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@thegreatmdunn

Smithville, MO Raving since 2017 Active 3 years, 3 months ago

About Me

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My Races

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

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (3)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Marathon Fort Smith, AR Feb 11, 2018 3:12:30
Half Marathon Bucyrus, KS May 13, 2017 1:30:08
7 Miler Urbandale, IA Nov 19, 2016 53:19

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (7)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Marathon Fort Smith, AR Feb 11, 2018 3:12:30
Half Marathon Kansas City, MO Jun 3, 2017 1:33:36
Half Marathon Bucyrus, KS May 13, 2017 1:30:08
Marathon Olathe, KS Apr 22, 2017 3:13:29
7 Miler Urbandale, IA Nov 19, 2016 53:19
Marathon Overland Park, KS Nov 13, 2016 3:13:44
5 Miler Kansas City, MO Nov 5, 2016

My Raves

I ran this as a hill-heavy prep for Boston, and feel much more confident about tackling Heartbreak Hill now! The course features a handful of tough climbs (including a looong … MORE

I ran this as a hill-heavy prep for Boston, and feel much more confident about tackling Heartbreak Hill now! The course features a handful of tough climbs (including a looong beast at mile 22…but after that it’s pretty much flat/downhill to the finish!). The aid stations were fantastic, the community was welcoming, and there was FREE PRE-RACE COFFEE. I had a great time.

Specifics:
The course was well-marked except the first mile or two, but there’s enough people running together that you can follow the leaders. Once you really start risking running alone, your path is marked by tons of cones. You are running in the road, and roads are not closed! There was the occasional car trying to drive in the runners’ lane, but I didn’t experience any real issues. Major intersections were staffed by police and volunteers.

The course is a big lollipop so you only retrace your steps for the last mile or two. The scenery varies from downtown to neighborhoods to parkland to a golf course – overall very nice.

There were no pacers for the marathon. Between that and the hills, runners need to keep pace/effort management in mind!

I carry my own race fuel, but the aid stations seemed well-stocked, well-staffed, and offered water/gatorade as well as food at at least a few.

The race is USATF certified, though my watch ended up reading over 0.2 mi long. GPS watches aren’t perfect, but this is a bit more than I’d usually call watch error. I suspect that the certification measurement was made without accounting for the fact that runners only run on one side of the road, so when making turns one direction, runners are forced into a wide turn. I’m betting when they measured the course, they measured as if runners used the whole road. I’m not positive on this, but it would account for the discrepancy.

Race communication was not the best I’ve seen; I’d recommend following the facebook page as that’s where most information was shared. There was ice the night before the race, and all the updates I’m aware of were only posted there.

Overall, the race was well-managed and enjoyable. It’s a five-hour drive from where I live, but I will seriously consider returning next year, so long as it’s not 70 outside!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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This was my second time running the Hospital Hill half. The race is iconic in the area and draws quite the crowd, both of runners and supporters. The course is … MORE

This was my second time running the Hospital Hill half. The race is iconic in the area and draws quite the crowd, both of runners and supporters.

The course is TOUGH! There are hills upon hills upon hills – the namesake hill is overall probably the biggest and within the first ~5k; what I feel is the steepest hill is just over 0.5 mi from the finish (after that hill, it’s literally downhill to the end – super fast!). The course is well-supported and well-marked; it’s city streets so the road condition could be better in spots. There are a lot of intersections, and I’ve seen some cars blow past the course marshalls. The scenery (to me) is meh – I’m not a fan of the urban landscape – but it does offer a nice tour of some of KC downtown.

I’m not a fan of hot weather, so a race in the beginning of June means it’s likely to be warm and humid but I haven’t yet been able to heat-train adequately. This was definitely the case in 2017; I overheated and my pace suffered a lot, despite the water stations and carrying my own electrolytes.

2017’s swag was a mixed bag. The PJ pants were a neat idea in that they’re “different,” but getting fuzzy PJ pants in June in Missouri is silly – can’t wear them for another 6 months! I had the same comment about 2016’s half-zip. They also gave out hats at the end, which I did like quite a bit.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
2
SWAG
3

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This race was FUN and everyone around seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. The course was well-marked and safe from traffic, and featured rolling hills through the middle miles. One … MORE

This race was FUN and everyone around seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. The course was well-marked and safe from traffic, and featured rolling hills through the middle miles. One big disadvantage is that it’s nearly all in full sun – so on a warm day, there’s no escaping heat buildup.

The post-race food was phenomenal and there was some of about everything you could imagine, thanks to a lot of fantastic and culinary talented volunteers! There was space to rest, lounge, and hang around; part of the very welcoming feel of the whole event.

I also participated in the Udder Grit Challenge – a farm-themed obstacle course – which was a blast. There were a few moments of confusion that I think will be remedied in the future; I believe this was the first year of the UGC, and there’s always a learning curve. Some of the race organizers spoke with me about ideas and suggestions (I’ve done a few handfuls of OCRs). Again, everyone volunteering was enthusiastic, supportive, and welcoming.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Arrive early! In 2017 at least, the race was delayed twice because runners were still trying to get parked! A lot of people didn't start with the actual race. Getting … MORE

Arrive early! In 2017 at least, the race was delayed twice because runners were still trying to get parked! A lot of people didn’t start with the actual race. Getting to the location was a bit of a nightmare.

That aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this race. It was pretty scenic (decent neighborhoods for the first half-plus, and then a recreational paved trail), and included some rolling hills without being too challenging. Be ready though – the first half-plus is rolling hills, then it gets very very flat on the recreational trail, and then the last few miles are mostly uphill. I felt that there were a good number of aid stations, though I brought fluids with me so only occasionally took water.

I rated the swag only a 4 because while the shirt is really nice, the medals are ludicrously large – very much not my style and honestly so over-the-top that I don’t want to display it!

That all aside, I enjoyed the race and will consider it for next year. I do hope that the parking/start area is changed drastically to avoid this year’s mess.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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This was my seventh time running LHF, and while I now live over three hours away, I'll come back and do it as many times as I can. The race … MORE

This was my seventh time running LHF, and while I now live over three hours away, I’ll come back and do it as many times as I can. The race is a lot of fun, but runners need to be ready! Be ready for weather, for wet, for lots of people, and for a few race and logistics oddities.

Weather and wet: the first year I ran (2010) I was in shorts…the past few years have gotten cold (including the coldest race on record in all it’s nearly 40 years). While they altered the course once (2015) due to ice and snow, the race still goes on – you will run through creeks and through mud, so be ready for cold and wet feet.

People: until the past two years, I always ran this for fun rather than worrying about time. A lot of folks dress up in elaborate and hilarious costumes – part of the fun is seeing what others have thought of. But with thousands of people trying to fit on farm lanes, the start is a bit of a mess. It once took me 10 minutes to get across the start line (gun start, chip finish). If you want to really RACE, then either pay for VIP status and start at the front, or be willing to push your way towards the front. You’ll still end up in a big crush of bodies for awhile, but after the first mile or so, it gets easier.

Oddities: arrive EARLY to park or risk not getting to start on time, or perhaps be stuck in the porta-johns when the gun goes off. There’s also no bag dropoff, which means you either have to leave your keys in your (unlocked) car or carry them with you. There’s no indoor waiting area for before the race. Especially after I moved away from the area, I started getting a hotel room for the night before – there are several hotels within about a mile – and then just running to the race the morning of (nice warmup, and while you still need to somehow carry your hotel keycard, no risk of losing car keys!). Then you also have a hot shower waiting for you afterward. 🙂

The course is hilly and challenging; not always technical (it’s through/around crop fields, gravel paths, and dirt trails; a tiny bit of pavement at the start and finish) but the sheer number of people and the mud and the steepness of some of the creek banks make parts tricky. The post-race beef stew is excellent, as are the donuts!

As mentioned before, I love this race and will return for as many years as I can.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Good marathon (this was my second), overall fairly flat, though there are a few hills in the first half (miles 8-10ish) and one towards the end (20ish). The course is … MORE

Good marathon (this was my second), overall fairly flat, though there are a few hills in the first half (miles 8-10ish) and one towards the end (20ish). The course is a modified out-and-back; there’s a big loop in the first half that’s not repeated on the way back, and a small side out-and-back in the second half. The course is Boston-certified and ended up measuring about right on my watch, though the individual mile markers were often way out of line (a runner ahead of me actually moved the mile 15 marker from where it’d been put at something like 14.3 to where it needed to be…the mile 26 marker was something like 0.4-0.5 mi from the finish…basically, way too far off to just be the difference between my running watch GPS and reality!).

I wish I’d brought water/electrolytes with me; despite being in November it warmed up a lot and while there were a good number of aid stations, I needed a bit more. The folks on the course were supportive, though I had to get my own water at one station (they had cups filled but didn’t hand them to you, NBD just not what I expected, especially when the station was set back off the course).

I thoroughly enjoyed and still enjoy my finisher’s blanket and hoodie, they are great! This one is on my consideration list for this year.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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This was my third time running, I believe. It's always a lot of fun, few frills, just plain and simple, and I like that! Registration can be tricky, as there … MORE

This was my third time running, I believe. It’s always a lot of fun, few frills, just plain and simple, and I like that! Registration can be tricky, as there seem to be a number of dead links on/around the website. However, race day itself goes fine – easy packet pickup, porta-johns right near the start, and a good crew around.

The course is well-marked (a slight mishap in 2015 was corrected in 2016) and mostly pretty scenic – around the farm, through the woods, and through a park. Terrain varies from dirt path (early on) to crushed gravel to grass. Overall it’s not very technical or hilly, though the toughest hills are right at the end. I consider it to be a cross-country rather than a trail run; it’s a nice “intro” to running off roads. Trail shoes are nice but not mandatory.

The 5-mi and 2-mi courses meet up in the last mile-ish, which sometimes means “traffic” issues if groups of slower 2-milers don’t yield to passing racers, but most folks are good about it.

The post-race area in the Living History “town” is fun, and the soup is good stuff! I’ve enjoying staying to chat with other runners and explore the farm a bit. Looking forward to running this one again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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