DISTANCE : 5k, 10k, Half Marathon
EXPERIENCE AT THIS EVENT : I've run it one form or another since 2006 missing only one year. 2006 was my best Half by far.
PERSONAL RECAP :
This wasn't a goal race for me in the sense of setting a PR. I knew the hills were formidable and the heat forecasted today would take a toll. My main goal was the distance in prep for IM KS and to come away with a solid training run for physical and psychological endurance without injuring myself.
PRE RACE :
- Luckily I got there nice and early... because I left my garmin in my truck and had to go back and get it!
- One thing that sets Hospital Hill apart from a lot of other KC races... port-a-potties. They have a LOT year after year. At the peak I only waited 10 minutes for stop two right before start time.
- They also have lots of parking around the area. The secret spot is the Union Station parking garage. It's a sweet spot and covered and cool after a hot run in the sun.
- With my newer hydration system for long runs and the impending heat, I was loading up on water pre-race and the night before. I'm not interested in dehydration or bonking. Mix that with some GU chomps 45 minutes before and I was good to go aside from the usual breakfast at 5am.
- Had to sport my KU Sockguy socks!
- PEOPLE WATCHING - it's always interesting!
- Spectators smoking right by the start chute 10 minutes before race started. Really? You can't wait until 7500 "healthy" people take off before lighting up?
- It's always interesting to see some women dressed in pearl earrings, necklace, and full makeup getting ready to run 13.1 miles.
- Booty shorts. It's a half marathon, do some ladies really need to wear those?
- It was a brutal day (in my mind). The heat wasn't overwhelming, but if you didn't prepare for the hills AND the heat, you were going to be in a world of hurt over 13.1 miles. Around mile 7 I spotted a gal starting to stagger around and runners stopped to help her sit down.
- I'm not sure how this event stood for my PR for a couple of years. I guess ignorance was bliss when I first ran it not knowing what was in store for me. I think that year in particular was very conducive weather wise for running. The past couple of years have been on the hot and humid side.
- As soon as we hit the first hill, I knew from my rate of sweating I would need to take in fluid more often than most of my training runs. I had my trusty Ultimate Direction Access Hydration Waist Pack with my GU Recovery and Roctane mixture. I can't stomach GU gel shots these days so I mix it in with my GU recovery (I use the GU recovery for my race drink on the advice of my top nutritional advisor, my wife) I use for training runs and drink that. I drank that every 3 miles and took in Gatorade at various aid stations where I thought I needed it. Basically I had to amend my training regimen to the conditions and it worked well.
- I also felt a little light headed early on and I knew if I pushed the pace trying to PR I would either bonk or barf. Also had a slight twinge in the right hip flexor. Add all that up and it reinforced my thoughts to keep this as training and not try to pull some superman stunt.
- I accomplished my main goals. Distance. Mental and physical training. Heat training. Didn't hurt myself.
- Time to hit the FLUID recovery afterwards!
INDIVIDUAL ASPECTS OF THE EVENT
- Online and easy, check.
- The earlier you enter, the cheaper it was.
- Twitter page, none.
- Facebook page, YES.
- Email notifications - about once a week to stay in touch.
- Website hip and stylish with all links working and informative, check but the site could use a face lift.
- Packet Pickup
- Pretty standard, see my report HERE on that.
- Goodie Bag - Not really a bag these days.
- Handouts a plenty at the Expo.
- Technical T-shirt, check.
- Stylish water bottles, check.
- Race supplies and numbers, check
- Snack samples, not so much. They did have a bag at the end with some goodies but none at packet pickup.
- Coupons, nope.
- Arrival / Parking
- The secret spot is the Union Station parking garage. It's a sweet spot and covered and cool after a hot run in the sun. They have parking everywhere in downtown KC, so it's not really an issue.
- They sported 25 to 30 johns.
- You don't have to wait long, it was nice!
- Aid stations - every 1.5 miles, check.
- Gatorade and water options at each station, check.
- GU at stations, nope.
- Quality streets, check.
- Closed to traffic, check.
- Accuracy of markers, sort of. I was around 0.10 miles off with my Garmin but that might have been due to weaving out of slow runners.
- Ample volunteers, check.
- Good course markings, check.
- Finish Line
- Water, check.
- Finisher medal, check.
- Photog, check.
- Someone to take your timing chip off, not needed since they were built into the bibs.
- Ample space, check.
- Wet and COLD towels, check!
- Post Race Accommodations
- Food options more than bananas and bagels? They had string cheese, bananas, milk, pop, and water, check.
- Gatorade - not that I could find.
- Tents, check.
- Post race massage area, not that I saw.
- DJ, check.
- Someplace you could hang out with friends and family and relive the race, check
- Would I Come Back
- Would I Recommend to a Friend
Race results and summary can be read HERE.
This is a pretty good running race. Challenging course and with 38 runnings in the books, they have a good system and a good pool of loyal local runners. It also garners enough attention to bring people in from out of KC to run it. As long as I can, I will run the race in some form, whether it's the 5k, 10k, or half marathon. It's a tradition in pain and anguish!