Latest reviews by Lindsey McRoberts
Starting with a change in training plans 6 weeks ago ended with a scramble to pack the morning before the race. Isn’t that how it always ends up for me?! Oh well, let’s check out how Hospital Hill treated me this year!
** EXPO / PACKET PICK UP -- I don’t recall getting an email about the race the week before...could have been trapped in my junk folder. I still haven’t looked - but I was able to check the race website to see where the expo was located. The HHR expo has been at the Sheridan the past several years, so I knew how to get there. I didn’t quite realize the “expo” ended at 7pm while “packet pick up” ended at 8pm. So showing up a little after 7pm meant the vendors were mostly gone or mid-packing up to leave. Whoops! At least I was able to get my bib and shirt! The bonus was that I was able to live vicariously through the HHR social media platforms — they posted about the vendors, food tasting, and fun happening throughout the day. I just wish I could have seen it for myself...
** PARKING -- Race morning parking was simple — I always park in the Crown Center parking garage. The questionable decision I made was following my Maps App on how to get TO the garage...it had me driving through the starting area, which was already closed up tight. Shame on you Maps App.... I was able to sweet talk my way in with a nice police officer since I arrived nearly an hour before the start, so no major issues there! The garage was already starting to fill up, but I was able to get a spot super close to the post-race area — which means the most when you don’t want to walk far after the event.
** THE START -- Before heading to the start line, I exchanged my shirt. Yep, even though I was one of the last runners to pick up my packet, they still made me wait until race morning to change my shirt out. The exchange was fast, quick walk back to my car, and I was back out at the start area. I text Katy that I was around, and we met up soon after! We hung around the starting area chatting before hitting up the mostly-clean port-a-potty line before heading into the masses. The HHR race start was easy to find as they had “pace markers” lining the street for runners to line up with their appropriate running times. I ignored those signs as I searched for one of my running buddies pacing the half. We ended up hanging around that pace group through the National Anthem as well as to the starting line — but we soon fell back to where we were more comfortable.
** THE COURSE -- If you have ever heard that Kansas or Missouri is flat, you are sorely mistaken. The HHR courses are filled with rolling hills and butt-kicker climbs (and descents). There were some street changes for this years course, but you still got to experience Hospital Hill, 39th St. Hill, Broadway Hill and Trinity Hill on the 10K course.
** AID STATIONS / PORT-A-POTTIES -- The aid stations were appropriately placed roughly every 1.5-2 miles — and one of the 10K aid stations could be hit twice in a matter of seconds (darn SHORT out-and-back loop). I was happy to see the volunteers offering sports drink first and water second along the course — nobody needs residual sports drink burps...gag me. At most (or all) aid stations, there was at least 1-2+ port-a-potties...which I would have very gladly hit up! But somehow, my bladder cooperated with me today...
** SWAG -- At the HHR Expo, participants were given their Charlie Hustle tee (a well-loved, local screen print shop) — and after the race, finishers received their distance specific medal and an ice-cold wet towel (which felt AMAZING as the temps started to rise). As you walked through the chute, finishers could also grab an assortment of water, chips, fruit, milks, and/or ice cream.
** POST-RACE -- The post-race party was fun! The “fountain area” outside Crown Center was transformed into a finishers party with beer, coffee, snacks, massages, photo ops, additional swag purchases, and additional food options (pancakes and/or hot dogs).
Each runner was given a ticket for a beer, pancakes, and hot dog on their bib — I passed off my beer ticket to Katy and we both enjoyed pancakes after our 10K.
** MY RACE **
Overall, my race went great! I met up with Katy early and we decided to stick together through the miles. We both couldn't decide "who was holding who back", but I think we both could use the sidekick.
We did start the 10K up with the 2:20 half marathoners, which was not a pace or time we intended...but we were able to stay moving while the crowds passed along those first couple miles. Our first up-hill encounter was Hospital Hill - a mile long stretch of gradual gain. Somewhere along this stretch, we just barely missed a race photographer. Katy and I nearly turned around and went back to get a picture...but decided against it. Ha!
The rolling hills kept us moving with my 3:1 intervals...while I ran a little more in the first couple miles than I intended, it felt good! We walked through the aid stations (drink it, don’t wear it), walked up most of the hills, and took a little more advantage of the downhills.
I had a goal of finishing the 10K in less than 90 minutes — per my Endure Strong training cycle the last 6 weeks. My training went well, and we were making good time towards this goal! While Katy and I met face-to-face the night before, we chatted the miles away like old friends!
Once we finished the last BIG hill, Trinity Hill, we pushed the pace on that last section — all downhill! We went fishing for runners and nearly sprint to the finish line!
Run and done!
I can honestly say, I am not sure how I would have run today without Katy by my side... Having someone to chat the miles away made this year’s Hospital Hill Run one of my favorites! Once through the finish line, we were wrapped with an ice-cold towel and given our choice of drinks and snacks. I loaded up on water, a taste or two of sports drink, a banana, chips, and an ice cream bar. I was lucky that Katy’s hubs was around to take pictures at the finish as well as do our photographic bidding...ha! What can we say, we like to have sufficient photographic evidence of our fun times!
** OVERALL **
Overall, I am always impressed with the organization of the Hospital Hill Run events. Keeping thousands of tired people and families happy isn't a small task -- and the organizers of the Hospital Hill Run do a great job!
As someone who typically finishes and/or paces towards the back of the pack, I don’t always have the most selection of post-race indulgences — but HHR seems to keep the party and fun going until the last runners cross the line. I will be back to this race for years to come!
After a little wandering around McCormick Place, we were able to find the expo. Once inside, we were able to get our bib numbers, bibs, check timing chips, and shirts. We also took the "here we are at the fake finish line" pictures with our bibs and with each other before heading into the expo.
A few of the ladies from lunch also came to the expo around the same time, so we wandered around for a while together. A couple of my favorite things were taking fun pictures with props and meeting Kathrine Switzer!
One of my favorite booths/tents was the VICE CREAM - hello, ice cream with some pretty amazing flavors, please! I also enjoyed the port-a-potty changing rooms, and of course the Toyota vehicles all over the place.
Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early - I made the decision to run to the start of the race to warm-up and take up a few miles for my quota for the day. When I booked the AirBNB, I somehow thought the start was a mile or so away...the "or so" won out since it was closer to 3 miles... Whatevs, I just made sure to leave in enough time!
I was able to find Linda but the other bloggers were having a fun time getting to the starting area. I then went over to The Bean to try and meet up with other BibRave Pros but missed that meet up as well. I settled in at the starting area as the rain started to fall...
Overall, the course for Rock 'n' Roll Chicago was nice! There were some awesome downtown "stuck between the buildings" views - but I could have done without the metal-grate bridge crossings... The course was fairly flat with a hill towards the end, maybe mile 11-12ish.
My saving grace for this race was the aid stations. While I carried a handheld (mostly for my phone), I used the aid stations as "walk breaks" and tried to run through the rest of the course. There was SIS gel (a little different) stations alternating with Gatorade Endurance stops and water at each aid station.
I honestly didn't pay much attention to the quantity or frequency of the port-a-potty situation...but there were a bunch at the starting area and throughout the course at the aid stations.
For the RnR races, they always have fun shirts and medals for the participants/finishers. I ended up ordering a men's shirt (after enough women's sizing issues through the years) and while it is a touich big, it is comfortable! There were a few other goodies in the "swag bag" that I have yet to use...
After the race, I would have loved to enjoy the post race concert and attempt to find people I knew...but it started pouring rain again and I needed to walk back to my AirBNB before hitting up the airport. As I was leaving the area where the finishing chute was located, I was able to see fellow BRP Aubrene finish and take a quick picture before walking as quickly as my soaked/sore body could take me back to my AirBNB.
All weather and training considering, I was pretty happy with this race! I kept my cadence high, ran well throughout, walked through the aid stations, and laughed constantly about how crazy the weather was being! This is not the first time I have run in the rain...and likely won't be the last. But I had a good time, enjoyed the music throughout the day, and I can't wait to go back to Chicago and see it bright and sunny!
--expo / packet pick up
Once I was done with some family obligations Friday afternoon, my pal Michelle and I headed straight to the Health And Fitness Expo at the Sheridan at Crown Center. We were able to quickly park in the Crown Center parking garage and we just needed to validate our ticket before leaving the expo.
We were able to make quick of picking up our bibs, race swag, and I grabbed my VIP Experience information - so we had tons of time to wander around the expo. There were many vendors from fitness apparel and running companies, to safety gear and misc. home improvement companies. After wandering around the expo for a while, I settled in with some familiar faces at the Smart Pacers booth.
--the non-existent 5K (start, course, port-a-potties, aid stations, post race, etc.)
Before our arrival to the Health and Fitness Expo, we were notified of the postponement of the 5K to Saturday morning. As a ReRunner, this meant that I wouldn't technically "earn" the 5K medal Friday and ReRun medal on Saturday.
While this is a major bummer [and the online disgust ensued], I am glad that the RD took the runner's health concerns as a first priority. The possible health concerns of high heat, high dew point, and ozone alert throughout the day out-weighed the finish line photo and medal.
As an additional consideration, the RD stated that ReRunners would be comped a free entry to the 2019 5K - but in fact were sent a 50% off to the ReRun in 2019 (if registered by a specified deadline). In my mind, this goes above and beyond what they are required to for a cancelled event! We all sign waivers that state that if a race is cancelled then we lose the money. In a tight spot, the Hospital Hill RD made a game-day decision. In my opinion, it is great that they are working with the "short changed" runners for next year's event.
One of the fun things about the Hospital Hill Run is that they have fun with the race swag. Through the years, I have gone home with HHR embossed flip-flops, backpack, pajama pants, beach towel, hats, and shirts. Something other than the typical race shirt is so fun!
This year, all participants received a HHR duffle bag! The logos on the bag are bright and vibrant, there is a large side pocket for your shoes [or your dirty clothes], and a large main compartment. Also, since I registered for the Re-Run, I also received a gender-specific tech tee. The shirts are made of a fun honeycomb patterned material and the ladies tee is a light blue while the unisex tee is royal blue.
Once finishing your race distance of choice, you earn a race specific medal. I will [and you] will have to wait until tomorrow to check those out ;)
--my 5K race
I planned on running with the other rogue 5K runners at the actual 5K start area [Crown Center], at the actual 5K start time [7 pm], on the actual 5K course - but I forgot a change of clothes and I was preoccupied with a long phone call. While I was on the phone by the large windows of the expo area, I saw numerous runners go by on the street - those crazy rogue 5K runners ♥
Rather than sweat the details, I ended up completing my 5K Saturday afternoon as a part of my 18 training miles needed for the day - 13 miles at the half marathon that morning and 5 miles at some point later in the day. Nothin' like earning a couple medals in the heat of the day!
The Health and Fitness Expo for the Hospital Hill races is always a great event! So many vendors come from near and far to give you a peek into their company. I was able to try on a few pairs of shoes, purchase a new set of BibBoards (since I forgot mine in the bib of my last race at home), and chat with the Smart Pacers.
While it was a bummer that the 5K was postponed, I wasn't too too upset that I didn't get to sweat my life away on the streets of KC. While my 5K was on Saturday, I was still able to explore a new path in the usual area I run when staying with my in-laws. Win, win!
--expo / packet pick up
Check out the my post on the Hospital Hill 5K & Expo -- http://bit.ly/2JXqoKT
Since my buddy and I had arm bands for the VIP Experience, we were allowed to park in a special parking lot. It's too bad I didn't look up EXACTLY how to get to the parking area before I was nearly to Crown Center...but we made it work. Once we parked in the VIP lot, we made our way to the starting area. The walk wasn't far and it seemed like we would avoid a good chunk of post-race traffic on the northwest side of the start/finish area [since most of the parking is to the south].
As we approached the starting area, we were worried about a possible rain delay. Some weather was following us into town with some chances of lightning. I dropped off my things at the VIP tent and head to the start line anyway for a 7am gun time. Not long after leaving the tent, we were redirected back "to safety" and to wait out the storm.
Before the race, the BibRave Pros were able to find each other for a quick pic! - photo by Melissa
With a rain delay, the actual start was a little messy and closer to 7:30am. I was busy walking and searching for my friends, finding other friends along the way, and all while trying to get to my friend's pace group. So many running friends!! Once the race started, we were on our way!
The Hospital Hill half marathon course is an assortment of rolling hills and a few generous climbs. Just remember, what goes up must come down!
The first major climb is around mile 1.5 at Hospital Hill, followed by rolling hills to Rockhill Hill a little past mile 4. In these miles, you venture through city streets and past several parks (Hospital Hill Park, Longfellow Park, Sheila Kemper Dietrich Park, & Robert Gillham Park to name a few).
Once you get to Rockhill Hill, you are making your way through the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) campus and some residential streets. This area contains my biggest pet-peeve of this course, trash. Saturday is trash or recycling day and this stretch smells like trash...every year. I wish they would move trash day to Friday for just this day so we don't have to smell it... First world probs.
The rolling hills continue to take you south over Cherry Hill to Meyer Boulevard - the southernmost part of the course. There are a couple of rollers along this stretch before you start to head back north to the finish - mind you, you are only halfway there!
Through the city streets, you head to the finish - but not without a constantly rolling course, several parks (Brookside Park, Countryside Park, Mill Creek Park, & Penn Valley Park) the long steady climb of Broadway Hill (mile 10.5-11.5), and the needle of Trinity Hill (mile 12.25-12.5).
After your legs are blown from climbing hard up the front of Trinity and bombing down the back, you have a nice downhill finish! Hold on tight!
Once you are announced as a finisher, you are awarded with your medal and an ice-cold towel! For today's warm temps, it was a WELCOME relief! I then received my 5K medal and ReRun medal as I worked my way through the finishers chute.
Always so many snacks as you finish - water, bananas, chips, fruit snacks, ice cream bars, chocolate milk...the best! I just need more arms :)
--aid stations + port-a-potties
Along the half marathon course, there are 9 aid stations stocked with water, Gatorade, and port-a-potties - that's a lot of aid! I didn't pay much attention to the availability of the potties (mostly because I didn't need them) but I know there were a few at the first aid station...ha! Check out the map above for the location of the aid stations [marked with a drop of water and Gatorade "G"].
One of the fun things about the Hospital Hill Run is that they have fun with the race swag. Through the years, I have gone home with HHR embossed flip-flops, backpack, pajama pants, beach towel, hats, and shirts. Something other than the typical race shirt is so fun!
This year, all participants received a HHR duffle bag! The logos on the bag are bright and vibrant, there is a large side pocket for your shoes [or your dirty clothes], and a large main compartment. Since I registered for the Re-Run, I also received a gender-specific tech tee. The shirts are made of a fun honeycomb-patterned material and the ladies tee is a light blue/green while the unisex tee is royal blue.
Once finishing your race distance of choice, you earn a race specific medal and receive a brightly decorated, ice cold towel! The design of this years medals are based on the theme of celebrating running through the decades. If you participated in the Re-Run, then you also received your 5K medal and Re-Run medal - walking away with 3 medals for the weekend!
Another great piece of "swag" is the FREE digital download of race photos taken throughout the day! I felt like we saw a lot of race photographers throughout the course - which is awesome! Since I had such a good day, I didn't have any "questionable" faces when looking through my images...my RBF can really come out in those later miles on a tough day, ha!
The post-race party is always fun! You can get more HHR gear, try local wine or beer, take selfies with fun backdrops, and the pancake breakfast is always great! While I spent most of my post-race time in the VIP Experience (see below), I was still able to get some pancakes ♥
I had an awesome day! Even though the morning weather made the day more inviting to try for a PR, I stuck back with my pacer pal Michelle. She was pacing the 2:55 runners and I didn't want to kill my legs for the next week...
Though the tough KC hills, we had fun chatting the miles away! Taking it a little easier on the climbs and taking the downhills a little harder worked well though the day.
One of my favorite areas to run is the Plaza. The fountains always make me happy and I know that there are only a couple miles to the finish!
After the race, we stuck around the VIP tent and chatted with Melissa, another BibRave Pro at the race. We both have some big distance races coming up and it is fun to get to know other Pro's "in the area".
Once we had stayed our welcome and everything was winding down, we headed home. A great event under our belts and I can't wait until next year!
The VIP Experience is an add-on you can purchase when you register for the race and is a pretty nice perk!
Before the race, there was coffee, danishes, and fruit available to the VIP runners. We also had our own gear check and potties in this area which was great! No lines!
After the race, there was additional food/drinks set out - sandwiches, pinwheel snacks, and mimosas! My buddy and I hung around sipping mimosas and chatting with other runners before venturing out to the post-race area. We also had the option to get a post-race massage and I totally got one! The amazing massage by the team at Hand & Stone Massage was the best perk of the VIP Experience for sure!
The Hospital Hill Run is a weekend of races that is near to my heart! I have enjoyed this event for 5 years now and don't plan on stopping any time soon! The fun swag, the beautiful and fun medals, the challenging course, the free digital photos, the post-race fun -- all of it together makes this a go-to event from year to year.
Do you remember a while back when I posted about the great race tracking company Athlinks? Well, I was able to claim my results for the Hospital Hill Half Marathon! They were posting online within hours of the end of the race to claim your results - talk about fast!
Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Kansas City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Since my last training cycle ended with finishing my goal race for the year, I have been working hard (or hardly working…some days) to be race ready for the Kansas City Marathon (KCM)!
With 5 short weeks of training/tapering, I set my goals HIGH for my second road marathon.
Packet Pick Up
The end of the tram line is Union Station, the new home of the Health and Fitness Expo for the Kansas City Marathon. The scale and history of the building is amazing, and we had to stay focused to get to the expo and not wander around staring at the exhibits and ceiling.
Lots of things to see! Bibs, check! Ready to run!
Once we picked up our bibs, we wandered around the Expo for a little while. Missouri Lottery had games to play (I still need to check my ticket!), we met a woman with a “Girl’s On The Run” equivalent for boys, chatted with the Gypsy Runner for a little while, and settled back over at the Smart Pacers area for a little while.
Before too long, we were done at the Expo and heading back outside to wait on the tram to take us back to my car : )
Once we got home, the rest of the evening was spent packing up my drop bag/box, responding to various friends and family’s good wishes messages, and finding small ways to calm my nerves!
Chasing a PR in less than ideal conditions (heat, humidity) can be playing with fire…
Once we parked, we walked up to the starting area. Since Michelle is a pacer (and I have paced this race in the past), I was able to show her to the pacer meet-up area in the race affiliated hotel. We were able to hang out and chat with fellow pacers, meet new runners, and use the facilities a few times (and then a few more) before heading to the start line.
I headed straight for the bag drop before lining up. The line for my bib number was WAY long…but good thing we were putting our drop-bag with Michelle’s bib number – which had NO ONE in line. In and out quick!!
The race started with the National Anthem, a countdown, and fireworks to send off the runners! The KCM pulls out all the punches when it comes to start lines, so all the bells & whistles are fun to experience! And we’re off!
This race ended up shaking out into several sections for me. The Kansas City Marathon ended up being less about from “mile 0 to mile 1 was uphill, mile 2 was downhill, etc.” and more like point A to point B was great, B to C was okay, C through D was no bueno, etc.
I didn’t take any pictures through the course (hello…trying to PR here!) but the race photographers were able to catch me in a few areas of the course.
Mile 1-10 : The Good Times
The first section of the race I am going to dub “The Good Times.” I was feeling good, the hills were fun (more or less), everyone is talking and just having a good time!
The uphill start isn’t always fun, but a slow and steady pace with the pace group was perfect! I was’t beat up, I didn’t swerve around people, and the pace group stuck together pretty well through the chaos of the first couple miles! While there was a little construction areas, most of the course was clear (or at least where I was running).
There were a lot of things to see in these first 10 miles (most of what I remember) :
- the Sprint Center
- Power & Light District
- Jackson County Courthouse
- Historic 18th & Vine
- Negro League Baseball Museum
- Nelson Adkins Museum of Art
- The Country Club Plaza
Around mile 8, the half marathoners continued on while the marathoners turned to start our trek further south.
Around mile 9-ish, a social media runner pal of mine, Sarah, caught up to me! We had planned on meeting up in the starting chute, but a line bathroom fiasco and the starting chute gates kept her from starting in the same pace group that I did. But she kicked on and caught up to us! We chatted for a little bit and then I let her run on ahead!
Mile 10-16 : Slowing, Still Feeling Good!
After Sarah left, I just started fading on my pace a little more. There was a gradual climb from around mile 11-13 which didn’t help matters, and the rolling hills were starting to get to my legs. Around mile 14/15, we were at the southern-most section of the course and we started out trek back north to the finish!
Running through the beautiful neighborhoods of KC is one of the best parts of the race! There is so much to look around and see…you almost forget that you are running a race and are starting to hurt…
In the same area of mile 15, we were now running the first section of the Rock The Parkway course – a spring half marathon & 5K I have run a few times. The terrain was familiar, but my legs had other plans… Between the off-and-on cramping and my mental game struggling, I let off the pace big time and started walking quite a bit.
Mile 16-19 : Let The Cramping BEGIN!
There were a couple times in the next few miles that I almost ate pavement…bad! My legs would lock up and I had a few close calls… It was bad enough that if I tried to stretch out my calf on a curb, my shin muscles (that I didn’t realize existed!) would cramp up just as tight! As long as I kept moving, the cramping was manageable…
The upsetting part was that since I already knew this section of the course, I knew that it was favorably downhill…but due to my cramping, I wasn’t able to take advantage of it. Oh well. The rolling hills kept the day interesting and I was able to keep moving.
One fun part along this area was the great aid station : ) I believe it was a luau theme and they were “lei-ing” people as they ran by…fun section for sure!
Mile 19-22 : Still Moving Forward
After Loose Park, we had a few miles of decent downhills. I had originally planned on using this section to push it and catch back up to my pace group (if I were behind). While there were sections that I was able to pick it up for a bit, my cramping legs kept tripping me up.
Even though I was cramping and not having the day I set out for, I was still having fun! Well, you wouldn’t be able to tell from the course photographers… And honestly, the next couple photographers didn’t look like anyone special on course! I thought they were just a friend/family member of a runner around me… Probably why I didn’t give them the time of day… Lesson learned.
Mile 22-24 : RBF big time…and almost face-planting
After the big downhill “catch up” section was a not so fun uphill section. The one thing that I was looking forward to was the “cheer zone” in Westport.
I didn’t have anyone I was expecting to be cheering, but it was nice to know there would be people around. I don’t think everyone stuck around…because there was like one bar that had a group outside… Oh well.
Traffic was starting to flow more on the other side of the street, and we were all ready for this race to be over…
Mile 24-25.5 : …A Monkey & A Banana ?
You know that feeling when you are so close…but there is just a little more than what you want left…
It felt like we just kept turning corner after corner…rolling up and down those darn KC hills, I just wanted to be finished! My legs were being weird and locking up randomly…
One of the uplifting experiences in this difficult time was a guy dressed in a monkey suit and a guy dressed in a banana costume who ran with me for a mile or two stretch! They really did a great job keeping my mind off the pain and making me laugh through the uphill climbs. We were all in the suffer-bus together, and they sure made it entertaining! Legit, the monkey was chasing the banana…
Then I saw my Bird Pal Megan waving a sign! That gave me just enough boost to get me running down the last couple turns! There is an uphill battle in mile 25, but once you get up on Main St., you are blessed with a straight, downhill finish!
Mile 25.5-finish : The Final Sprint
I put myself into super speed and started fishing. With every runner I passed, I would get just a little boost of energy to keep moving. My legs would randomly tighten and lock up – so I just tried to stay on my feet as much as I could!
My buddy Michelle came out to help run me in, but I left her behind as I tried to kick to a sub-5 hour finish. While I came in just above my goal, I wasn’t upset about the day. I was just glad that I wasn’t running anymore. With that, I set about a 15 minute PR from my last marathon nearly 18 months ago : )
The KCM course did not disappoint! The hills were rough – and that led to some terrible cramping… But I enjoyed the views and crowds! The aid stations were well placed and often (about every 2 miles). The humidity wasn’t great but the sun stayed away until around mile 24 for me…
Once I finished, I stood in front of a girl handing out medals…but she was busy texting someone to see me standing right in front of her (smh…). So a girl came up from behind her and nudged her to the side and gave me one of her medals : )
There was fruit, milk, and water in the finishing chute and a guy handing out warm Chic-fil-a sandwiches. I set down all my things so I could ring the PR bell!
I walked around for a little bit and met up with some of my runner buddies. Mark had finished the 1/2 QUITE a bit earlier and got to run and talk to Alexi Peppas in the 1:45 group – lucky!
I found Michelle and we walked to the start of the finishers chute (where the runners came through) and waited for other marathoners that hadn’t finished yet. We saw several gals that I knew from KC and the Manhattan running group – good to see them finish their first marathon!
We all then hobbled over to the actual finishers area. There wasn’t any food left, but I was able to have part of a beer before heading to the car.
I really do love the care and attention that goes into the Kansas City Marathon (or other distances) experience! Since the event is getting so big, I loved the new location of the packet pickup and Health & Fitness Expo. The layout was easy to understand and I didn’t feel like I needed to wander around to see everything there!
The race start felt a little messy with all the runners all over the place, and I wish that the chute had the large pace time handing panels. Due to the wind, I understand that this perk wasn’t possible…but without them, it was a little more cramped and pace groups were way too close together.
The course was great! The aid stations every 2 miles or so was great! I don’t thing that I needed to run with my hydration pack…maybe I’ll test that theory next year : ) There was a lot to see and the hills did not disappoint! I most enjoyed the miles that I was able to stick close to my chosen pace group…through around mile 10. Once my legs started cramping, I was having less fun than before…but I still enjoyed the course, the crowds, and aid stations, and every mile closer to the finish line ; )
The post race was nice, but as a slower runner, I feel like races never prepare for those later runners. There wasn’t much for me to eat or drink…outside of the typical banana, water, and Clic-fil-a sandwich handed off in the finishing chute. The live music had ended, the vendors started packing up, but I was able to get a cold beer as I walked around.
Overall, a great race and I cannot wait to conquer this race again next year!
For images noted in the review, check out the blog review here: