Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Waddell & Reed Kansas City Half Marathon Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I ran the Kansas City Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews. 

The Kansas City Marathon and Half Marathon took place on Saturday, October 15th.  
It was a day to remember! 

I love racing!  I love crossing finish lines.  I love the excitement of race day and the events leading up to road races! This half marathon was super fun and so memorable!  If you want a beautiful, historical and challenging road race, this race is for you!  Did I say challenging?

Kansas City race management doesn't lie when they say that this race is hilly.  Make sure that you train on hills or this course will eat you alive.  But, the reward at the finish is absolutely worth it and the views during the run are top-notch!  I am not lying when I say I think that this race had a hill around every corner - if not every corner -  for SURE every mile.  Some hills were small and others were larger. 

I arrived at the race and stayed right downtown at the Sheraton Hotel.  This was extremely convenient because the hotel was connected to the expo and only one block from the race start/finish line. It couldn't be much easier than that!  The hotel offered reasonable rates and valet parking which I would highly recommend.  Do plan on tipping your valet and concierge - it is well worth it. 

The race expo is medium-sized and held in a convention center room.  It is easily maneuvered and the race packet pick-up seemed well organized!

This race started at 7 am with fireworks and the national anthem. The fireworks were a great touch! There is not a segregated corral start, but pacers/pacer flags are well marked and you are able to enter the gates easily.  

Once underway, brace yourself for well maintained buildings, beautiful green spaces and historical buildings; including the World War I Memorial and Nelson Sculpture Gardens.  I loved running by the 5500 lb. birdies, or "shuttlecocks" as I was told by the museum guides after the race! :) 

A tad too much fun after the race :)  At least we could jump!

This race had ample hydration stops with Gatorade and water at every one and they were well stocked and had cheering sections to boot!   Trust me, you will need the water to conquer the hills on this race!  Spectators were definitely at the major aide stations, but they were few and far between otherwise.

Up until about mile 6, the half marathon and marathon run the same route.  The split is well marked and spectators also make sure that you know your way and that you are on the right track!  At about mile 10, I realized that my goal of a sub 1:55 race was not going to happen.  That's ok.  I amused myself with the spectators instead!  There were some creative race signs.  This was one of my favorites.

The last 1/2 mile of the race returns back to downtown and has a nice little down hill before a slight incline to the finish line.  I wouldn't expect a PR for this race - although I do know many that achieved that.  The weather was unseasonably humid and warm, but there was no sun - thank goodness! 

This race personally kicked my butt.  I still finished in 2:03:40 - but it was 9 minutes off of a PR for me.  That would not deter me from running another race with Kansas City again though.  They've got this race down and it is managed very well. 

The post race party was fantastic!  Live band, bounce houses for the kids, inflatable games, beer, and food galore!  Chick-fil-A was even there handing out their famous chicken sandwiches!  How cool is that?  

I personally enjoyed the PR gong.  Even though I didn't PR - I hit that thing hard to celebrate half-marathon #7.

Let's talk about the medal!  Wowza!  It's a great size and it's HEAVY! I liked that the medals were larger depending on what race you finished.  The 5K was smaller than the half; with the marathon medal being the largest!  

The finish line had heat blankets as well.  I had to giggle;  living in MN nothing feels cold to me.  I absolutely did NOT need one!  But my Oklahoma friends welcomed it in the 64 degree temps. 

Make sure you put this race on your list of must-do's.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to go back someday!


  1. Great blog post and review! I love the action shots! Very cool medals.

  2. I'd run it just to ring the gong! Great recap.

  3. Congrats on a great race! I like the hilly fun ones :) I am cracking up at blankets! LOL in 64 degrees...I can't even imagine.
    Sounds like a super fun weekend :) The gong is great lol

  4. This was the second year of the I-35 Challenge...and I have yet to give in and do it. Maybe next year? (If I don't have a fall marathon looming over my shoulders).

  5. The jumping pic at the beginning of the post needs to be on their brochures and booths at other expos. Send it to them! Even the medal flew up perfect!

    1. Thanks! I'll send it! This was a great race!