Kansas City, KS
Marathon #249 - 38th state (2nd loop)
3:35:52 - 36th OA - 1st AG
I decided to run this marathon for two reasons:
a) I wanted to arrange/schedule my marathons so that I ran marathon #250 on my trip to Europe
b) I needed to run a 2nd marathon in Kansas as I slowly work my way around the 50 states for the 2nd time.
And besides it was conveniently located on the route home from Colorado to Florida. Thus my sports manager and I stopped in KC on Fri afternoon to pick up my race package at the Crown Center in downtown KC. The expo was a disappointment – only a few sports/shoe vendors and the prices were not attractive. The marathon date had been changed to coincide with several other events/activities happening in KC. But that was not all good because it was difficult to get around the city and the restaurants were full. We had to find a small local neighborhood restaurant for our pasta dinner.
The race started at 7am at the Crown Center and finished in the Freight House District in downtown KC. There were about 2,000 runners in 3 events – marathon/Half and a relay - about 700 runners in the full Marathon. The weather was not good (for running) – about 70F and 100% humidity (fog) at the start. I lined up with the Big Dogs and took off. There were no mile markers until mile 4 and I passed that in 29:17. I thought that pace was too fast but was not sure if it was correct so I kept pushing in spite of a lot of hills? I reached the next mile marker at mile 7 in 53:26! Way too fast for the weather and hills so I slowed my pace. I passed mile 10 in 1:18:48. I felt OK but was concerned because the first 9 miles had been very hilly. Fortunately the course flattened out with a few rolling hills over the next few miles and I passed the half in 1:44:03.
I still felt OK but knew that I couldn’t repeat that pace for the 2nd Half with the hills and heat so decided to slow the pace down some more. That turned out to be a wise decision because the sun burned through the fog around 14 miles and the temps soared into the 80s. I figured right then that most runners would be in ‘survival’ mode by 20 miles because of the heat. I reached mile 20 in 2:42:10. The heat had become brutal and although I felt OK my legs were feeling very heavy so I decided to ignore my pace for the last 10K and just run off my heart monitor. I kept my heart rate below 90% Max in order to give the old ticker some cushion to handle the extreme heat. The course had looped back on itself around mile 15 and I had not seen any old farts in front of me so I was fairly certain that I was winning my age group and did not have to kill myself in the heat. I managed to run/cruise at an 8:30 pace w/o getting into any trouble and passed about 30 runners who had succumbed to the heat and were walking.
I crossed the finish line in 3:35:52. Even though the race had been timed by chip they still did not have any marathon results for the winners so I figured there was no sense waiting around. We returned to our hotel for a quick hot soak and shower and by noon were back on I 70 heading east towards St Louis, MO. I drove for 6 hrs until we reached Marion, IL and then told the sports manager it was time for a beer and something to eat – I had not eaten all day!
I didn’t get any official results until we returned home. I was not surprised to learn that I won my age group but was surprised to discover that 2nd place finished 48 minutes behind me and that my time was good enough for 36th overall (700 runners). I guess the heat took a bigger toll than I thought?
That was my final tune up race for my European trip. Hopefully the weather will be a little better. I would like to run a flat course in cool weather to see if I can break 3:30 again?
Stay tuned for the next trip report!