WAY more in her than what she’s doing and I told her she’s got a sub 1:50 in her for sure. She talked the entire race. I told her you gotta go to the pain place if you want the better times. It’s a fine balance when you are racing the states (but that’s a different conversation for a different day). Either way, we were both happy with the day!
The post race party seemed great: good food, beer, massages, etc. But we were too wet and cold to stick around. One final pic (we joked about who would win a wet tshirt contest at this point) and we were off to Starbucks and then the hotel to shower.We decided to hit up the biggest BBQ recommendation, Oklahoma Joe’s. They opened at 11, so getting there at 11:30 didn’t seem so bad. Well, apparently it is the best BBQ in the universe because we waited an hour. We shared ribs, pulled pork, burnt ends and a few sides. It was worth the wait and a great post race treat.
We attempted to hit one more museum but we ran out of time and it was off to the airport we went.
- Running with blogger friends
- Post race (had we stayed it really was nice)
- Creative/themed water stations/entertainment
- Race themed costumes (surprised at how few we saw)
Not So Much:
- No Corrals
- Very little race communication prior to race/social media
- Weather (not their fault, obviously)
I really like the medal and the shirt. Has the race info along with the theme. The witches face seems to be glass so it can catch light I think?
I would recommend this as a Kansas race for anyone doing the 50 states. Even if the weather had been perfect, I don’t know that I would have LOVED this race. There are some states that I would repeat or recommend even if you aren’t racing the states… but, I don’t think it’s worth making a trip to run the race for any other reason if you don’t live near Olathe/Kansas City. I also don’t think you need more than 24 hours to see/do the things you may want to do while in town (if you do decide to travel for it). I had a blast with Kim and always love getting to travel with my blogger friends (read her recap here). We really had a good time and were able to accomplish a lot in 24 hours.
What’s the worst race weather you’ve run in? Do you like to dress up in theme for races? Have you met any famous runners?