Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Hospital Hill Half 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!
The Hospital Hill Run weekend consists of 3 different races over 2 days. The 5K is Friday night and you can check out the Run Health and Fitness Expo and my volunteer experience! Saturday morning starts with the 10K and half marathon – I registered for the half marathon again this year : ) You can check out my experience last year here!
I always lay out all of my things the night before to be sure I don’t forget anything!
I was up and ready to leave in no time!
With the construction around town, I hoped that my directions would get me where I needed to be and not stuck somewhere…
The race crew is good about including a lot of info in their e-mails and website about parking for the expo and parking for the running events.
I always park behind Crown Center in one of the open lots. They are easy to get in and out of most of the time.
I headed over to the starting area, made a bathroom stop, and then headed to the drop bag area.
I headed out on course!
I met up with my pacing pal Wael in the 2 hour pace group. After the National Anthem, I noticed my Manhattan running pals just ahead of us! I stepped up and quickly said my hellos : )
Before long, we were off!!
Course Map & Elevation
Mile 0 – 1
Since I was starting in my A-goal time area, I was prepared for the faster start. I didn’t plan on maintaining this pace, but I wanted to stick with the group for a couple miles.
By the time my watch beeped, we were are the goal pace for the race and not the “slower first miles” that the Smart Pacers typically stick to. Oh well… I don’t think that those 20+ seconds would have helped me hang on any longer…those KC hills had more to do with my slower pace.
Mile 1 – 3
By the water station between mile 1 & 2, I was still able to keep with the 2hr pace group. Once we started up Hospital Hill, I soon lost them…
The long climb from mile 2-3 is brutal most days, and on a hot day, it was worse than I would have liked. My breathing was a little labored, so I let off the gas and let the pace group pull ahead.
Mile 3 – 5
The gentle downhill in this area helped me regain some momentum and refocus my mind.
I listened to music this race so I would try to keep my tempo higher that usual – otherwise I would have been listening to a podcast.
We passed through a water station around mile 4.5 and I got a great boost of energy from the volunteers and the cold water I poured on my head. ; ) As we headed down towards the UMKC campus, I was feeling great! We had some hills coming and I was prepared for the battle…
This is where the UMKC campus starts! There is a climb onto the main road, and I felt like I was breathing hard for the effort I felt like I was putting in. At this time, I cycled through my Garmin to see what my HR was to determine if I was A) really pushing as hard as I thought, and B) could I just keep going at the same effort. This is what I saw :
What?! No HR?! I am pretty sure I am alive…and I can feel my heart pumping…
This was when my day went from testing my current fitness to just getting to the finish line in one piece – alive!
Hindsight : I could have waited to get to the next mile mark, stopped my watch, restarted my watch, and been on my way with a working HR monitor…but I wasn’t thinking clearly…
Mile 6 – 9.5
These miles were hard for me…between second guessing my working heart and non-working HR monitor, I walked and ran through these miles with a mid anxiety that something was happening in my body that I was not totally aware of.
You see, this is the first big event since my health concerns came up last month…not my first race, because I have paced a couple since that time. With pacing, I am running an easy, slower pace (for me) so I am able to devote my time and energy to the runners I am motivating to the finish line. I am not typically physically tired after these events, but more mentally/emotionally exhausted.
This is the last event of the spring and since I am not pacing, I set out a few goals for the race. About this time, I remembered that I really just wanted to have FUN today!
I started feeling a little more positive about the day and taking in all the sights and sounds of the race experience : ) The beautiful and unique houses along Meyer Blvd., the shops and spectators off Brookside, the little neighborhood loops, the open green spaces – I really was able to take it all in.
Mile 9.5 – 10.75
Around mile 9.5 or so, we started our journey back into the city. The skylines of KC always take my breath away…and pictures never seem to capture the beauty!
We soon passed by one of the iconic fountains of KC.
The next mile or so was a nice shaded area next to the Mill Creek Park. The shade was an amazing feeling since we have been in the sun for a bit…and would be in the sun again soon!
Mile 10.75 – 12
Through these miles, it felt like the only shade we got was from the taller buildings and trees. If we were allowed to run on the opposite side of the street, we could have taken more advantage of the shade…
Around mile 12, you are just ready to be done with this race! But there is one big hill standing in your way…
Mile 12 – finish
Once you scale the heights of Trinity Hill and take a second (or minute) to enjoy the view, you head straight down to the finish line!
My HR not working put a damper on my race time, but not my overall experience! I love the Hospital Hill Half because it takes you through some of the greatest places in KC and gives you a good workout!!
Right as you finish, you are offered your medal and a water…and then comes the choices of post race snacks!
I made a pitstop in the meds tent because I didn’t want to take ANY chances with my health… I just stopped my to have my HR checked and be sure I was indeed still alive. I am well and I go on through the post race area.
Last stop before heading out is the pancake feed *cue drooling* I handed off my bib ticket and I could eat whatever I wanted…and I choose 3 pancakes with a little syrup…yum!
This race weekend is one of my favorites year to year. The Hospital Hill directors area great about communicating the details of their race so there aren’t any questions – as long as you read the e-mails.
Even though I didn’t run the 5K this year, I liked that they opted to change the course. In years past, the 5K was mostly part of the 10K/Half Marathon course and the Re-Run registrants were seeing the same places both days. This was certainly a great thought!
The half marathon was excellent, as always : ) While I didn’t have an A or B goal day, I still enjoyed the sights, the other runners, and the crowd support. Had my HR monitor worked throughout the race, I may have hit one of my previous goals, but that isn’t something I think about. It was a hot day and not ideal A-goal conditions. I will be back next year : )
Check out this short video covering the events on Saturday! Come and join me at the hill next year!
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