I was returning to conquer the Hospital Hill Re-Run for the second year in a row. The re run is a 5k on Friday evening, followed by a 10k or half the next Saturday morning. This year was different as I was part of the Hospital Hill Ambassador program. This meant I was given entry, a hotel stay and invited to the VIP party. I enjoyed all these perks, but I really like this race and would do it without being given free entry.
You can find my official race reviews at bibrave.com
I traveled to the weekend of events with my husband, Josh. Not only were we able to enjoy all the race festivities, we were invited to the race VIP reception and we also had the opportunity to check out Kansas City; Lamar’s Donuts, Union Station Football Hall of Fame Exhibit, National World War I Memorial, and Jack Stack BBQ.
The best thing about the entire visit was staying at the race hotel. It was a 5 minute walk, tops to any race related event.
Registration (same for all distances): This was available online through the race website, you could register for any distance. There were also forms at the expo to register. No race day registration. Included with registration a gender specific tech tee, finishers medal, finishers food, finisher’s flip flops, fleece blanket for re-run, personalized bib with chip timing.
Expo / Packet Pick up (same for all distances): The expo started on Thursday and continued Friday. There was no packet pick up on Saturday. You could park in the nearby ramp and have your ticket validated.
Participants were emailed their bib numbers prior to the expo, but if you didn’t have that with you there was a wall with them posted.
The entrance to the expo, which was held at the race hotel convention center, was lined with a blue carpet. However once inside I never noticed a sign point to the bib pick up, which you needed first to get the remainder of your items. We snaked around, got our bibs, then went to get our shirts, which were put into a plastic Target bag. Then we got our fleece blanket.
The expo had your typical vendors; running stores, running related products and businesses from around the area. There were a lot of freebies. Also water stations set up.
UMKC School of Medicine 5k, Friday June 5, 2015. Sunny, 82 degrees, humid. 7pm
Pre-race: There were announcements and music playing throughout the starting area. Plenty of port-o-potties with hand washing stations nearby. Runners were encouraged to take pre-race photos near the starting banner. 20 minutes before the start, announcements were made to start lining up. No corrals, encouraged to line up by pace. The National Anthem was sung live and the race was underway.
Race/ Course: The course runs a course that starts and finishes at the Crown Center
- paved surface, asphalt. some potholes, nothing major
- on the street – not crowded
- miles were marked with a sign
- one water stop half way- paper cups
- one misting station – created by a resident on course
- photographers on the course
- all intersections had volunteers or law enforcement
- hilly course – race starts with a long slow incline
- a few spectators
Post Race / Finish: The finish was marked with timing mats, clock and archway. After you crossed the finish a medal was handed to you and a wet sponge. Then finishers had a long chute to grab bottles of water, Gatorade, propel, chocolate milk, granola bars, bananas, and peanut butter crackers. Once through this area, you could get an ice cream sandwich, then go up some stairs to redeem the ticket on your bib for post run BBQ, which was a sandwich, baked beans and coleslaw.
A free massage tent was set up, with stretching and ART. Plenty of tables and benches for enjoying the post race. You could check your results with the QR code on the bib. Medal engraving was available.
Personal: It was hot! I knew about the hilly course, so with the half the next day, I took it easy and enjoyed the race. My Garmin had a time of 28 something, yet the chip had me at 30 minutes.
Josh and I were concerned with the half the next day a small sandwich would not be enough food, especially since we trekked 6 miles around the city in addition to the 5k. We put in an order for a small pizza to enjoy as well. We called it a night and prepared for the next day.
Half Marathon (started with 10k). June 6, 2015. Cloudy, humid, rain on the radar. 70 ish degrees. 7 am.
Pre-Race: Announcements and music were made over a loud speaker, however not so easy to hear. There were plenty of por-o-potties with hand washing stations. Parking available for free in nearby ramps. Participants encouraged to get into corrals based on pace. Signs were posted with estimated pace. Pacers were in those corrals. The National Anthem was performed live, but I could not see a flag. Then the race began.
Race / Course: The race starts and finishes at the Crown Center, course is on city streets through Kansas City.
- paved, asphalt, minor potholes and cracks; surface slippery when wet
- lots of hydration stops. Water and lemon lime Gatorade. Most stops were in separate cups, volunteers shouted what they had. paper cups
- Each mile was marked, pavement was marked with spray paint
- volunteers at most every intersection, law enforcement at busy intersections
- Photographers on course – available free after race
- a few spectators, DJ, drumline
- no food or gel on course, spectators with oranges and candy
- hilly, the name Hospital Hill shouldn’t fool you, there is more than one hill
- roads were closed to traffic
Post Race / Finish: The finish was marked with timing mat, arch and clock. Once across the line a volunteer handed you a medal and a wet sponge. Then you walked the long chute and could gather a banana, Gatorade, water bottle, propel, granola bar, beef stick, ice cream sandwich or peanut butter cracker sandwich. This area could get crowded if people didn’t move along. To redeem the tag for the flip flops it was a small walk the plaza, where there was also coffee.
Up the stairs under the tent was the post race pancakes with sausage and Tang. The massage tent was set up.
Overall: This was the 42nd year for the event, no complaints as the race is organized well. The hills make it a great challenge and it is comparable in price with similar races.
Personal: I had no strategy but to finish. I have been having some aching in a shin. I met up with the 2:15 pacer, and it was the same Iowa native from the previous year. I was feeling good, so I moved ahead. I saw the 2:10 pacer in the distance, but didn’t catch up with him until around mile 8, his wife is from Iowa City! I stuck with this group until about mile 11, when I grabbed a licorice from a spectator, and the rain was coming down, which felt good as it was humid.
The steepest hill, is at mile 12, then it’s all down hill from there. So I turned it on and pushed it to the end. My Garmin had a 2:07 and my official time was in the 2:08. I felt great!
As I finished I saw fellow Iowan Joel, who ran the 10k. I ran into so Sub 30 Club members post race, before I found Josh. We wondered around post race, then heard the announcement, anyone near the finish come form the tunnel of love. So Josh and I went and joined in the high fives and cheering for the last finishers of the race.
Before we left town, we also got to meet up with another twitter friend for some KC BBQ
I will always try to get to this event. Kansas City is a short drive, in addition to a great organized race there are a lot of things to do. I have yet to get to a Royals game. I am thankful to have been a part of the ambassador program for 2015.
Running has taken me to a lot of great places, and I have met some incredible people.