Overall Rating
Overall Rating (90 Reviews)
4.4
(90 Ratings)  (90 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.9
SCENERY
4.2
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
4.1
Don’t miss your chance to participate in Kansas City’s largest and most exciting annual race event! The route takes runners on a tour of the city’s most beautiful landmarks and cool neighborhoods, including the National World War I Museum & Memorial, the Country Club Plaza, the Nelson Atkins Museum of … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Daniel Tancredi
    dtancr1 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    I grew up in Kansas City and my brothers still live there. This was an especially enjoyable course for me, because almost all of the neighborhoods in it are so … MORE

    I grew up in Kansas City and my brothers still live there. This was an especially enjoyable course for me, because almost all of the neighborhoods in it are so personally familiar to me. Beware that Kansas City is hilly! The race expo was a little less elaborate than I had expected, but it was in the beautiful Union Station and had everything one needed, including an easy packet bib-up process. Aid stations were numerous, and I believe there were porta-potties at every one of them, which was very convenient, because I needed them more than I had expected. Volunteers and crowds were friendly. Finisher’s medal in 2023 was very cool. It can be propped up for display and features the Shuttlecocks in front of the Nelson-Atkins (the museum that the race starts and finishes at). Course swag also included a long-sleeved shirt that is useful for running when it’s around 40 degrees F.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    jdallas FIRST-TIMER '22

    The marathon course is front end loaded with the hills which can burn you out if you aren't ready for them. The back half is more gentle rolling through residential … MORE

    The marathon course is front end loaded with the hills which can burn you out if you aren’t ready for them. The back half is more gentle rolling through residential and older commercial areas but the course and community support is pretty good. The end is a series of turns which will make you second guess if it will ever end but you will be rewarded with a very nice finish line area by the art museum and sculpture garden.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Tank3872 FIRST-TIMER '22

    The course is very hilly, so be prepared for that. You run all through KC and it makes for beautiful scenery. I stuck with the 2:55 pace group just to … MORE

    The course is very hilly, so be prepared for that. You run all through KC and it makes for beautiful scenery. I stuck with the 2:55 pace group just to take it easy and really enjoy the city and the course. The food post race is excellent, Jack Stack BBQ provided pulled pork sandwiches and they had beer other than Mich Ultra (which is a huge win in my book). This was race 1 of 2 on the weekend for me as part of the I 35 Challenge (Des Moines up the next day).

    Bonus: Free race photos were provided post race, as well as a cool statistic email about portions of the race. One thing they tracked is how many people you passed in the last quarter mile, that was fun to see.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
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    jmwelk REPEAT RUNNER '22

    Maybe because I’ve completed other races that were smaller, this felt like nothing special. The starting chute was tiny for the volume of runners. Volunteers in the course weren’t engaged … MORE

    Maybe because I’ve completed other races that were smaller, this felt like nothing special. The starting chute was tiny for the volume of runners. Volunteers in the course weren’t engaged with the runners. The expo location was gorgeous but very cramped. The course was much hillier than I was expecting even after looking at the elevation gain.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    divefin FIRST-TIMER '22

    Awesome race awesome course. The hills were challenging. But the view was awesome. Nice expo for a mid sized race. I had a good day and ran a good race. … MORE

    Awesome race awesome course. The hills were challenging. But the view was awesome. Nice expo for a mid sized race. I had a good day and ran a good race. Best in a long time. Good swag and a super post race area with food and music

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I chose the Kansas City half marathon for Missouri so I could do the I-35 Challenge with Des Moines and get Iowa as well on the same trip. Of note … MORE

    I chose the Kansas City half marathon for Missouri so I could do the I-35 Challenge with Des Moines and get Iowa as well on the same trip. Of note you do have to register for separately and pay extra for the I-35 challenge. I had planned to do this trip this year at least a couple years in advance and was really excited when they announced the NFL schedule and my football team the Bills were at the Chiefs this weekend so it ended up being a great trip. I took a couple days off and flew into Kansas City Thursday morning. Friday I went to packet pick-up which was at Union Station in Downtown Kansas City. They gave you a QR code for free parking. Expo was kind of small but had the essentials. Packet included a small tumbler and a long sleeve shirt for the Kansas City race and an I-35 challenge shirt if you signed up. The shirts are polyblend not tech. They are nice quality but I’m not sure how much I will wear them as they are very light material and I usually prefer thicker, warmer long sleeved shirts. I stayed at the Marriott which was less than half a mile from the start/finish. The race starts at 7am and the Marriott has noon checkout so plenty of time to shower for most half marathoners before driving to Iowa. It was well priced for a race day Marriott and I’d recommend it. I went to a concert Friday night so I rolled out of bed as late as I could and got to the race about 20 minutes before the start. There is a special VIP tent for half fanatics/marathon maniacs but I got there too late to really take advantage of it. Probably my biggest complaint about the race was the start corral. It was jammed pack and there was no way to access it except from the back. There were signs to line up by pace. I arrived at the corral really late but I was planning to take my sweet time on this race so the back of the pack was where I needed to be. However there were a bunch of faster running pushing to get ahead. I completely understand why they did that as they should line up where they belong but there should have been several entry points so they could enter at the correct spot. They also could have made it longer and not so tight. The rest of the race was really well produced. The course definitely has great urban views and gives you a really nice tour of the city. Most of it is on closed, downtown streets which is really cool and you can enjoy the architecture and the sights. However it is extremely hilly. I’ve heard it was hilly but having done some very flat races for most of my other midwest races I assumed everyone was exaggerating but it was one of the hilliest halfs I have done. And the uphills were for long stretches and some were steep. Of course there are also some nice downhills including the last mile. As I said I was taking my sweet time this race as I just needed to finish with time to shower and check out by noon and I needed to save my energy to be fast in Des Moines so I could drive back to Kansas City for the late afternoon football game. I walked pretty much all the uphill and ran the downhill at a leisurely pace. There were adequate aid stations about every 2 miles with water and powerade and one with gu. I was disappointed in the number of spectators. Spectator support was pretty sparse for the size of the city but I appreciated those out there and there were some musical entertainment on course. One thing I loved is on the worst hill around mile 9 which was also probably the only boring section of the course they had it lined with home made signs from friends and family members. Some were cute little kid drawings, others funny jokes and others motivational. I thought this was great and I would recommend more races do this. It help entertain me on this awful stretch of the race. As I said the last mile is nice and downhill back to the finish line. One other minor complaint is I noticed the last 2 aid stations were mostly cleaning up when I passed them. The volunteers left out cups of water and powerade but were cleaning and not interacting with us or handing us cups. Kind of disappointing and while I was slow I was still ahead of the minimum pace to complete the marathon which has a 7 hour limit. At the finish line they announce the finishers and get your medal. The medal is nice with shuttlecocks which I guess are a symbol of Kansas City and different colors/size for different race. They had beer and food. I didn’t drink the beer. The food was barbeque pork sandwiches which I don’t eat but they did have some vegetable sandwiches which were literally just grilled veggies on a hamburger bun. It was kind of gross but better than nothing and I took a few bites to hold me over until I could get real lunch. If you do want good vegan barbeque in Kansas City I had a great vegan BBQ sandwich at Tree Hugger Kitchen. Overall I thought it was a good race and a nice tour of the city. I wish there were less hills though and more spectators. It’s a solid choice for Missouri and a great choice if you are hoping to combine states to do with Des Moines.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    shullrd Oct 19, 2022 at 5:39am

    I'm glad you had a good time in Kansas City! I was volunteering at the second aid station (around mile 4). I'm sorry to hear there were aid stations packing… MORE

    I'm glad you had a good time in Kansas City! I was volunteering at the second aid station (around mile 4). I'm sorry to hear there were aid stations packing up. We tried to cheer everyone on through the last racer. It was interesting seeing the race from that side. I definitely have a new appreciation for the volunteers. LESS

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    seagroves87 Oct 19, 2022 at 4:12pm

    Thanks for volunteering! The second aid station had very enthusiastic volunteers from what I can remember

    Thanks for volunteering! The second aid station had very enthusiastic volunteers from what I can remember

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    d.dencklau FIRST-TIMER '21

    Well organized race, enjoyed running past several landmarks I hadn't seen in years. Great support and a clearly marked course. Who put the photographer at the top of a hill … MORE

    Well organized race, enjoyed running past several landmarks I hadn’t seen in years. Great support and a clearly marked course. Who put the photographer at the top of a hill though?! ha! More hills than I was prepared for (even after reviewing the evaluation chart).

    Stayed within walking distance of the start… plenty of hotels if you don’t mind a mile-ish walk! Didn’t have time to stick around the finish, but looked like there was plenty going on for those who hung out.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    bryantcam41 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I traveled from Philadelphia, PA to do the I-35 challenge. This event was well organized (ie. started on time, there was enough potties for everyone prior to race). The travel … MORE

    I traveled from Philadelphia, PA to do the I-35 challenge. This event was well organized (ie. started on time, there was enough potties for everyone prior to race). The travel logistics was easy. Parking was very convenient and close to the start/finish line. The actual course is challenging with hills all throughout. The volunteers were awesome both at the Expo and water station.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    rajarvis91 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was my first time doing this race. The pre race information was good. Race directors sent out emails keeping us informed. The packet pickup was pretty good, easy to … MORE

    This was my first time doing this race. The pre race information was good. Race directors sent out emails keeping us informed. The packet pickup was pretty good, easy to get to, easy parking. Start was pretty organized, word of advice-get there early for parking. Finish had plenty of food and the medals were nice. Always a plus when they have different medals for the different distances. My con to the race is the hills! So many hills, that’s what slowed me down. Overall, pretty good organized event!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    EJRunner FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is a top-notch half marathon race experience for all these reasons (pre-, during and post-race): * Good, comprehensive pre-race communication. * Fast and efficient packet pick-up. * Easy-to-navigate, mid-size … MORE

    This is a top-notch half marathon race experience for all these reasons (pre-, during and post-race):
    * Good, comprehensive pre-race communication.
    * Fast and efficient packet pick-up.
    * Easy-to-navigate, mid-size Health and Fitness Expo.
    * At least six hotels within a mile walk from the start line.
    * Plenty of free race day parking within half a mile walk from the start line — thanks to a new course and start line location in 2021.
    * Gear check.
    * Orderly start with enthusiastic and motivating host/announcer (who also calls out your name as you cross the finish line).
    * Scenic course taking you up close to Kansas City’s most iconic landmarks.
    * Plenty of water/aid stations staffed by supportive and friendly volunteers.
    * Encouraging and accurate pacers.
    * Soft polyester/cotton/rayon blend T-shirt with a neat design that you’ll be proud to wear.
    * Efficiently run finish line chute with amble snacks.
    * Nice finisher medal.
    * Free post-race beer, classic Kansas City BBQ and live music/band at the after festival/party.
    * Post-race gong you can ring to celebrate your PR, first-race experience, etc.
    * Free high-quality downloadable photos provided within days after the race.
    * Live runner tracking and live results.
    * And, yes, plenty of hills to contend with…but nothing to hold you back. Just enough to present a challenge. Most challenging is the hill from the Crossroads District up to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
    The only potential drawback is that the weather can be cold and sometimes rainy in October in KC. This year, the temperature was perfect — mid-40’s at the start.
    One of my favorite half marathons and I plan to run again!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Parking was difficult, get there early just the lines getting in the parking garage. Up and down the KC hills, course was well marked nothing to worry about. The finish … MORE

    Parking was difficult, get there early just the lines getting in the parking garage. Up and down the KC hills, course was well marked nothing to worry about. The finish line was good no delays and food readily available.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    1

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    usedtay REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Well run aid stations every 2 or so miles, the new route in 2021 was great with many spectators. Route was well marked and the finish chute was well stocked. … MORE

    Well run aid stations every 2 or so miles, the new route in 2021 was great with many spectators. Route was well marked and the finish chute was well stocked. Several hills that get the blood pumping, but do not leave you exhausted. Have ran the full or half for the last 14 years and will do it again in 2022.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    januaryleabarr REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This race has some great views of the city, iconic places, beautiful neighborhoods, artistic areas... this race has something for everyone, no matter the distance. MORE

    This race has some great views of the city, iconic places, beautiful neighborhoods, artistic areas… this race has something for everyone, no matter the distance.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    KSMDRT REPEAT RUNNER '21

    The Garmin KC marathon never disappoints! I enjoyed the new course with gorgeous views of the sunrise over downtown and highlighting some of the best KC landmarks. Although there are … MORE

    The Garmin KC marathon never disappoints! I enjoyed the new course with gorgeous views of the sunrise over downtown and highlighting some of the best KC landmarks. Although there are some rolling hills (it is KC after all), the course was fun and I appreciated the downhill during mile 13. The start & finish line at the Nelson Atkinson Museum was great with easily accessible free parking nearby. Kudos to all those responsible for making this such a great race & thanks to all the wonderful volunteers! See you next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
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    troll2069 FIRST-TIMER '21

    The run was well organized and it was nice to run in some of the historical parts of town. There were more hills than I expected, especially 5-7 and 9-11, … MORE

    The run was well organized and it was nice to run in some of the historical parts of town. There were more hills than I expected, especially 5-7 and 9-11, and coming from Phoenix the start was chillier than I would have liked (although most people around me said it was perfect weather). By the end it felt nice. The packet pickup was well organized and had a nice expo with it. I am not sure if the posted finish time is gun time or chip time. The official time is a little more than five minutes longer than what my Garmin said (posted time on review is the office posted time). I was pleased with the Garmin time as it was better than most of my runs within the past couple of years. That was mainly due to them having a 3:30 pacer, and I finished with him. I would have preferred a couple of extra bathroom stops. I only needed one, but there wasn’t one around when I wanted it.
    Update: I contacted the race director and after reviewing the footage by time was updated. I appreciate the time it took to look into it.

    DIFFICULTY
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    2
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    My Media

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    jaredahalvorson FIRST-TIMER '21

    I really enjoyed the new course, which starts and ends at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. The chance to visit the museum is enough to sign up for this … MORE

    I really enjoyed the new course, which starts and ends at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. The chance to visit the museum is enough to sign up for this race. The course is nice challenge for people who are used to running flat courses, as it is rarely flat. The downhills are super fun, and the city has a lot of cool landmarks along the course. The bbq was good too. Only wish the shirt was a technical shirt, but the design is super cool and the shirt, while cotton, is very comfortable.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    shullrd FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was a new course for 2021. There were a lot of hills… but it took you through all of the highlights of the city. Pacers we’re awesome and had … MORE

    This was a new course for 2021. There were a lot of hills… but it took you through all of the highlights of the city. Pacers we’re awesome and had great tips to offer. Water was regularly available on the course. It would have been nice to have snacks at a few spots to boost energy. Great vendors at the finish line. All in all a great race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    TrudyF REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Don’t let the elevation chart scare you. All the hills in this race are manageable. One most note that you are either running uphill or downhill, very few “flat” areas. … MORE

    Don’t let the elevation chart scare you. All the hills in this race are manageable. One most note that you are either running uphill or downhill, very few “flat” areas. This race has a nice blend of urban and parkway/residential. The downhill finish is just over .5 miles long and fairly steep.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    jocelyn.pegg FIRST-TIMER '19

    I will limit my statement regarding how hilly this course is to this: DEAR LORD THE HILLS! This was my first full marathon and while I was disappointed in my … MORE

    I will limit my statement regarding how hilly this course is to this: DEAR LORD THE HILLS!

    This was my first full marathon and while I was disappointed in my performance, that did not detract from how much I enjoyed this race. I moved to KC a few years ago and fell in love running the downtown area, so when I made the jump from half to a full, this was a no-brainer. The course takes you through all the major highlights of the city: down town, the “government” district with the art deco city hall and courthouse, the Jazz district, historic residential areas, the ever-beautiful Ward Parkway, and everyone’s fave Westport!

    The crowds aren’t nearly as large as a Boston or Chicago, but there are plenty of people who come out and cheer on the random strangers running through their neighborhoods. Tons of fun, unique handouts (I’m talking to you, pickle lady and mimosa/coffee cake house!). Hands down, the best part of the race hits you right around mile 24, just when you really REALLY need it – the wonderful folks at Run 816 in Westport. You couldn’t ask for any group better to push you through the last 2 miles of this ass-kicker of a race.

    The expo is amazing, the price is reasonable, they put out a podcast, there are course preview training runs through the summer, the race directors put up a bunch of training plans for everyone’s needs, you can live-stream your race so your friends and family can track you as you move along…. it’s high tech, and down home and quirky and fun all at the same time! KCM is a wonderful race in a wonderful city, and you will feel incredibly accomplished when you cross that finish line.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    michaylak FIRST-TIMER '19

    Not a bad race. traffic and parking were terrible and ended up starting 17 min after the gun despite leaving my house (normally 15 min away) over an hour before MORE

    Not a bad race. traffic and parking were terrible and ended up starting 17 min after the gun despite leaving my house (normally 15 min away) over an hour before start time.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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