- 13.1/Half Marathon
- Road Race
It is tough to be objective about the various elements of this race because a majority of it occurred during a thunderstorm that included a brief period of hail. The race it touted as a flat, fast course perfect for a PR. While I did achieve a PR on this course, there were definitely some major hills that keep me from saying it is flat.
Even though I live in the KC Metro area, my family and I chose to stay in one of the hotels close to the race. I was only 3 miles from the Garmin headquarters, but there was only one lane entering the parking area so it took a while to get into the parking garage. There were plenty of spaces, it was just slow going. The tshirt from the event is not exactly the most attractive shirt, but it is a good quality New Balance tech shirt. There were female size options available as well.
Part of the course ran through downtown Olathe. I don't make it across the state line to Olathe often, so I wasn't familiar with the downtown area. The buildings are beautiful. The last section of the course runs on a paved trail through a park. If it hadn't been pouring rain at that point, I probably would have enjoyed the scenery much more.
The police did a great job of keeping the traffic out of the way and closing off major intersections. Kansas City isn't a race friendly city, so Olathe gave ample notification to residents that the race was happening. I only witnessed one many freaking out about his inability to drive.
I was a little disappointed that I was just handed my medal in a plastic bag. I wanted someone to put that thing around my neck. I had just hit a PR by 6 minutes and I was pumped. The awesomeness of the medal makes up for it though. It is the Wicket Witch on Wizard of Oz and it GLOWS IN THE DARK!!! Best bling yet for me.
There was a pasta dinner the night before if you were interested in paying $35 for a plate of spaghetti. I didn't want to spend that much, but I wish I had after I found out the Meb was the keynote speaker. Garmin sponsors several runners, so it makes sense that he would be there, but he just won Boston so I was not expecting him to show.
Ultramax was at the finish printing up shirts and adding finisher badges to shirts. I wanted to get a finisher badge for my PR, but they were not set up and ready to go when I had finished. The rain had stopped nearly 30 minutes prior, so I would have expected them to be ready. I have a feeling they lost out on a lot of money by not being ready. Since most racers were wet and cold, they didn't want to stick around and wait.
I will definitely do this race again in the future.