What a great race! The weather was crisp and sunny, the crowds were supportive, the bands along the race course were terrific, and the course wasn't nearly as hilly as I had feared. My official time was 2:33:21. I stopped along the way to take lots of pictures, and the course had more hills than I am used to, so I am thrilled with my time.
Here we all are, shivering and huddled in the morning chill. I fretted over the weather all week, as I watched the weather predictions get colder and colder. It was 40 degrees at the starting line and for the first two hours of the race. It didn't get into the 50s until after I finished the race. I ended up in long sleeves, a light-weight running jacket, capri-length tights, gloves, and a visor. I worried that I would be shedding layers throughout the race, but I kept it all on until mile 12, when I decided to shed the jacket so my race bib would be visible at the finish line.
I ran the first mile with the 2:40 pace group (a 12+ minute mile), and then decided I felt good enough to run faster than that. I also knew I would do a combination of running and walking, and this group was only running.
The first mile was flat, crowded with runners, and not scenic (which was fine since the sun had not fully risen yet).
Miles 1-3 included a steep curving uphill, so that you couldn't see the top of the hill. The picture above is just a little hill after the really big curving hill. There was also a lame switchback before the 3 mile marker that had a high school track feel, so that you could see the runners ahead and behind you, almost like being on parade. The band playing on the switchback was truly incredible. I'm not sure, but it may have been the Heather Thornton Trio.
Miles 3-8 were largely flat, with a few downhills thrown in. We traveled along a neat row of pubs and theaters, and through some nice, tree-lined neighborhoods.
Miles 8-10 were the toughest, in my opinion. It was a gentle uphill, with a virtually cheerless straight stretch through a park.
Miles 10-13 rocked. I think all races should end with a downhill stretch. I was able to pick up my pace, even when my legs were most tired. The scenery was also great, with a sweeping view of downtown Kansas City.
Here were my splits, according to my new, fancy Garmin Forerunner 405:
mile 1 - 12:26
mile 2 - 11:23
mile 3 - 12:07
mile 4 - 12:03
mile 5 - 11:15
mile 6 - 11:29
mile 7 - 11:17
mile 8 - 11:53
mile 9 - 11:53
mile 10 - 12:00
mile 11 - 11:31
mile 12 - 11:35
mile 13 - 10:54
Last 0.19 mile - 1:27 (a blazing, 7.8 mph pace!)
(I dropped a glove around mile 2 and turned back to pick it up--that, and not running the tangents accounts for the extra 0.09 mile on my Garmin)
Race pictures are available at Action Sports Images. My bib number was 4503, and my favorite two pictures are 41850-1978-026 and 41850-2206-031.
Next up, a 5K with Ben on Thanksgiving Day.