KC Half Marathon Race Report Part II
(Continued from Part I)
The KC Half bills itself as a relatively flat course. I am not sure that there is anything flat in the KC area. The race started in the Crown Center District. We headed North on Grand over I70 into the Power and Light District. We headed further into Downtown. At 11th Street, we hung West and then turned South down Main. There was a blues band playing outside one of the clubs, which was nice. At that point, we ran down to Union Station and curved up Kessler towards the WWI memorial. That a was hill I was not expecting.
After that, we headed down the WWI loop where there was a female jazz singer performing. Then we ran past the Federal Reserve and up the hill that Hospital Hill centers around. At that point I am thinking great, the item that is feared at the end of the city’s largest race is right smack dab in mile 3 of my half. We then proceeded down South on Main street where you could smell Lamar’s Donuts from the donut shop. The Blonde and I started cracking Gabriel Iglesias jokes at that point.
We headed down on Westport Road through Westport, which had a lot of supporters. Then it was down South on the Roanoke Parkway towards the Plaza area. At this point we caught up with two guys dressed as Mario and Luigi. They got lots of cheers, so it was fun running with them for a bit. We ran East on 47th over to Troost. This is where the half and full runners separated. We ran North on Gillham Road through Hyde Park.
Somewhere around Armour Boulevard, I took a 30 second walk break. The Blonde did not wait. My left knee was bothering me a bit and I just wanted a break. Originally, our plan was to walk through the aid stations. That did not work very well. So, I think for Goofy, we will employ a regular walk break based on time. Lesson number two learned.
We headed North up the Paseo for a couple of miles. I knew we were heading towards the end as my GPS told me we had 3.1 miles to go. I figured great, just a regular run around the block, I have got this. I hit the 11 mile marker aid station and the guy told me what it was, I thought crap, my GPS already told me I was at 11.2. So, I knew I was going long for this race probably due to running on the outside. Oh well, I just wanted that sub 2 time. So, I started doing the math in my head and picked up the pace a bit.
At that point, we turned West onto 18th Street and ran through the 18th and Vine district. At that point, Midtown was appearing very close and you could get a really good sense of the finish line. After running on 18th street, we briefly turned South on McGee and West on 20th. The supporters were starting to pile up at that point. I picked up the pace and starting passing people. Then we headed South on Grand towards the finish line. It was UPHILL!
I was pushing it pretty hard at that point and was passing more people. Finish strong is what I had in my head. I saw the 1:55 pacer at that point and realized I had left the 2:00 pacer a long time ago. He pulled over and was waving everyone to the finish. I crossed the finish line with an official time of 1:53:44, beating my goal of 2:00 pretty comfortably. That was an overall 8:41 pace. The Blonde beat me by 36 seconds.
At the finish they were handing out the silver blankets which I just grabbed even though I didn’t feel like I needed one. I am glad I did though, because after about 10 minutes I was getting pretty chilly. There were boxes of chocolate milk, rolls, pretzels, water, and bananas. Chocolate milk never tasted so good. They had some beer and bbq somewhere, but we decided not to partake and just went back to the car to go home for some rest and relaxation.
Overall it was a pretty good race. It would be hard to beat that weather for a long distance race. I probably should have taken a couple ibuprofen before the race, lesson number three. I also should have paid more attention to my fueling and eaten some GU before I did, lesson number four. All in all, a good result for my first half marathon. now, I just need to shave 23 minutes and 44 seconds off. Oh and lose about 20 lbs. The diet gets serious now.
Oh, and I take full credit for The Blonde’s speed. Her overall training has picked up since she has been running with me vs. being stuck on a treadmill. 😀