My Profile

@jkelling

Kansas City, MO Raving since 2023 Active 7 hours, 22 minutes ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    KC Running Club, RWB

  • Rave race:

    Running With the Cows

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Running With the Cows (Half) and Boston Tough Ruck and MiniIndy MegaMini

  • I run because:
    • I had a heart attack. They told me I was dying. I have rescue kittens to watch after, so I said that’s not going to work for me. I’m a back-of-the-packer, but I do all my races in body armor, so if you see me say hi as you pass me on the course.

     

    • I enjoy races. I enjoy the community. I enjoy the swag as a tangible memory of where I’ve been. Sometimes a TBI comes out of nowhere and you don’t remember it…the tangible things sometimes help restore the memories because you can engage more than one sense at a time. I enjoy the people who have helped motivate me along the way, and I especially enjoy those who I can motivate to attempt or finish a new distance or set a new PR, or up the weight they carry a couple more pounds for a ruck. I enjoy the knowledge that of all the hobbies we could have, at least this one is good for our health, and that keeps me around longer to spend time with my rescue kittens.

     

    • People have asked me about my ratings in the past. For me a 5-star (shoe) race is one where I will forsake all other races to do that race, year after year. The ones I click refresh on their signup page when I know it’s too early, because…maybe… I hold their medals in the slow season and think back to the great memories of those races and the great people there and look forward to the time of year when I’ll be out early at the starting line again. There’s a lot of great races out there that I want to try, so it DOES actually take a lot to get me there, but like I said, there’s a lot of great races out there, which is why I can honestly say I have as many as I do. 4-star races are the ones I thought were exceptional. It was an excellent race from production to execution. I may try a different one next year when there are two (or more) on the same date, since I’m within driving distance to over 1000 a year. 3-star races…I’m glad I did it. That was a fun race. Nothing went horribly south. Checked that box, doubt I’ll find need to go back unless it quite literally is the only one that weekend and I can’t find a virtual in time. 2-star races are an “I want my money back” sort of event. Maybe not literally as in I’m going to call and demand a refund because that’s petty and Terms always spell out for you how that’ll play out…not that people don’t try… Barring a new RD, course overhaul, reboot of the event, you won’t catch me there again next year. A 1-star event is not only “I want my money back” but “I want those x hours of my life back.” I cannot legitimately imagine a race by professionals going that south unless they publish the wrong location and don’t let anybody know or there are tons of blind turns on the course with no markings and a bunch of us get lost. Running out of medals or not having water on the course, that’s a 1-star event, but even the mediocre inaugural events I’ve been to can top that. Still…it’s out there.

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Future Races

Future Races (253)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
10 Miler Kansas City, KS Feb 24, 2024
10K Parkville, MO Mar 1, 2024
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO Mar 2, 2024
4 Miler Kansas City, MO Mar 9, 2024
4 Miler Kansas City, MO Mar 9, 2024
10K Lenexa, KS Mar 10, 2024
5K Leawood, KS Mar 16, 2024
Half Marathon St. Joseph, MO Mar 17, 2024
Half Marathon Liberty, MO Mar 23, 2024
5K Kansas City, MO Mar 30, 2024
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO Apr 6, 2024
5K Kansas City, MO Apr 13, 2024
Marathon Concord, MA Apr 14, 2024
Half Marathon Olathe, KS Apr 20, 2024
5K Excelsior Springs, MO Apr 21, 2024
Half Marathon Topeka, KS Apr 27, 2024
4 Miler Kansas City, MO Apr 28, 2024
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN May 4, 2024
5K Indianapolis, IN May 4, 2024
5K Independence, MO May 5, 2024
Half Marathon Bucyrus, KS May 11, 2024
Half Marathon Joplin, MO May 18, 2024
Half Marathon Overland Park, KS May 19, 2024
10K Kansas City, MO May 27, 2024
12 hr Norton, KS May 30, 2024
10K Kansas City, MO Jun 1, 2024
Half Marathon Clinton, MO Jun 15, 2024
Half Marathon Saint Joseph, MO Jun 16, 2024
5K Overland Park, MO Jun 22, 2024
10K Columbia, MO Jun 28, 2024
8 Miler Independence, MO Jun 29, 2024
5K Overland Park, KS Jul 4, 2024
4 Miler Kansas City, MO Jul 4, 2024
8K Atchison, KS Jul 20, 2024
5 Miler Bonner Springs, KS Aug 24, 2024
9.11 Miler Columbia, MO Sep 7, 2024
6 Miler Ridgedale, MO Sep 7, 2024
10K Kansas, MO Sep 8, 2024
5K Drexel, MO Sep 14, 2024
25K Manhattan, KS Sep 15, 2024
4 Miler Kansas City, MO Sep 21, 2024
Half Marathon St. Joseph, MO Sep 28, 2024
Half Marathon Cape Girardeau, MO Sep 29, 2024
5K Fort Leavenworth, KS Oct 6, 2024
Half Marathon Wichita, KS Oct 13, 2024
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO Oct 19, 2024
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 20, 2024
Half Marathon Salina, KS Nov 2, 2024
Half Marathon Lawrence, KS Nov 3, 2024
7.6K Republic, MO Nov 9, 2024
Half Marathon Overland Park, KS Nov 24, 2024
10K Kansas City, MO 2024
5K Kansas City, MO 2024
10K Parkville, MO 2024
Half Marathon Columbia, MO 2024
10K Union, MO 2024
5K Rayville, MO 2024
10K Emporia, KS 2024
15 Miler La Cygne, KS 2024
10K Little River, KS 2024
12K Kansas City, MO 2024
5K Gardner, KS 2024
10K Weston, MO 2024
5K Overland Park, MO 2024
Half Marathon Ottawa, KS 2024
Half Marathon Kailua-Kona, HI TBD
Half Marathon Siem Reap, Cambodia TBD
10 Miler Washington, DC TBD
Half Marathon Dorking, United Kingdom TBD
Half Marathon Bagan, Myanmar TBD
Half Marathon Baltimore, MD TBD
Half Marathon Springfield, MO TBD
Marathon White Sands, NM TBD
5K Kansas City, MO TBD
Half Marathon Blanding, UT TBD
Half Marathon Bird In Hand, PA TBD
5K Bird In Hand, PA TBD
15K Utica, NY TBD
10K Boulder, CO TBD
Half Marathon Greensboro, NC TBD
20K Carlsbad, CA TBD
10 Miler Washington, DC TBD
Half Marathon Houston, TX TBD
Half Marathon Sai Kung, Hong Kong TBD
Half Marathon Denver, CO TBD
Half Marathon Denver, CO TBD
Half Marathon Bellvue, CO TBD
Half Marathon Tybee Island, GA TBD
10K Tybee Island, GA TBD
5K Tybee Island, GA TBD
2.8 Miler Tybee Island, GA TBD
Half Marathon Johnston, IA TBD
10K Dallas, TX TBD
Half Marathon Dallas, TX TBD
Marathon Hilton Head Island, SC TBD
Half Marathon Hilton Head Island, SC TBD
Half Marathon Daytona Beach, FL TBD
Half Marathon Des Moines, IA TBD
10K Lenexa, KS TBD
10K St. Joseph, MO TBD
5K Indianapolis, IN TBD
10K Overland Park, KS TBD
22.2K New Valley Governorate, Egypt TBD
Half Marathon Abilene, KS TBD
Half Marathon Waterfall, PA TBD
Half Marathon Placencia, Belize TBD
Half Marathon Potomac, MD TBD
Half Marathon Fargo, ND TBD
Half Marathon Fargo, ND TBD
5K Fargo, ND TBD
Half Marathon Fargo, ND TBD
Half Marathon Fayetteville, AR TBD
Half Marathon Newark, DE TBD
Marathon Willard, MO TBD
50K Willard, MO TBD
Half Marathon Gettysburg, PA TBD
Half Marathon Kiowa, MT TBD
Half Marathon Lincoln, NE TBD
Half Marathon Helena, MT TBD
Half Marathon Wilson, WY TBD
Half Marathon Townsend, TN TBD
Half Marathon Overland Park, KS TBD
Half Marathon Nashville, TN TBD
5K State Rd, NC TBD
Half Marathon Havana, Cuba TBD
Half Marathon Lake Havasu City, AZ TBD
5K Lake Havasu City, AZ TBD
Half Marathon Sylvan Grove, KS TBD
10K Olathe, KS TBD
15K Olathe, KS TBD
Half Marathon Honey Creek, IA TBD
Half Marathon Alamogordo, NM TBD
Half Marathon Fort Collins, CO TBD
Half Marathon Huntersville, NC TBD
5K Huntersville, NC TBD
Half Marathon Knoxville, TN TBD
Half Marathon Indianapolis, IN TBD
10K South Hero, VT TBD
Half Marathon Snoqualmie Pass, WA TBD
10K Greensboro, NC TBD
Half Marathon Osawatomie, KS TBD
Half Marathon Wadi Rum Village, Jordan TBD
Half Marathon Koloa, HI TBD
Half Marathon Moshi, Tanzania TBD
Half Marathon Golden, CO TBD
Half Marathon Page, AZ TBD
Half Marathon Page, AZ TBD
Marathon Snoqualmie Pass, WA TBD
Half Marathon Lincoln, NE TBD
Half Marathon Lincoln, NE TBD
Half Marathon Little Rock, AR TBD
Marathon Little Rock, AR TBD
Marathon Inverness, United Kingdom TBD
10K Inverness, United Kingdom TBD
Half Marathon Palenque, Mexico TBD
Half Marathon Louisville, KY TBD
Marathon Hiawatha, KS TBD
17.75K Triangle, VA TBD
17.75K Triangle, VA TBD
20 Miler Osawatomie, KS TBD
Half Marathon Millinocket, ME TBD
Half Marathon Billings, MT TBD
29K Fuji-Kawaguchiko, Japan TBD
Half Marathon Hermosa, SD TBD
Half Marathon Seattle, WA TBD
Half Marathon Napa, CA TBD
Half Marathon Naples, Italy TBD
Half Marathon Fayetteville, WV TBD
Half Marathon Allen, TX TBD
Half Marathon Newport News, VA TBD
5K Newport News, VA TBD
Half Marathon Niagara Falls, Canada TBD
Half Marathon Oklahoma City, OK TBD
Half Marathon Oklahoma City, OK TBD
9 hr Chanute, KS TBD
Half Marathon Omaha, NE TBD
8.8K Osaka, Japan TBD
Half Marathon Wilburton, OK TBD
Half Marathon Kingsville, Canada TBD
Half Marathon Lawrence, KS TBD
Marathon Pisa, Italy TBD
Half Marathon Tromso, Norway TBD
5K Kansas City, KS TBD
Half Marathon Woodville, AL TBD
10K Woodville, AL TBD
Half Marathon Woodville, AL TBD
Half Marathon Pleasant Hill, MO TBD
5K Huntsville, AL TBD
10K Huntsville, AL TBD
Front Half Marathon Huntsville, AL TBD
Back Half Marathon Huntsville, AL TBD
Marathon Huntsville, AL TBD
Half Marathon Estes Park, CO TBD
Half Marathon Bentonville, AR TBD
Half Marathon Holden Beach, NC TBD
10K Franklin, WI TBD
Half Marathon Oak Island, NC TBD
Half Marathon Ocean Isle Beach, NC TBD
Half Marathon Sunset Beach, NC TBD
Half Marathon Burlington, NC TBD
Half Marathon Springfield, MO TBD
10K Springfield, MO TBD
5K Springfield, MO TBD
1 Miler Springfield, MO TBD
Half Marathon Tucson, AZ TBD
Half Marathon Oak Ridge, TN TBD
10K Lawrence, KS TBD
Half Marathon Stanley, VA TBD
Half Marathon Savannah, GA TBD
10 Miler Huntsville, AL TBD
Half Marathon Clewiston, FL TBD
10K Clewiston, FL TBD
6 hr Topeka, KS TBD
12 hr Topeka, KS TBD
Half Marathon Split, Croatia TBD
Half Marathon Memphis, TN TBD
10K Austin, TX TBD
Half Marathon Blue River, OR TBD
Half Marathon Washington, DC TBD
Half Marathon Snoqualmie Pass, WA TBD
Half Marathon Snoqualmie Pass, WA TBD
10K Fort Worth, TX TBD
Half Marathon Fort Worth, TX TBD
5K Fort Worth, TX TBD
Marathon Lawrence, KS TBD
Half Marathon King George Island, Antarctica TBD
Half Marathon Apache Junction, AZ TBD
10K Apache Junction, AZ TBD
10K Kansas City, MO TBD
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO TBD
5K Excelsior Springs, MO TBD
5K Lenexa, KS TBD
10 Miler Vienna, IL TBD
Marathon Vienna, IL TBD
Marathon Snoqualmie Pass, WA TBD
Half Marathon New Hill, NC TBD
10K Lawson, MO TBD
Half Marathon Tulsa, OK TBD
Half Marathon Wilmington, NC TBD
5K Wilmington, NC TBD
5K Mt Airy, NC TBD
5K Lawrence, KS TBD
Half Marathon Greenbrier, AR TBD
Half Marathon West Yellowstone, MT TBD
Half Marathon Council Bluffs, IA TBD
Half Marathon Oakhurst, CA TBD
Half Marathon Virgin, UT TBD
Half Marathon Virgin, UT TBD
Half Marathon Anchorage, AK TBD
1 Miler Columbia, MO TBD
2.8 Miler Columbia, MO TBD
5K Columbia, MO TBD
10K Columbia, MO TBD

Past Races (70)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
10K Independence, MO Feb 11, 2024
10K Overland Park, MO Feb 10, 2024
10K USA Feb 4, 2024
15K Challenge (5K + 10K) Kansas City, MO Jan 28, 2024
10K Overland Park, KS Jan 1, 2024
10K Parkville, MO Dec 31, 2023
10K Easton, KS Dec 30, 2023
12K Liberty, MO Dec 17, 2023
12K Lee\'s Summit, MO Dec 16, 2023
5K Kansas City, MO Dec 9, 2023
5K Overland Park, KS Dec 3, 2023
5K Greensboro, NC Nov 23, 2023
5K Lawrence, KS Nov 12, 2023
10K Parkville, MO Nov 11, 2023
5.5K Republic, MO Nov 11, 2023
Half Marathon Lee\'s Summit, MO Nov 5, 2023
10K Lee\'s Summit, MO Nov 4, 2023
5K Belton, MO Oct 29, 2023
10K Kansas City, MO Oct 28, 2023
5K Olathe, KS Oct 22, 2023
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO Oct 21, 2023
5K Kansas City, MO Oct 15, 2023
5K Overland Park, KS Oct 14, 2023
5K Fort Leavenworth, KS Oct 8, 2023
10K Louisburg, KS Oct 7, 2023
5K Olathe, KS Oct 7, 2023
5K Martin City, MO Oct 1, 2023
10K Weston, MO Sep 30, 2023
6.6K Lawson, MO Sep 30, 2023
10K Kansas City, MO Sep 24, 2023
4 Miler Kansas City, MO Sep 23, 2023
10K Overland Park, MO Sep 17, 2023
5K Drexel, MO Sep 16, 2023
10K Kansas, MO Sep 10, 2023
5K Kansas City, MO Sep 9, 2023
5K Overland Park, MO Sep 9, 2023
5K Leawood, KS Sep 4, 2023
5K De Soto, KS Sep 3, 2023
10K Wathena, MO Sep 2, 2023
10K Parkville, MO Aug 27, 2023
5K Smithville, MO Aug 26, 2023
15K Shawnee, KS Aug 26, 2023
5K Gladstone, MO Aug 19, 2023
5K Belton, MO Aug 12, 2023
5K Gardner, KS Aug 5, 2023
20 Miler Garnett, KS Aug 5, 2023
5K Bonner Springs, KS Jul 29, 2023
8K Atchison, KS Jul 22, 2023
4 Miler Kansas City, MO Jul 4, 2023
5K Overland Park, KS Jul 2, 2023
4 Miler Independence, MO Jul 1, 2023
Half Marathon Parkville, MO Jun 24, 2023
5K Lawrence, KS Jun 17, 2023
5K Kansas City, MO Jun 10, 2023
5K Lee\\\'s Summit, MO Jun 9, 2023
10K Kansas City, MO Jun 3, 2023
5K North Kansas City, MO May 22, 2023
Marathon Hiawatha, KS May 14, 2023
5K Olathe, KS May 13, 2023
5K Bucyrus, KS May 13, 2023
4 Miler Kansas City, MO Apr 30, 2023
5K Lawrence, KS Apr 22, 2023
5K St Joseph, MO Apr 15, 2023
5K Excelsior Springs, MO Apr 15, 2023
5K Kansas City, MO Apr 8, 2023
5K Liberty, MO Mar 25, 2023
5K Leawood, KS Mar 18, 2023
5K Kansas City, MO Mar 11, 2023
5K Kansas City, MO Mar 4, 2023
5K Kansas City, MO Jan 29, 2023

My Raves

So I already did a race from this set in a different location (Couple Shuffle Overland Park). I left a great review for the other one. If I had to … MORE

So I already did a race from this set in a different location (Couple Shuffle Overland Park). I left a great review for the other one. If I had to choose only one, it may actually be this one. The 5k course is a single-T course, the 10k is two laps of it. The overwhelming majority of that race is the “top” of the T, not the vertical leg. I liked the tshirt and loved the medal last weekend when I earned it elsewhere in the set, so it’s still just as great. The course was a beautiful closed off road (both lanes) making the whole path from the start line to the finish nothing but race area. You pass a lake on the top left part of the T as well as what would be an overflow waterfall had it been rainy. There are hills, a couple of which I’d say may border on just more than “rolling” but nothing protracted and nothing punishing. it was a great way to break the monotony of a flat track and get back in the swing of the hill work some of the other races in the KC area requires. Gatorade was on the course, something that’s grown rare on a non-summer-race shorter than a half. and the volunteers were super friendly and motivated. Absolute “do again” race and I hope more races in the future take advantage of this great course.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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...between road and park, here's a great mix! So the 5k was all road work, one lap around a square block. The first side of the square was pretty much … MORE

…between road and park, here’s a great mix! So the 5k was all road work, one lap around a square block. The first side of the square was pretty much one slow grind up, but halfway through the second side you get a little break. After finishing that first lap, you start the second then detour off to an out and back through a park on a double wide trail with mainly rolling hills but two steep but short (distance) ones. It was a nice surprise because I normally hate lap races, but this was a good mix and with the clear differentiation between the 5k and 10k courses, I felt like I got twice my money’s worth. This would be a do again race. I hated only that I was dealing with a toe injury so it did slow me down a little and that uphill grind was a little more punishing than it normally would be, but somehow I still cranked out a fast-ish finish. I didn’t necessarily think it at the time, but this actually could be a fast track despite the hills. I did over 65 races last year and didn’t have any on this course, so it was also a nice treat to do a different path. Kudos to KCRC for another great race.

The long sleeve tshirt seems sturdy and the medal was nicely designed with a lot of heft to it. 5 and 10k are the same medal with different ribbon color, but as I said, it’s heavy and pretty, so that’s not a bad thing.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This was a double out and back. Normally I'm not a huge fan of repeating track, but it still beats a doing laps on a loop. Largely at a park … MORE

This was a double out and back. Normally I’m not a huge fan of repeating track, but it still beats a doing laps on a loop. Largely at a park so only one monitored cross street, then 2k of gradual rolling uphill to a turnaround past an overpass and back to the start for the 5k, do it again for the 10k. Seemed to be a net positive course as I was only slightly behind my average pace but I’m still recovering from illness, so that was a surprise. As always with Bodies, the energy was high at the starting line despite it being cold and wet, the medals were super awesome as a hinged candy box-shaped heart with some real weight to it

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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I've done the 5k a few times, but this is the first year I did the 5k followed by the 10k (2 more "laps") There are so many twists and … MORE

I’ve done the 5k a few times, but this is the first year I did the 5k followed by the 10k (2 more “laps”)

There are so many twists and turns in the course, and an out-and-back or two that it doesn’t have the incessant boring nature of multi-lap races, which normally I hate. I was on the injured list today so my performance was expectedly slow, but I was okay with that because I had to complete the 5k as part of a series and then since I was there, might as well do the 10k afterwards, right? Right. And now I have two medals that link together, which pleases the raccoon in me.

For those who have not been to these races, I’m sorry. They are a great opportunity to have a decent sized race and not have to care what the weather is. If anything you’ll find you likely overdressed for the caves and start peeling off layers. There were two turns where people seemed prone to do that, because every lap I witnessed it at that turn and saw other parts of the pack doing the same as we entered some of the see-through areas from one part of the course to another. Even the area near the entrances are not COLD, per se, but you will feel it cool off in those areas. Those I preferred.

One thing of note, the air in the back of the cave can be thinner, so while the altitude change is negligible (18-wheelers are able to drive through there, so nothing really hilly) as far as your legs are concerned, if you’re sensitive to oxygen level changes prepare to be affected. My pulse oximeter went from 100 at start to 93 on the third lap towards the back. If that doesn’t slow you down, more power to you, but I wasn’t going to drop lower than that.

Prior years it’s actually been a really fast course for me, and since nothing has changed about the course I suspect it still is. Part of that is the mental joy of being inside with a thousand or so of your buddies doing this thing we do for 5, 10 or 15k and not being even remotely concerned about frostbite or frozen lung, knowing that the spring series is just around the corner and all the great races that brings. Part of it is this is one of the few larger, longer races that happen in the late NOV-JAN time frame when everything seems to migrate towards 5k-Only Land (though it seemed better this past year).

I gave 4 shoes on the scenery. I actually think the former limestone quarry cave is attractive. Some people call it an unfinished parking garage. I think the “scenery” also includes for me the peaks you get of other parts of the pack that you see between pillars as everyone spreads out and the course loops and twists around inside, and when you’re recognizing people from different pace groups doing their thing and then all of a sudden you’re slapping high fives to each other again.

Special shout out to some water station volunteers who knew how to bring the full-throttle cheer-and-support routine into the mix as well. I wish I’d caught her name to let the RD know how great it was to see everybody treated like they’re carrying the Olympic torch into the stadium or something. How she did that for so long I’ve no clue, but she deserved recognition.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Indian Creek, but a different section than most races do out there, though there was some overlap with the "regular" route. Two really steep hills made for some great hill … MORE

Indian Creek, but a different section than most races do out there, though there was some overlap with the “regular” route. Two really steep hills made for some great hill work but they weren’t long enough to be punishing. Very enjoyable course. No mile markers for the 10k on the course, maybe not for any of them. I have to take a point away there because looking at your watch/phone isn’t the same as seeing the flag/sign up the road and having a point to fixate on to keep your pace up. I’m never going to give full points without that, because I’ve noticed that every time but one that I PR’ed this year it was on a course with the miles marked.

There was another race going on for part of the race in the same stretch so that was a little confusing at times but quickly got sorted out. I also noticed that we were going head long into that race at some point (I wanted to shout, “Prepare to be boarded!” but refrained). That group (or someone) knocked over a couple of the orange cones that had pretty important directions marked for us. I put one back up the right way, the other one someone else beat me to it. One I actually wasn’t sure about, went the wrong way, then had to backtrack a few dozen meters to the right place. Maybe more volunteers on the course? I don’t know. How to you work someone else moving your stuff because they have a race there as well? That said, it costs a production point.

Great assortment of granola/fruit bars at the finish line. Gatorade at the turn around point which I always appreciate. Think the half would have been fun but this was my third day in a row of racing in the cold and I think 10k was the perfect length for this year. For the hills alone though, I’d love to be back for the half next time around.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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28 degrees and windy....nobody does hot gatorade here? Anyway...This is similar to the route I do as my training route or just need a quick virtual to round out the … MORE

28 degrees and windy….nobody does hot gatorade here? Anyway…This is similar to the route I do as my training route or just need a quick virtual to round out the weekend sort of thing. There’s three different 10k at English Landing park — 2 laps, and out and back with full repeat of the course, and an out and back that’s modified for a shortcut of sorts, so about 4 miles out and 2 back, ending at the start (because it’s direct not circuitous). The latter is my favorite, the 2 lap one I hate, this was the other one. I’m still making up my mind on that one. Bodies’ crew made sure to keep the energy up. I only did the 10k because I’d raced so much that week already, but right up until the starting horn blew part of me was wishing I’d done the half, because they really made it seem like that was where the party was at and I think the turnaround at the half up on the levee makes for some beautiful scenery. My knee and the cold kept me from it, but my buddy said it was a great race. The theme each year is something iconic from the 80s/90s. 2022 was Back to the DeLorean Time Machine, this year it was Triassic Park (or some completely public domain T-rex with red font…however they do it. The cotton Ts were really nice and had a nice 80s retro look to them (and are super soft) and the Trex roars on the award. Apparently, I got second in my age group, but I don’t think there were Age Group awards. All the same. Must have meant only two of us showed up 😉 Hoping to be there next year with a less angry knee, because I’d have really liked to be on the levee one more time before the year ended.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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This was a great 2-lap course. Normally those words would never come out of my mouth, but it surprisingly worked here. With a nice downhill start it was easy to … MORE

This was a great 2-lap course. Normally those words would never come out of my mouth, but it surprisingly worked here. With a nice downhill start it was easy to get the pace quickly up on this cold and windy morning. This was a small intimate race but the RD cared about feedback like he was running an outfit 30 time this size. The course itself I can’t speak of highly enough. After the downhill start there were 4 creek crossings (small ones, but still nice change from the norm), a couple of long hills in the middle of the course (and passing a great pond early in the lap) and the final maybe half a mile was a windy flat stretch to the finish, which incidentally was not blocked by the topography so you could see the finish line nearing from a ways out as extra push. While I do technically have a race tomorrow so it was not my last of the season, I think this would be a great race to close out the year on. I will certainly be back next year. Note, this course is on a working farm/ranch. It is not a road race or a typical trail race. Soil conditions were frozen nicely for the first lap but thawed to mud. I keep extra bags in my car for just such an occasion but keep that in mind when you’re deciding how you’re driving home with 3lbs of mud caked on there otherwise.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This one is hard for me. I was nursing a bad knee today so my time was off, but I feel like it could have been a fast course. Probably … MORE

This one is hard for me. I was nursing a bad knee today so my time was off, but I feel like it could have been a fast course. Probably not PR material because of the hills (none too bad, but many small ones), but a fast one none the less. I had a maximum time I wanted to come in under, and I did, but my splits were way off from normal. Overall I’m only saying 4 on difficulty because as a double out-and-back, you get just as much downhill as uphill, so race strategically. The first couple miles were in one lane of the road, but there was a parallel sidewalk as well that fast runners could take advantage of to pass the clog-ups at the beginning. The scenery was nice, both on the road and in the park, with plenty of varied terrain to take advantage of. This is not a “trail run” though, as it’s all on a doublewide (or wider) path once you hit the park. The swag was the same as yesterday, being another Candy Cane race, but the swag was amazing, so I’m not complaining there. My only gripe is there were with mile markers. There was a 5k and a 12k, so out to the 5k turnaround, then out another half km to the 12k turnaround, then do it twice. There were no mile markers after 3 and since they were for the 5k they didn’t correspond to the multiples on the 12. It would have been nice to have color coded markers out for both race, because I like seeing them on the course as motivation to maintain pace.

Also, the free coffee truck returned for another showing. Huge plus on that one.

I really loved yesterday’s Candy Cane course, and as much as it pains me to say it, if I could only do one next year it would probably be this one, but I’m hoping that both will be do-agains.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Double out and back T-shape, which normally I hate. Misty weather and the days high of 43 could have marked the tone of the day as the mist picked up … MORE

Double out and back T-shape, which normally I hate. Misty weather and the days high of 43 could have marked the tone of the day as the mist picked up and the temp continued to drop pre-start, but that did nothing to kill the mood. The crowd was cold but excited and held that energy til the end. The Bottom of the T is in a neighborhood and top of the T on highway access road. Everything is fully closed off though so no traffic worries and plenty of room to spread out and pass or be passed.

Good little race with complimentary coffee truck at the finish line. VERY comfortable sweatshirt that I’m about to wash and put back on. Only hitch was it was supposed to be a 12k and city only let them do 10k. They did change the webpage but there was no notification sent out and some people were unhappy about the “unknown” change. Bodies Race Company always brings good energy and smiling faces and this was no exception, but this time they also brought chocolate milk and cookies to the finish line.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Not the same Santa Dash as Jazz Museum sadness from before, which was basically 2.5 miles gradual hill up in a straight line by absolutely nothing to look at and … MORE

Not the same Santa Dash as Jazz Museum sadness from before, which was basically 2.5 miles gradual hill up in a straight line by absolutely nothing to look at and no neighborhoods for crowd support. This is not that race at all, and I’m glad I went back to try it again. I’m only sorry that I waited so long to look at it again, because I’m not sure when it changed. Nice course for hill work while remaining fast. My knee is still acting up and I was less than 30 seconds off my PR time, so despite the hills, they are short for the most part (horizontally) and you’ll make up for it on the way down. Most of it through neighborhoods and despite cold windy conditions a lot of people were out cheering, so go Westport, way to bring it! Starting area was great, with a bunch of stalls from local artists/craftsmen (not affiliated with the race, but co-located, which made that nice. Ran out of my shirt size despite registering 2 months ago, so that was disappointing and I have to take away a shoe, but ample coffee at starting line, which was needed on a cold windy morning. Medal was nice for a 2″ with the date of the race on there and more of a classic design to it with minimal color, but classy not boring. Big do-again for this one. One water stop on the course. I’m a big drinker since I’m carrying a load on my back, but I also bring my own hydration. If you’re one too, just don’t expect much on the course and plan accordingly. Also, no mile markers on the course. I find it motivating to see them waving in the wind up ahead of you, providing a level of precision that a watch just doesn’t. For someone who likes tracking splits/split progression, that’s minus a shoe. Plus, come on folks, it’d only be 2 of them. Couldn’t get those out there? Despite the hiccups, absolute do again race for me, and not just because this is slow season.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Fun course by AMC at shopping center. No on course mile markers, which I like to see in advance to motivate myself to pick up the pace in a way … MORE

Fun course by AMC at shopping center. No on course mile markers, which I like to see in advance to motivate myself to pick up the pace in a way a gps can’t. I hate to take off a shoe for that, but it would have been so easy to do on this relatively easy lap. Mile two was somewhat rolling hills. Fast course. If I hadn’t been down the day before I could have really knocked it out, as much of the last mile is slightly downhill. Everything was open at Chicken and Pickle. Coffee and Pickleball on the house. GREAT energy from the volunteers. This is a do again race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Nice medium rolling hills around a lake with an attached stretch by the road. Wide sidewalk and one land shut down though, so plenty of room to maneuver around other … MORE

Nice medium rolling hills around a lake with an attached stretch by the road. Wide sidewalk and one land shut down though, so plenty of room to maneuver around other people. I was visiting family from out of town, and packet pickup was right around the corner from where I was staying, but there is no race-day pickup, which, as someone who travels up to an hour each weekend for a race, it’s a personal pet peeve of mine even for local races to not do same day PPU. This race started late and was less than 1k people, which seems like same day should have been doable. From the Race’s standpoint, it also means no same day PPU would have ruled out anybody from out of town who didn’t want to spend the night or drive out twice, which seems like bad business. As such, have to deduct a shoe for Race Production.

The few support people on the course and at the water station were reasonably motivated. With the course largely in a park there was little need for a lot of road closures, and there was never really an issue of not knowing where to go. On course mile-markers are always a plus.

Race swag….no finisher medal. Some people don’t care. I get it. Some people chase bling. I’m in the latter category, particularly for out-of-town races I do. I did 61 races so far this year. 58 came with finisher medals, so I feel like that IS kind of the standard, particularly for a full-price race. If you want to offer a “no frills” option with no T/medal, sure…more options are always super, but I feel like an opportunity is missed again to pull in the out-of-towners and bling chasers. The long-sleeve, hooded, tech T is nice though, and the turkey hat is warm (and cute) so while I would normally give a no-medal race a 3 for swag, I’ll give them a 3.5 and round up to 4 on this one.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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I was on the injured list today because an old knee injury was acting up. Figured even if I hopped across the finish line, great cause, new race (for me) … MORE

I was on the injured list today because an old knee injury was acting up. Figured even if I hopped across the finish line, great cause, new race (for me) and I was going with a buddy so I was going regardless. SO glad I did. This was one of the best surprise 5K courses I’ve seen in a while. I don’t get excited much about 5Ks, but I am now. Long slow hill up, right from the start, make it to the top of campus and take a quick little sidetrip down a pretty good sized hill just to come back up a steeper one (and thankfully shorter) than the first. It’s a pretty campus, and this course really takes advantage of the terrain. I saw several side streets I’d love to do an out and back on if they have a 10k up there. I will be looking now for sure.

Wasn’t a lot of people out cheering us on, but it was cold and bitterly windy and college students getting up early on a Sunday…well…

There were a lot of students racing with us and the Navy/Marine ROTC was out calling cadence and showcasing their guidon. The cinnamon rolls at the end were excellent and the coffee was welcome (thanks for the decaf!) and we got a KU-themed oversized washcloth in addition to our cotton tshirts. As my third race of the weekend I wish I’d had more to really give it my all, but even if you can’t muster that it’s a great course and a great race, and I hope to see you out there next year.

Swag was a really nice spinner medal with the KU mascot on one side and the Korean Peninsula on the other. It’s a bright medal with a loud ribbon and I want more of them.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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This looks like a really great crew that I would love to race with in person, unfortunately this year it was just too far and timing was too tight due … MORE

This looks like a really great crew that I would love to race with in person, unfortunately this year it was just too far and timing was too tight due to some other commitments, so I did it virtually. Kudos to them for some unique race lengths and putting the exercises in the mix too. If you can’t get to a Spartan/Rugged Maniac this is your best option (and a whole heck of a lot cheaper), plus it supports a good cause.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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This was the first year they added a 10k, but I've done the 5ks any prior year I was in town for. For anyone who routinely does English Landing Park, … MORE

This was the first year they added a 10k, but I’ve done the 5ks any prior year I was in town for. For anyone who routinely does English Landing Park, I think this race is the best of the three major routes for 10k. There’s the double loop (yech), the out and back that turns around right before the little footbridge (something to be said for symmetry) and this modified out and back, where the turnaround is around mile 4 then you take a shortcut back. I didn’t care for it the first time because I like my turnaround points being symmetrical normally, but this means you only have to do the boring part of the course once. That’s also the loosest packed gravel so less sliding and less loss of speed.

The races are always nice down there, and it’s a pretty flat course for the first 5k, then there’s a slight slope down to the turnaround point and back. It should be a fast course, though I’ve never actually PR’ed there. I suspect part of that may be to familiarity because I’ve done that route so many times (it’s my default virtual route if I’m not doing an actual site nearby).

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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First and foremost, I rucked this, so there are nuances that won’t apply to runners as much. I was torn on how many shoes to select on a number of … MORE

First and foremost, I rucked this, so there are nuances that won’t apply to runners as much. I was torn on how many shoes to select on a number of categories, so let me explain my logic and where I’m coming from.

Overall I could have gone 3-5 and justified each depending on the other categories. There are large sections of this race, I think about 4 miles, that’s on a side-sloping highway, so your left foot always has a further vertical fall than your right foot. That’s never GOOD, but it may not be as bad for runners. With 40lbs on your back it gets miserable real fast, and even weaving to try to take the route of minimal slope, I went from just under 15 minute splits for the first 6 miles to 17:30 (I did stop to observe the swelling) and ended up slowing down for the latter half, finishing with a 15:50 pace compared to 15:16 at Garmin KC 2 weeks ago. Is that the race’s fault? Nope. It’s made for runners and I’m borrowing space on their course, but that is a minus and it cost a shoe.

Course scenery? Well the view around mile 3 and 5 if I remember correctly was looking out over the lake. That was pretty. The wooded area for the last 5 miles was pretty as we went through the park. The 4 miles on that side-slant there’s nothing to look at but highway and regret. Minus a shoe.

Race production. This one isn’t just me, but also the two people who ran it that I came with. We got some weird numbers on splits that showed up at the end. It was the same end as yesterday’s 10k so we’ll look at that data since I was battling an injury today. Had 2 splits at 15:10-15, all the rest in the 14s. That’s about right. Hit mile 6 (on 10k), so 0.2 mile left to go. Took me 4:48? a 24-minute-mile pace? Think I’d notice a 10min fall behind. All of a sudden. The runners who were already finished said they had the same long split issue, so either the last fragment of a mile is long, or the other full miles are short, because we both had 20-60% increase in pace on our final split according to the signage. Not a huge deal. Obnoxious, sure, but what can you do. There was a two day challenge, race both days, get a cap. They couldn’t find my name on the list. Asked if I registered late. A month ago, so…not by most definitions. Everyone was real nice. They always are (and all the water points, the volunteers were turning it up to 11 on the motivation, so good on ’em there), but it was one more thing to keep me from chocolate milk and a chair, and since usually KC Race puts out some smooth as butter experiences, I can’t in good conscience go higher.

Swag was good. Long sleeve heavy tshirt and a hoodie, heavy weight beanie for the challenge swag, all in a matching yeti and bring blue theme. It’s good stuff. I don’t actually remember so this is hearsay from someone else I was talking to afterwards, but the tshirts weren’t free (okay nothing is free, roger, but they typically come with the race, and sometimes you can opt out for a cheaper race). She didn’t get a tshirt because she didn’t realize you had to pay extra. Read the fine print, I gotcha, but when you’re signing up for 6, 8, 10 races all at once, sometimes you miss stuff. Minus one shoe for no free swag.

My performance was the opposite of Garmin. The exhilaration that pushed me to make up time after some rough hills just wasn’t there today. After the side-slope it really was just “let’s get this done so I can ice my knee.” I did make up from that 17-minute Hindenburg but not with the gusto I’d have liked. Two shoes only because 1 is DNF and I did limp across the finish line.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
2

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So there's about 2 miles or so on a highway that slants down to the left meaning your left foot has further to fall on every strike. Maybe that's not … MORE

So there’s about 2 miles or so on a highway that slants down to the left meaning your left foot has further to fall on every strike. Maybe that’s not much for your typical runner, but I’ve got Army knees and I’m wearing body armor, so that was throbbing a little bit at the end of the day. There’s not a lot to look at out at that part of the course, but the water station volunteers were all motivated beyond belief. As a back-of-the-packer, I’m sometimes just glad that someone is there. These folks made me feel like I was carrying in the olympic torch every time. There aren’t any local spectators on this course because there’s no “local” anything, but these folks woulda given anyone a run for their money. Way to motivate!

Once you get past the highway part you’re in a park on a wide wooded trail so there’s lots of scenery changes going on there as you weave in and out of park-woods-park-woods. I went with two very experienced runners with thousands of races between them. We were all confused by the last split, the 0.2 mile finish. I’d done a little shy of 15 on every split but one, which measured 15:05, but the last .02 (everything after their Mile 6 sign) took 4:48 when I hadn’t broken pace? The “pros” I was with had the same experience (with smaller numbers). Not a huge deal. If you’re looking to PR on this course you probably didn’t make the best choice anyway, I don’t think that 0.2 is going to make a difference there, because this isn’t a particularly flat course. I was a little slower than my normal 10k time but not significantly.

Overall it was a fun race. I do think it’s a shame that the tshirt, while nice, is apparently not free with the race. I bought it, and I’m glad that I did, and I understand the subtleties of pricing to know you’re just paying more for the race or opting out for the discount rate, but as a fellow racer pointed out, seems like at this price point that would include the shirts. Personally I’d signed up for somewhere around half a dozen races at the same time and didn’t remember what I paid or when it was, but I trust her account of this. That said, if you find yourself in that situation, buy the shirt. It’s warm.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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So despite it being a loop on a gradual incline, the old adage of what goes up must come down certainly balances this course out. It was cold and windy … MORE

So despite it being a loop on a gradual incline, the old adage of what goes up must come down certainly balances this course out. It was cold and windy when I got there (early as always) and was going to just do it as a cool down run after Cliffhanger the prior day. This is the same course as Carry A. Nation, so out and back briefly in the park, around the pond then through and around the High School Parking lot. The uphill is so gradual you largely won’t mind it at all, but technically, yes, very little of it is flat. Not the most scenic in the world but the final…just shy of a mile…is downhill towards the finish line setting me up for another easy PR. Mainly I was too cold to be there any longer. I’ll be back next year to see if I can PR again. My only complaint is I like seeing mile markers on the course. I find them more motivating than gps device callouts since they’re more likely to be accurate, and I like comparing splits.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

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After a very fast first two miles this course meanders through a very large Christmas light display in the process of being erected. The waterfall later in the course was … MORE

After a very fast first two miles this course meanders through a very large Christmas light display in the process of being erected. The waterfall later in the course was dried up or possibly frozen, but the views looking out into the city from the forest was quite beautiful. The finish by some beautiful houses and a smaller museum was a strong finish. The weather had snapped cold a little bit, and it was nice having coffee available at the starting line (actually quite good coffee). It was somewhat disappointing that I had to find the box of medals at the end and grab one myself, and while I am a back of the packer, there were still quite a few people behind me as well. I was under the weather and O2Sat was sucking that day, but I feel like it could have been a PR course but for one other race I’d done earlier and had PR’ed there when I wasn’t sick. I’ll be doing this again next year and hopefully will be feeling better to test that theory out.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This is a fast course. A local studio was present for some pre-race yoga. It also seems to be hidden gym that the local circuit insiders go to as a … MORE

This is a fast course. A local studio was present for some pre-race yoga. It also seems to be hidden gym that the local circuit insiders go to as a recovery run after Garmin KC, and after a hard effort to PR at that one it was nice to hit up a fun course with fresh air and great energy. It’s a laid-back race with a really great “thanks for coming out to our family cookout” sort of vibe. The tech T was thicker weight than normal and is actually REALLY nice for that shoulder season when you want a little more weight on you for the breeze but you know you’re going to get sweaty. If you want to be high speed you can PR at Garmin KC then come PR at this one and get two in one weekend. I am not that high speed, but I applaud those who are. I’ll just be applauding from the back of the pack. I suspect I’ll be there next year, so good luck to you however you decide to race it, but I hope to see you there supporting a great race.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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From the expo to pre-event set ups, to the fireworks at start through the finishing photos, this race IS Kansas City. Great Expo at Union Station and many great neighborhoods … MORE

From the expo to pre-event set ups, to the fireworks at start through the finishing photos, this race IS Kansas City. Great Expo at Union Station and many great neighborhoods and parts of downtown being represented on this race, of the 53 races I’ve done this year, truly none of them screamed Kansas City like this one. There are four long-ish hills on this one that everyone had warned me about, but as someone that has done a lot of hill work this year and lives in a hilly neighborhood, they were quite manageable. Not to say that final push uphill to the finish line didn’t suck a little of the “yay!” out of me, but when I heard my name called I kicked it up a notch and annihilated my prior PR. I did pass a LOT of people on the hills though, so if you’re used to running in flatlands this may prove challenging.

I’d purchased the VIP upgrade which I cannot recommend enough. I was parked maybe 50 paces from the VIP tent and having a dry place to sit and stretch in the hour before the race (yes I like to get there early) was quite worth it considering how much dew was out. The medal was neat, in that the bottom folds out to make it capable of sitting on a desk, and is the only one in my collection like that. Energy was high, even when the back-of-the-packers like me finished, and post race options of IV and massages were on hand. My only gripe is for such a great race, the t-shirt design was sort of mid, and there were long stretches of race where there was no real presence on the course of any motivational support. That of course is not the race’s fault, just don’t expect a lot of people out cheering for you. Huge plusses for the course though were the “real time” tracking of participants and the final mile challenge, but would you expect any less from Garmin?

This will be a repeat race for sure, and I highly encourage everyone to come out and see what KC has to offer as far as top notch races go.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Great race. Some kinks to work out, for sure, but great race. Two laps around the WWI monument and museum in downtown Kansas City. This was probably the first really … MORE

Great race. Some kinks to work out, for sure, but great race. Two laps around the WWI monument and museum in downtown Kansas City. This was probably the first really cold race of the season, or maybe it was because of the added wind on the hill and foggy morning. There were a couple of crossings where we weren’t quite sure which way to turn, and looking ahead there were other racers on each, so somebody was clearly wrong, so it could have used some better volunteer support there, especially since the online published course was completely different (an out-and-back vs 2 loops). There was no finisher medal, and well, let’s be honest, there’s a reason there are so many lists of “best medals” in runner’s world and online and everywhere else. We like our bling. A great opportunity to partner with the museum, have the medal made with the monument on it and they could have promoted it inside the museum…whatever. People can always opt out if they want a cheaper race, but it’s cheapest to stay home and race by yourself, but we still go out and collect tshirts. The tshirt was a nice one though, so I will give them that.

I’m still not entirely sure where the proper course was. My time sucked because I was cold and recovering from a rough stomach thing the night before, so I’m sure I made it 3.1 miles, I’m just not sure if I went over, since I saw I did a longer route than many.

I’m looking forward to this race next year. I’d like to race that course feeling better because of the power that site has for a vet to be at, and I certainly hope I’ll have better time then. I did meet some great people at the race, so the energy is already there to make this a winner. With such a premium location and early enough that “real winter” hasn’t sat in yet, there’s no reason this can’t become a favorite, not just a local favorite or a “nothing else going on this weekend” race. I hope they get there, then we’ll high five on the objective and move out…hopefully with finisher medals in tow and logistics ironed out…

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2

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So I was sick this day and had to convert to virtual. The staff got me squared away with zero issues. I've raced that area before and it is a … MORE

So I was sick this day and had to convert to virtual. The staff got me squared away with zero issues. I’ve raced that area before and it is a nice little 5k route that I look forward to doing in person next year. No medal, unfortunately. I gladly would have paid a little more for that, but for those who don’t care about that sort of thing, here’s a cheap race for you that benefits a wonderful cause. You probably won’t PR here but you won’t break yourself off either.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

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On the oldest continuously operating for west of the Mississippi, there's a lot of history, there's a lot of architecture, and there's a lot of hills. I worked on base … MORE

On the oldest continuously operating for west of the Mississippi, there’s a lot of history, there’s a lot of architecture, and there’s a lot of hills. I worked on base for some time, and this is the best part of the base, back up by the old DB at the top of the hill with views overlooking the river from a vastly elevated position. The run takes you by the stables, SAMS, CGSC (loosely), the old chapel and the historic homes along the edge of base. If you have only seen the likes of Hood and Bragg and the institutional buildings there, this will be quite a treat and you may forget you’re on a military base. The hills along the way are challenging without being arduous. There are some big ones there but they’re over soon, and anyone looking to do any kind of hill work in the area for the longer races with infamous hills like Garmin KC or Liberty half, here’s a great place to start. Honestly I only wish they had a 10k option as well. The shirts were nice, the finisher medals were nice, there wasn’t a lot of food at the end, just the typical Kirkland’s and Nature’s Own, some candy, etc. What goes up must come down, and the final stretch of maybe half a mile is downhill to the finish line (okay the last 20-30 feet are uphill). It is actually a fast course, which is another reason I wish there was a 10k, and absolutely a do again. I almost PR’ed despite stopping twice to adjust a messed-up insole in my shoe and honestly not trying all that hard because I was tired from the prior day itinerary of a morning 5k and an afternoon 10k (both also GREAT races!…thank you October!). This is a small race, and while I do love the intimacy they provide, I do hope this one gets big enough to remain a staple.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Normally I hate 2 lap loops. This time I made an exception. Not just because I found it to be a remarkably fast rack, allowing me to PR a couple … MORE

Normally I hate 2 lap loops. This time I made an exception. Not just because I found it to be a remarkably fast rack, allowing me to PR a couple different stats I track (and overall 10k), but the weather was perfect and the festival waiting for you at the finish line is amazing. Great local products (stock up on flavored churned honey for sure!) Great little coffee closet around the corner from the packet pickup building (town hall maybe?). Their lemonade was a gift from above after the race. And of course….the cider! Apple cider in abundance from the local producer and unlike the flavored sugar water you get in the back of the grocery store, this stuff is made with great apples that bring character to the table.

First two miles are mainly a gradual downhill from the town to a small lake (large pond really), around the backside of that then a return up across the high school parking lot and back through the neighborhood to the start/finish line. Technically it’s a lollipop course but the stick is super short. While two miles down means one mile up to the same elevation, it doesn’t play out hard at all, and my pace barely dropped on that third mile (done twice for the 10k). The whole town appears to be out at the festival and you’ll hear the festivities as you finish the long straightaway to the final turn and short sprint to the finish. Motivation was high on the course and everybody seemed to be having a great time, whether they were giving it their all or barely more than walking while talking to a friend. If you didn’t come with friends, you’ll make some at this race or at the after party. There’s a pop-up sports bar there so you can watch the game afterwards too. Several people came up to me afterwards and congratulated me and started a conversation about how great it was to have us out there, and every time it felt sincere. It may be a bit of a drive but it’s absolutely worth it, especially if you’ve hit a slump, wall, or rut lately and want a pick me up run that’ll blow your expectations away. Hope to see you there next year. Enjoy the cider ’til I finish.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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So this race is for a great cause. It provides the medical care for pets that otherwise wouldn't get it through the Lantz Tucker Memorial Fund, and they have some … MORE

So this race is for a great cause. It provides the medical care for pets that otherwise wouldn’t get it through the Lantz Tucker Memorial Fund, and they have some life-saving examples out there as well as plenty of adoption ready pups. Lots of freebies before the race and some of what smelled like a bakery from heaven opened up the doors and let loose the inventory, but unfortunately I’m on a strict cardiac rehab diet so I couldn’t try those. You should though. They looked amazing! You know who else looked amazing? The dogs and cats saved by Lantz Tucker Memorial Fund which is operated solely off donations, and while they have significantly grown, they can grow more.

This is also a PR-worthy lollipop course. I likely would have but I stopped to check on a lady that fell down. It’s also a pet-on-leash friendly run, so people who like running with your fur baby, here’s another opportunity. The energy was very high before and after the race. It’s at a park so don’t expect a lot of spectators, but it’s a 5k anyway, so “don’t expect a lot of spectators” goes without saying.

I will be registering for 2024 as soon as it’s available. And 2025. And 2026. I may PR at all of them. I may not. I saw three people there that I recognized from the circuit, so maybe it’s not as much a secret and I’m just late to the party. It’s a great party though, and they have great snacks, and the guests of honor are second to none.

Can’t wait to see you there. I’m the guy in the back wearing body armor. Say hi as you pass me, and tell me all about those muffins!

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
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5

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This little 5k seems like it's a larger race in a larger town. The support along the course was great and everyone coming out of the shopping centers I passed … MORE

This little 5k seems like it’s a larger race in a larger town. The support along the course was great and everyone coming out of the shopping centers I passed (which is most of the way) all either waved or shouted out words of encouragement. The optional swag included a nice stein and pretzel pieces were available at the finish. The energy was amazing before and after the race. Of the 30-some odd 5k races I’d done at that point, here was where I PR’ed, and did so on a day I hadn’t even set out with that kind of motivation. This hidden gym seems to be an insider favorite, as several people I’d raced with before were there. Two women had told me that I motivated them to PR in previous races, I told them I PRed that day, and before I knew it about half a dozen other people had joined our little circle to talk about future races, our experience on this one, the circuit in general. Everybody seemed to be having a great time on the course as well, with a few people in costume for the event and dog’s a plenty to pet.

What was originally just going to be a recovery race from a brutal (and amazing) race the day before turned into an event in and of itself, and I can’t wait to register for next year.

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1
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5
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4
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5

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So I'm wasn't actually familiar with the Watkins Mill until I got there but there was no other race that day and I didn't have a virtual to do. The … MORE

So I’m wasn’t actually familiar with the Watkins Mill until I got there but there was no other race that day and I didn’t have a virtual to do. The path through the park was asphalt and in good to great condition, though there was one slick bridge due to recent rain and morning dew, but really that’s to be expected by anyone who has ever been in a park before. Not really a trail run because it’s such a developed path, but it is a very scenic commune with nature for a distance you aren’t going to find anywhere else. The people there were quite knowledgeable about the mill, shared it’s history with me and were really happy to be out there hosting this race. This is a “fewer than 100 people” race, and there didn’t appear to be the energy at the pre-start that you’ll find at a lot of smaller races, which makes me wonder if everybody else was from out of town, too. It’s a pretty park, and if you’re used to running in the city, the smell of the woods after a rain is something you can’t miss. I, however, live in the woods and it rains here a lot, so considering it was quite the drive from my house to the race, I can’t say I’ll be hard pressed to make it back every year. That said, if you’re in the area or feel like taking on something a little longer than a 5k but aren’t ready to jump up to 10, here’s one of the better places to do it since the hills are rolling and short and the shade is plentiful (at least this year).

DIFFICULTY
2
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4
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4
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3

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As the middle race in my 3-in-2 day weekend, the hot front that moved in coupled with the fact I was wearing body armor made this race punishing and slow, … MORE

As the middle race in my 3-in-2 day weekend, the hot front that moved in coupled with the fact I was wearing body armor made this race punishing and slow, and one I can’t wait to sign up for next year. Starting by the train station in the town of Weston this 10k bad boy goes up a short steep hill, around a corner then pretty much uphill for the next 4.5k. The shorter 5k is the same start with an earlier turn around point and remains all on asphalt, while the 10k extends on to hard packed pea gravel. If I remember correctly there was one water point at the 5k turn around and another at the 10k turn around. I don’t remember if there was a third. It was so muggy, I carry 3 liters of water and drank it all on the way out in addition to some gatorade, so I used the 10k turn around to refil my camelback. Did that significantly eat in to my time? Yeah. Would it have made a difference? Nope. I developed a blister at mile 3 because I forgot to powder my feet for some reason I still cannot comprehend considering the weather so my time was already shot. The water point volunteers were amazing though and really celebrated everyone who made it by. I was lucky enough to have met a guy at the end who was hating life as much as me at that point, and we took turns reeling the other in for a while. With a mile left I noticed 5 baby raccoons (late for this time of year) on the side of the road debating whether they should wait on me to pass so they could join their mama on the other side of the road. One ran out and stood watch while the others crossed and they reformed on the other side and watched me pass. Best. Cheering. Station. Ever.

Despite finishing third to last, the finish line cheered me in and hung a finisher medal around my neck like they weren’t waiting on me to finish so they could start packing up. I really appreciated that they were still motivated when the weather had sucked out so much of mine even before the blister.

It was my worst performance of the year on a 10k but I couldn’t even beat myself up about it with everyone in such a good mood. I waited on the last two to come in and the MC cheered them in just as well as the first. Truly a top notch production. I haven’t wanted to get body armor off that badly on this side of the Atlantic, and I was truly soaked when I dropped it. I would have registered for 2024 at the finish line if I could. I’ll be properly powdered and have better insoles, and well, this is the kind of hill training that will put 98% of other races in the area to shame. Any serious racer should be out here doing this one. I firmly believe it’s one of the reasons I did so well (for me) at Garmin KC. Any half serious racer should be out here doing this one because it’s a great town and a great energy. Any “well this is my first race” racer…well…God bless ya’…but you should be out there too because once you do that one you’ll blow through all the others knowing that you’ve already done harder! There’s no excuse to NOT be there, so wave and say hi when you’re passing me next year.

DIFFICULTY
5
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5
SCENERY
4
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4

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As the final leg of the Heartland 30k challenge, there were a number of us there who were looking forward to our extra swag (great hooded long sleeve tshirt and … MORE

As the final leg of the Heartland 30k challenge, there were a number of us there who were looking forward to our extra swag (great hooded long sleeve tshirt and extra medal).

Honestly I struggled with how to review this. It is a fast course that I PR’ed on by a pretty good margin from a fast race even 2 weeks earlier. After the first short out and back you pass the starting/finish line for what’s probably 4 miles on another out and back. It’s you and the road, which while they took great effort to close off, some drivers did decide to infiltrate the course on the crossings that had volunteers not actual cops. There’s not a lot to look at on this one. I found a few shell casings on the ground. There are lots of trees lining the road, but they’re too far off to provide shade. I was stoked because I knew at mile 4 I was going to PR it, but my friends who weren’t all agreed that the crowd felt low energy that day. Maybe it’s because it was a new race, maybe it’s because there was some early morning confusion on where we could park and where we shouldn’t. There’s a pretty park with a stream cutting through it off the course, but it’s too narrow through there to reroute the course that way. I’m not opposed to all-road courses either, but this wasn’t in a commercial area or in a residential area with much charm or architecture to it, and subsequently there was nobody along the route to cheer/encourage/celebrate with.

Up to that point it was my 10k PR for the year though, so if you want a local fast course (Yes, I even beat Plaza 10k) then this may be the one for you. Then you can drive to the Plaza to celebrate 😉

DIFFICULTY
2
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3
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2
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5

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So every year this race benefits a different critter at the zoo and every year that critter is on the medal, so I guess, like pokemon, I'm going to have … MORE

So every year this race benefits a different critter at the zoo and every year that critter is on the medal, so I guess, like pokemon, I’m going to have to keep doing this race until they start repeating critters at least.

So here’s the deal, the setup before the race was so much more than a few tents essentially being a depressing excuse for an expo. Shatto was there, a great little espresso truck that I went to a couple times, great merch and great food (for after the race, but I could smell it), as well as art work created by the animals. I felt like I was at a block party. Unfortunately where I was, was actually the wrong location, the 4-mile start is NOT at the zoo entrance, but up the hill a ways. Some signage might have helped, or maybe I got there too early before they put it up. Whatever…I got there eventually and I had time to get espresso and talk to some great people.

The first mile(-ish) of the race is downhill to a side entrance of the zoo. The waves were nicely spread out. Being one of the last waves, it actually was 9 minutes before I got through the start arch, and I was glad to hear that once again they’d sold out. Register early for this one. The majority of the race is through the actual zoo, and the windy walkways proved narrow a couple of times to the point that navigating them resulted in my having to slow down while people in front of me figured out they weren’t as fast as they thought they were. I met some very interesting people on the race as well as got to orbit around some former race mates, and between the conversation and the constantly changing scenery the race flew by. The only reason I don’t rate this a 5 on scenery is that the elephant exhibit is so much smaller than what I’m used to, that was a little hard to see.

I didn’t get to stick around for the after party because I had some outside chores I’d wanted to accomplish that day and a t-storm was rolling in, but you also get free admission to the zoo, so normally I’d say budget extra time for that as well.

The Sweet 16 Race Series featured the four largest, 4-Mile events in the Midwest: The St Patrick’s Day Run, CCVI Trolley Run, Ward Parkway Four on the 4th, and The Kansas City Zoo Run. As the final leg of the former Sweet-16 Series, this was the one I PR’ed on. I do wish they’d bring that series back officially because I think it would motivate some people to check out parts of KC they otherwise might not. In the interim though, I’ll be securing my spot in the zoo run for 2024 early, as it hopefully will sell out as well.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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I was fortunate enough to accidentally stumble onto this Back-of-the-Pack podcast created race because it was also the middle race of the Heartland 30k challenge. In all honesty I was … MORE

I was fortunate enough to accidentally stumble onto this Back-of-the-Pack podcast created race because it was also the middle race of the Heartland 30k challenge. In all honesty I was not trying that hard on this one because I was helping some other people keep their pace up, and I was super sore from the prior day’s Rugged Maniac. There was a small hiccup that the RD acknowledged because the portajohns were dropped off at the wrong corner of the parking lot, so a lot of people were getting their warm-up in just walking over there. There was a place where we came out of the woods later in the course and didn’t see anyone at that road crossing indicating which way we should go but we got lucky and picked the right way since 100 feet or so later we crested a hill and saw another police car blocking traffic. The race route was not the normal one in the office park but a vastly improved on, and finished with a nice straightaway though the arch. The medal was awesome and the swag was a branded beanie, which has since come in handy on multiple races and stays in the race bag in my car. Looking forward to doing this one when I’m not sore from the prior day, get my time back to the usual range. That this is part of the larger Heartland 30k Challenge (10k each Sunday for three weeks, including Plaza 10k and Boulevard 10k) makes it all the more reason to return, but even if you can’t do the whole challenge, check this one out and support a local celebrity give back to the community and to a worthy charity as well.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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So this was fun. In all fairness it was easier than I'd expected it was going to be. Not to say it was easy, but I was expecting it to … MORE

So this was fun. In all fairness it was easier than I’d expected it was going to be. Not to say it was easy, but I was expecting it to be a flashback to my military days and it was certainly easier than the obstacle courses in Iraq. Moving right along…

The tempo/spacing was largely good. There were a couple obstacles that ended up bottlenecking, so if you’re not in the very first elite wave forget about anything like an official time. If you want a time, time yourself and stop it at the events where you’re just hanging out waiting on the people in front of you to get moving. Wasn’t horribly long ever. HR stayed decently up at least, never went back to resting HR which is pretty short time frame for me normally. There was some confusion with parking. We paid for VIP parking and I’m not sure we got it, because if that was VIP then the normal parking must have been a county away. There’s an option to pay a little extra and be able to just keep rerunning the course apparently. Will be doing that next year. The medal was really neat, and if you do enough of these in a year they link together to form bigger ones, unfortunately there aren’t any more near me so that’s out. The hoodie was nice and sturdy, and is athletic cut, so some people may want to size large on that one, but it was nice to finally get a hoodie where I’m not swimming in the waist part of it. I see why people get hooked on this, and I’ll be back next year for sure.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Where to start...it's the Plaza 10k. Nobody who races in the KC area doesn't know this race and hasn't done it at least once (usually more than once, sometimes many … MORE

Where to start…it’s the Plaza 10k. Nobody who races in the KC area doesn’t know this race and hasn’t done it at least once (usually more than once, sometimes many more). The energy is very high before and during the race as neighborhoods come out to cheer on the racers, even the ones towards the end. I was lucky enough to see a couple people I knew from other races. I was unlucky enough to not have my camelback, so I was a little dehydrated. There seemed to be water stations every couple miles, but since I have body armor on when I race I kind of need to carry my own water, too. Bad planning on my part. Despite that, still set a 10k PR at that part in the season. Interestingly, the temps seem to alternate high-low-high-low every year, so next year should be cooler. Don’t know why. Go figure. The post race celebration consists of several blocks of the shopping center and I’m not sure if the energy was actually higher then or at the start, but it’s a wonderful place to meet up with your fellow racers afterwards and celebrate what is sure to be at least one PR in any given group (more so on cool years). Lots of signs, lots of love, lots of spectators along the path, and this time of year the hottest (temperature) races are largely behind you but it’s not cold (or rainy) enough to worry about what are you going to wear so early in the morning. Even with the construction on the roads making the final approach to the last bridge less picturesque, looking down the slight incline and seeing it up ahead on the left is a beautiful site and one everyone should see firsthand if they’re serious about racing the greater KC area. This was my third race in just over 24 hours, and if I can PR here it is absolutely possible for just about anyone else. Might as well have fun doing it.

The medal and shirts are always nice, and Plaza has a look worthy of its legacy status here. This is also the first race in the Heartland 30k challenge (great extra swag opportunity).

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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This is a great little race borne of tragedy. The lady it honors would surely have been happy to see so many people coming out and having fun in her … MORE

This is a great little race borne of tragedy. The lady it honors would surely have been happy to see so many people coming out and having fun in her name. Nice flat 5k by Line Creek, the natural chute at the beginning is a little tight for that many people, but thanks to a wide track and natural spacing that takes care of itself real fast. Not that this is a go-out-and-give-it-your-all kind of race. Everybody was hanging out, talking to everyone, being friendly before the race started. There were some tents there with free samples of recovery/pre-/post-workout drinks, and even though it was one of the few races where I knew nobody there, everybody was very welcoming. I felt like I’d stumbled into a very large family reunion and they were just like “well since you’re here, join us for our race!” Uhm…absolutely!

This was the first of three in a busy race weekend for me, so I can’t say I gave it my strongest performance, as I wasn’t familiar with the course and I didn’t want to mess up my chances on the other races, but I was sorry I had to leave when the time came. I’m glad this race appears to be successful, because I very much want to do it again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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"This is the best night race for 100 miles." No, that's not good enough, not enough competition. For a fast course and a nice downhill stretch to a finish line … MORE

“This is the best night race for 100 miles.” No, that’s not good enough, not enough competition. For a fast course and a nice downhill stretch to a finish line that feels like a block party, come out to the KCC Twililght Trek. I can’t wait to sign up for this one next year. The course was fun, the energy was AMAZING, both before and after the race, and the food trucks at the finish line were amazing, especially the wine/mixed drink one who had some house cocktails to die for. Their lemonade was especially good, too. If I didn’t have Plaza 10k the next morning I could have stayed there with the DJ and deliciousness all night. This was my PR up until that point. Some of that I can attribute to the terrain, but the motivation of everybody on the course was so high it was hard to not dig deep. Water station staff was on top of things and super motivating when anybody was in ear shot. This was truly a professional production.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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This was my first time on this closed off road track. Honestly, I think I would have placed difficulty lower, but for the fact that it was the hottest on … MORE

This was my first time on this closed off road track. Honestly, I think I would have placed difficulty lower, but for the fact that it was the hottest on race day that it’d been in the past 5 years and I was seriously underhydrated for this event. There is sun and shade along the way and it’s not a horrible track to look at as far as office park 5ks go, but wow was I miserable in that muggy heat that moved in early that day. Nice medal, the tshirt I honestly don’t remember because my race notes for that day got messed up, but if next summer is more forgiving I’ll be out there again for sure. Say hi when you pass me.

DIFFICULTY
3
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4
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4
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4

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So full disclosure, I'm a sucker for animal rescue races, and at this one they let me take one of the dogs with me on the race. It was hot, … MORE

So full disclosure, I’m a sucker for animal rescue races, and at this one they let me take one of the dogs with me on the race. It was hot, I had body armor on, so I was super hot, but I didn’t care because I had a very energetic dog with me.

Now warts and all, this race starts late, and I do wish it was earlier so we could beat some of the heat, so I have to deduct a shoe for that. The set-up on the course was great with mile markers clearly visible and COLD water out there frequently. Plus, there were dogs at each water station who were up for adoption. CAN you PR here? Yeah you probably can. I was so far off my PR or even my normal splits you’d think I was injured on the course, but my good boy had lots of smells to investigate and I wasn’t about to say no.
Down to the lake, around it, back to the (high school I think it was?) starting point. Nice raffles and great energy despite an oppressive muggy heat this year that really took a lot of people by surprise. I’ll be signing up for 2024 as soon as the links are updated. Hope to see you there.

DIFFICULTY
2
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4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Where to start. I love small towns that put on races like this because you get to travel and find little gems like this one. Plus, they have an actual … MORE

Where to start. I love small towns that put on races like this because you get to travel and find little gems like this one. Plus, they have an actual ruck option (for those interested it’s 20lbs and 5k), but I was doing 10k in the normal division. I appreciate that the option exists even if I don’t get to take it since all my races are wearing weight and I’m trying to promote the community.

Great rolling hills. Beautiful scenery. There aren’t many (offhand I can’t remember ever) races where I actually stop to take a picture of the scenery. The rolling hills of the family farms interspersed amongst the groves of trees looked like I had stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting. Not the fastest course to be sure, but a great place to get some hill work in at a place where it’s scenic enough to distract you. The other nice thing is at the halfway point it’s pretty much flat from there on out, so you have time to recover and get your second wind. The last couple miles are on paved road along the river headed back to town and it really gives you a sense of serenity as well as movement and it’s easy to find your pace after the hills here. The 5k, from what I understand, is pretty much entirely flat. The folks were all incredibly friendly and seeing the weight I was wearing they all encouraged me along when I turned off at the 5-10 split for the longer race. It was not a cool day so that was appreciated greatly. I hope to have more time to stick around and hang out in town next year after the race, but I had prior commitments this year that I had to return to address.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This was a very great race despite it being a hot summer, we got a little bit of a reprieve that day and the RD made it all the better … MORE

This was a very great race despite it being a hot summer, we got a little bit of a reprieve that day and the RD made it all the better by picking the alternate English Landing 10k route that doesn’t involve doubling up on the first 2-mile section of zero shade. Much appreciated on that one because I always prefer doing that part of the course only once. There was low fat chocolate milk galore at the end, which, as somebody with a heart condition, I appreciate the low-satfat tastiness that provides. I’m the one late to the party on this one, because a lot of frequent faces in the scene showed up to this one and now I see why. For those who don’t know, English Landing park is a great location for a few races every year including the KC Hometown Half Marathon. The humidity was nicer today and the wind coming in off the river was pleasant. It took a little while to get everyone spaced out at the start. Maybe a half mile, and if this race gets much bigger it might benefit from a tight wave start, as the path narrows around mile 0.5 and you want to be spaced out before then if you can. Small undulations that I wouldn’t even call hills make up the majority of this course, but there is a slight gradual decline on the way out that you’ll have to come back up on the way back. It’s not bad and you may not even notice it’s so slight, but it is there. That stretch of the race isn’t the most scenic as you’re on the path behind a fuel storage tank or something like that, but most of the race is at the park or the trail right outside of it with the river visible for most of it. I love all the races at English Landing Park but the RD seemed to have this ironed out perfectly. There is a fair amount of parking in Parkville (where the race actually is) but you may want to get there early as it does seem to fill up with the race and whatever is going on downtown that day. As my third race in just over 24 hours (15k-5k-10k) and the day after a punishing Summer Sizzler, I’m not going to say I had any chance of PR’ing on this one, but it is otherwise a good fast course if you’re not in a full weekend schedule. I’m looking forward to it next year and will be signing up for this one early. Say hi when you pass me and save me some chocolate milk.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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I was told this race was flatish. I have never had my calves as sore afterwards and I've done Amelia Earhart and Garmin half. This is one of (if not … MORE

I was told this race was flatish. I have never had my calves as sore afterwards and I’ve done Amelia Earhart and Garmin half. This is one of (if not the only) opportunity to do a 15k in the area. The course is a 5k out and back, which you do three times (twice for the 10k, which is also available, or once for the 5k). There is one flat section at the turnaround that’s maybe 300 meters of flat the rest is going up or down these rolling hills. It’s not called the Spring Slightly Cool Saunter, so prepare to sweat. A lot. Thankfully they have cold water and dried mango at the turn around that was very helpful for keeping blood sugar up, but if you’re a glutton for punishment like me and are wearing extra weight, be prepared with twice the salt/sugar/liquid that you’d normally take on a 10k because you’ll need it on this 15. The crew was great and the energy at the race was amazing. We all knew it was about to suck since a pre-storm front and moved in and veered off just getting close enough to make it muggier. None of the people I talked with that morning were entertaining the thought of a PR and honestly by the end of it I was missing autumn/spring half marathons, but without reservation I’ll be back there next year and I highly recommend it to anybody looking to increase their distance or get some good hill work in on these constant rolling ones

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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You know...I like night races. They mix things up. There's not many of them (certainly fewer than there used to be) so I try to grab 'em when I see … MORE

You know…I like night races. They mix things up. There’s not many of them (certainly fewer than there used to be) so I try to grab ’em when I see ’em.

The medal felt a little low-end, especially for something which could brand itself as a major draw for other people looking for night races because of their schedule, but I saw/heard very little about it and just stumbled onto it looking at a calendar of races, so I figured, sure. It was overcast that night so there was only the light you were wearing to light up your way. I suggest bringing a red filter because the clouds of bugs were out in full force that night. I think it could have been a pretty course in the moonlight, but with the red filter on I can’t say I saw much of the scenery out there. The moon/stars in the lake would have been nice.

They also used the timing chips on your shoes that you turn back in. I know those are cheaper to use. I also know that of the 60+ races I have this year they are one of two that still uses them. I’m not sure how much more expensive that would make it, but I can’t imagine it being prohibitively more, and I feel like we’re kind of at that point in the race community here where you’re essentially listening to 8-track if you’re still using those. Couple that with a forgettable medal and the public relations and design teams for this race ought to be held back a year or sent to the principal’s office. If you live around the way then by all means go, the after party had popsicles and a lot of people were essentially tailgating. It’s a 45-minute drive from my house, so I’m not sure if/when I’ll be back, but I wish happy racing, a full moon and fewer bugs to anyone who does.

DIFFICULTY
3
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3
SCENERY
3
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2

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Not a lot of 5ks where you can get in some good hill work. This one certainly had two or three nice ones. Temps are rough this time of year, … MORE

Not a lot of 5ks where you can get in some good hill work. This one certainly had two or three nice ones. Temps are rough this time of year, but the course has some gorgeous natural scenery of the Atkins-Johnson Farm and Museum and the sunflower field and cemetery next to it. This is a small-ish race and the volunteers were lovely. There was an issue with the guy at the top of the hill directing all the people walking one direction and all the people running the other. We’re in the same race, doing the same course, we’re just taking ascending this hill differently. When we brought up we’re pretty sure that’s not correct he just repeated himself. I had never done this course so I thought hey, he’s the pro, ok….then I came up massively short on distance so I had to go back and finish a loop. All that should have been worked out prior to race day. I took it in stride (haha?) but I did hear from one of the other misdirected participants that she wouldn’t be back because “this is amateur here.” Well, I wouldn’t let one misinformed volunteer ruin the whole thing for me, personally. With so many people misdirected, there was no “just follow the people in front of you” because it really seemed a 60/40 split when I got to that point, and I was in no chance of not making appropriate time or anything like that, so not like I was getting kicked off the course. My recommendation if you’ve never been there is to memorize the course ahead of time and just follow that first and foremost. It’s a fun course and I imagine if I’d done it all in the proper order it would have been even better. I’m confident next year I’ll be giving higher marks for production.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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"Belton has races?" That's what I thought when I saw this. Right after "Where's Belton?" This is a PR track. I had two races here in 2023, August and October. … MORE

“Belton has races?” That’s what I thought when I saw this. Right after “Where’s Belton?” This is a PR track. I had two races here in 2023, August and October. The August one I felt could be a PR but I slowed down towards the end because of the great conversation I had with a family that was out racing together (How cool is that?!), and I had a 10k later that day that I was saving my energy for, but unbeknownst to me the pace was picking up a few times beyond what it felt like. Incidentally, when I went back in October I PR’ed massively, so yeah. A lot of the course is circumnavigating a school, so there’s only so much to see there, but that keeps the entire course traffic free and ends in a long gradual slope downhill to the finish line.

The production was solid and everybody was super psyched that morning to get going. It really felt like you were at a bigger race, and the energy carried over to after the race, with everybody walking around congratulating everyone else and catching up on things. I feel like most of the participants were from that community, but they were certainly welcoming to those of us that traveled in for it. It felt like I’d returned to visit home after a long time away, and I’d never been there before. This race comes after some hot weather and hard courses, so if those weren’t kind to you and you need a re-motivation race, this is 100% the one for you to do as it’ll show you still have some extra fuel in your reserves to kick those afterburners up one more time. If you’ve nailed your last few races and want to continue the trend, this is 100% the race for you. If you’ve never done a race, this is 100% the race for you. It’s just so versatile in how this one can motivate you (and you get to learn who Carry is…) that it shows authoritatively that yes, Belton has races. See you there next year.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

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My shoe rating here may be wrong. Let me explain. Overall, 5 out of 5 easy. Course difficulty - Wow was I struggling. Not so much physically but psychologically. I … MORE

My shoe rating here may be wrong. Let me explain.

Overall, 5 out of 5 easy.
Course difficulty – Wow was I struggling. Not so much physically but psychologically. I love night races. I was going to do the 30-mile until a storm came in that I wasn’t comfortable sticking around for on account of all the things blowing around in the heavy wind and the lightening. It’s an easy 2.5M out and 2.5M back on a very gradual slope. No issues right? Cardio and feet were fine after 20 miles. What got me was all the frogs! So many frogs! Hundreds if not thousands of them. I’d clap my hands to silence them as I went through the darkness but they’d start again louder. It was like rucking through a giant white noise generator. I caught myself falling asleep once as I veered off the trail. The straight line trail. They didn’t care about the headlamp I was carrying (a very bright one at that). They just kept calling to me…telling me to nap. It was a very different experience than anything I’ve ever raced through. Between the storm and the frogs, at 20M I decided to bump down to a lower length. First time ever. Bring music. Even if you don’t normally wear earphones. Just drown out the frogs. That also was my third race in 24 hours. Might have been a bit much.

Race production is amazing. The RD is responsive and the whole group, a great many of whom knew each other from prior races was very welcoming. I met people I truly hope to get to race again with, plus to date my longest race is a marathon and I’d love to change that in 2024. The food at the turnaround is diverse and plentiful, the support crew and spectators hanging out were all amazingly friendly and I really felt like I belonged there.

The swag. There’s so much of it. This was part of a 2-day event. I got two medals that are huge AND light up, a pocket watch and a wooden train whistle, and a tshirt. I’m sorry if I forgot something else there was just so much I loaded up in my car all at once. Parking? Yeah parking is 10 feet away from the food at the start/finish/lap arch. Enjoy that one for sure.

My performance I did 3 even though technically it is my PR because I’ve never done exactly a 20-mile before. My time wasn’t the best because of the prior races and because I was going for endurance not time. It was only supposed to be another 4 miles than the marathon, but I was wearing more weight and I didn’t want to burn out early. I do feel like I saved too much in the tank by the time I hit the 20M mark though. Hopefully ’24 will have better weather and I can test that fully.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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This race puts any Vet's day race to shame as far as patriotism goes. Honoring the fallen of the Extortion 17 flight, this looped course sits on the cusp of … MORE

This race puts any Vet’s day race to shame as far as patriotism goes. Honoring the fallen of the Extortion 17 flight, this looped course sits on the cusp of the U.S. Army Reserve Flight Facility at New Century Air Center. The race traditionally starts off with a flyover by some Chinooks, but that happened at the end today as they circled the field after the award ceremony. It’s a fully paved course surrounded by airfield and runway, so it’s going to be a hot race if there’s no breeze. All along the path are people holding signs of those lost on the flight. It meant a lot to me that the MWD was honored too, because they are very much part of the team. It was one of the most moving races I’ve been on, and anybody that’s wanting to do a “support the troops” kind of race ought to fast track this one to the top of your list. A chinook was parked by the finish area, and as they called out the names of the fallen, someone (a family member?) carries their picture out to where they were seated on the flight.

My only complaint, and I don’t even like using that word here, is that the finisher medal is a set of dog tags, and while I certainly appreciate the sentiment there, it did feel “small” for such an otherwise “big” race. I’d say don’t ditch the dog tags, but it seems like a really nicely designed chinook medal or something would be appropriate here. Whatever, they could pass out paper swans and I’d wait in line overnight in person if I had to in order to sign up for this one, quite honestly, and that’s coming from someone who very much will log some miles on the car to get a cool medal.

I didn’t PR here. I had a 30M the next night and I slowed down at the remembrance signs and I don’t regret that at all. It was hot and muggy and I’m wearing body armor, I probably wouldn’t have PRed anyway, but on this zero-elevation loop I’m sure a great many people could.

This race should sell out every year. I’ll be signing up for this one as soon as I see the links go live.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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