Do you enjoy big city races with great perks? If so, the Kansas City Marathon is the perfect race to add to your fall race lineup!
For today’s Friday Five, I am going to give you 5 reasons you should start thinking about your fall running schedule and run with me this October!! Those Kansas City hills aren’t going to run themselves!!
Kansas City Marathon
several distances to choose from
The Kansas City Marathon has been selected for TripAdvisor’s 50 US Road Races to Attempt in Your Lifetime (key word…ATTEMPT) and provides several great distances including the Full Marathon, Half Marathon, I-35 Challenge, 10K (new for 2017), 5K, and Kids Marathon.
The KCM is Kansas City’s largest and most exciting annual race event. The race course gives its runners a tour of Kansas City’s most beautiful landmarks and neighborhoods including the National World War I Museum & Memorial, the Country Club Plaza, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Brookside, Westport, 18th & Vine and much more (the marathon sees the most…duh!!)!
My current PR in the half marathon was set in 2015 at the Kansas City Marathon! Last year, I ran the half marathon again, but as a smart pacer!
This year, I will be running the full marathon distance as a BibRave Pro! This is my fall marathon for 2017 and I look forward to seeing with the second 13.1 of this course looks like 🙂 The race routes will be posted soon and I can’t wait to see where the KCM will take me!!
The biggest plus with the KCM route is that there are aid stations every 1.5-2 miles for all race distances!! Talk about major support for their runners!!
the big health and fitness expo
Many of the large, tried and true races in the Kansas City area are known for their amazing pre-race expos! At these expos, you can absolutely get your bib, chip, and extra swag – but I spend the most time wandering around the vendors!
The Kansas City Marathon Health and Fitness Expo is typically held Thursday and Friday. There is NO race day registration or pack pickup – so you will NEED to hit up the Expo! Be sure to head to the back of the event space first to pick up your bib and shirt (gender specific) – I usually head there first thing so I don’t forget them in the excitement of all the shiny running things 🙂
Many vendors travel from near and far to help you perform your best on race day! Whether you are picking up some last minute gels, grabbing pace bands, or finding your next set of running shoes (nothing new on race day!!), be sure to make some time to walk around!
new charity partners
While running big racing events is fun, it always serves a larger purpose – raising money for local charities, and in this case, the Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation (KCSC&F)! This year, the KCM is also partnering with 4 additional charities – three of which are local! More information about these causes can be found on the KCM Website :
“We are proud to partner with these four wonderful non-profit organizations for our 2017 race,” said Dave Borchardt, Race Director for the Kansas City Marathon. “Last year the Kansas City Marathon and our participants raised more than $375,000 for charity, and we think this new charity component will help us give back even more in 2017.”
During the registration process, runners will have three options to give back with one of the Kansas City Marathon’s charity partners – with their donation, there are additional perks for future KCM registrations. Consider donating today!
smart pacers for a smart race
One major bonus of the Kansas City Marathon is the use of the Runner’s Edge of KC Smart Pacers! I had the opportunity to pace the Kansas City Half Marathon in 2016 and made some lifelong running friends! Everyone is there to have a good time, or at least most people, and we had a blast!
The pacers will help you finish the race within your goal time. By taking the uphills a little slower and the downhills with a little more speed, you will better conserve your energy to the end of the race!
Plus, the pacers are always a good time – and that is coming from a very successful pacer!
I look forward to working with one of my fellow marathon pacers this fall at the KCM!
swag + post race
No matter the distance, all runners who run the KCM events will receive a Kansas City Marathon participant shirt – the finishers will then receive a distance specific finisher’s medal, FREE downloadable race photos, FREE food, FREE beer, and FREE massages at the Finish Line Festival.
Once you finish your race distance of choice, you will receive your medal, ample choices of bread, fruit, and water, and then a great post race area for more food choices, post run photo op areas, and a live band!
The food provided in the post race area is grrrreat! Last year, there were 2-3 sandwich/wrap choices, many beer choices (for those 21 and older), and lots of fruit and water. Chik-fil-a was also wandering around the area giving out fruit and sandwiches!
BONUS!! support KCM green initiatives
What is a Friday Five without a bonus #6?!
One of the big benefits of this race is the fact that the Kansas City Marathon wants to reduce the environmental impact of the event on the Kansas City community. This year marks the third year that the KCM is using guidelines set by the Council for Responsible Sport! The following is a list of our goals and initiatives (from the KCM Website) :
- Measure race day waste and divert at least 90% of total waste
- Donate all leftover food items to a local homeless shelter or food pantry
- Use zero Styrofoam – and introduce a zero Styrofoam policy for all Kansas City Marathon vendors, participants and Finish Line Festival groups.
- Perform over 98% of registration via paperless online registration
- Estimate the carbon travel footprint of event participants
- Provide composting receptacles for paper cups; measure total composted
- Solicit feedback in post-race survey from participants
- Work with an organization to set up running shoe donation at packet pick-up
- Set up recycling opportunities for race bibs
- Continue previously established initiatives, including providing recycling bins during race and offering compostable options
- Continue to work with an organization to set up medal recycling
- Work with an organization to set up heat sheet recycling on race day
Do your part on race day to ensure the Kansas City Marathon is running a sustainable event for the environment and the KC community!!
I can only hope that I have at least peaked your interest in signing up for this amazing race! I will be running in BRIGHT ORANGE this year as a BibRave Pro and I want you to come and run those Kansas City hills with me!!
Use the code “BIBRAVE17” at checkout for 15% off your online registration for the Kansas City Marathon events. With the next price increase coming up May 1st, I urge you to register today and save a little cash!! Use that savings at the Health and Fitness Expo 🙂
More questions? Check the KCM website for more questions and answers for this great event! Also, check out this great video from the 2016 KCM weekend!
To stay in the know, be sure to “Like” the Kansas City Marathon on Facebook, follow @KCMarathon on Twitter, and follow KCMarathon on Instagram! Get connected and add #RunKCM to all your posts and share your training and journey to the finish line!
Do you have any races that you run year to year? Have you used pacers with success in the past? How many BIG city races have you completed with green initiatives for their communities?
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and start a conversation!
More Ways to connect with Lindsey from LivingLovingRunner :
Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Kansas City Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!