Overall Rating
Overall Rating (84 Reviews)
4.4
(84 Ratings)  (84 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.9
SCENERY
4.2
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
-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
Local Weather (Oct 15):
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
 
H (°F) 63 65 65 46 61
L (°F) 49 43 48 32 45
Powered by Dark Sky
Find Nearby Lodging (hotel, rental, etc.):

Recent reviews

    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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    [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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Profile photo of Josie Pegg
    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
    SWAG
    5

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    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

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    mattadams FIRST-TIMER '19

    Packet pickup and expo was in a good location at Union Station that allowed me to get familiar with the area and the start line, etc. before race day. Parking … MORE

    Packet pickup and expo was in a good location at Union Station that allowed me to get familiar with the area and the start line, etc. before race day. Parking was a bit hectic for the packet pickup, but I got there plenty early on race day so parking was a snap. Nice that it was free for packet pickup. The giveaway shirt was meh and didn’t really fit, but will work fine on my shirt blanket :).
    The race itself was rainy and cold, but that’s not their fault! Unfortunately it rained so hard there were a lot of puddles that couldn’t be avoided and I ended up running with wet feet and getting some blisters, but such is life. Aid stations were at decent distances, and there were some good crowds out at various locations to cheer people on. There were a few hills, but nothing really unreasonable.
    Only minor complaint was the post-race food… waited in line for probably a half hour or so for a bbq sandwich which didn’t have much meat on it… but the music was jamming and everyone seemed in good spirits despite the weather!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    achase11 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I really enjoyed the atmosphere! Gorgeous scenic routes and awesome cheering fans! I was impressed how smooth everything went, even the hydration stations no one missed a beat. I would … MORE

    I really enjoyed the atmosphere! Gorgeous scenic routes and awesome cheering fans! I was impressed how smooth everything went, even the hydration stations no one missed a beat. I would have liked one more gel station along the way but overall fantastic race and would highly recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    ohjeeeeez555 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Rain for the first 2 hours, then hills. Lots of official and unofficial stops along the way. Last half mile all steep descent. BBQ and beer afterwards. Parking was meh, … MORE

    Rain for the first 2 hours, then hills. Lots of official and unofficial stops along the way. Last half mile all steep descent. BBQ and beer afterwards. Parking was meh, but overall a good run.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    rswenson REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I have ran the KC Marathon several times, twice full, three times half, and once 10k. The first mile is uphill heading into downtown. The course has several hills throughout … MORE

    I have ran the KC Marathon several times, twice full, three times half, and once 10k.

    The first mile is uphill heading into downtown. The course has several hills throughout the course, but definitely a good route given the terrain of Kansas City. The race start is a long chute with people lined up by race pace. We got there a little late this last time and couldn’t make it up to our pace group. We started at the back of the pack and were about 5 minutes after the gun. We didn’t have any trouble running at our own pace and caught up with the pacers for our speed. The finish is about a mile long downhill, which makes for a very fun ending going back into the music and cheer zone. The finish area has BBQ sandwiches and beer. The line for sandwiches took a few minutes to traverse, but was reasonable given the crowd size.

    The water stops have power aide and water with plenty of staff. Some places created their own unofficial support stop with cookies and beer, which was much appreciated. The Run 816 store’s unofficial stop also had several people in costumes and that made it my favorite stop.

    This is my local race so I will definitely run it again. It is my favorite race in the KC area because of the route. If I were traveling I would try to stay in a Crown Center Hotel and be right by the start/stop line.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    tswiesner FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first ever marathon, and it was definitely a challenge! I loved the hills and the downtown scenery. This is a well run race, with many volunteers making … MORE

    This was my first ever marathon, and it was definitely a challenge! I loved the hills and the downtown scenery. This is a well run race, with many volunteers making it a memorable experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

    Profile photo of Joe Christianson
    jwc5115 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Overall, it was an enjoyable race but nothing about it really stood out to me as being exceptionally exciting. Course: Pretty challenging with all the hills. I live and train … MORE

    Overall, it was an enjoyable race but nothing about it really stood out to me as being exceptionally exciting.

    Course: Pretty challenging with all the hills. I live and train in an exceptionally flat area, and the hills around mile 10 really tore me up.

    Race production: Everything seemed adequate, but certainly not the best I’ve seen. The pre-race communication and website were a little weak (although I greatly appreciated the weather update e-mail the evening before the race). Course layout, cops manning intersections, start and finish areas were all exactly what you would expect. The splits in the course for the different distances was extremely well marked.

    Crowd: Not much for most of the race, but there were a couple of good, rowdy groups out somewhere around mile 9.

    Swag: I didn’t care for the design of the shirt, but that’s just personal preference. I do wish it had been a tech tee instead of cotton. The Goodr glasses are excellent and a really good piece of swag.

    Overall: It was a fun race and its definitely worth doing. I don’t know that I would travel for it again, but if I was local, I would definitely keep running it.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

  1. Races
  2. Kansas City Marathon