2002 KC Humana Crown River Plaza Marathon
29th - 45-49 yr olds
189th - Overall
(Overall winner came in at 2:52:11 -- Yeppers! It was a tough course!)
This was not a race for me, but a chance to run the new course of my hometown marathon. I knew from my long runs and speed work, in the past 5 weeks that I've been running again, I could not seriously try to "race" this marathon. It turned out to be a good opportunity to confirm once again that KC could take lessons from other nearby cities (i.e. Lincoln, Wichita, St. Louis) on running the "logistics" of a marathon.
Race day -
Got to the Marriott around 6:30 to wait for the others to show up. Finally figured out that they might be waiting at the OTHER Marriott (formerly the Muhlebach Hotel) on the adjacent street. Sure enough, Michele and her sister quickly located me, and apca and his daughter joined us for a few minutes of conversation before we all headed to the starting line.
T'was cold and damp in KC. At race time, it was 31°. I had decided to show up in sweats which I ditched before heading out. I chose to wear shorts today, which turned out to be fine. I predicted to Michele that I would probably pitch the long sleeve shirt, hat and gloves after a few miles. It never happened. It seemed to get colder throughout the race, but I think it was just me. Otherwise, the rain would have froze. (That's later on in the story.)
Okay, if you're still with me, the race started at 7:32. I decided I was going out easy and ran the first mile in about an 8:40. I wanted to run a couple of miles at about that pace and then kick it down to about an 8:20 until the mid-split, and try to bring it on home with 8:15s. Pretty ambitious for the way I've been running this year. It just did not work out that way.
The first hill, which is probably the longest and steepest, is on both the marathon and half-marathon course. It winds up Broadway by the Liberty Memorial and goes on for about 3/4 of a mile. Several rolling up and down hills took us down Broadway to Westport. From there, we turned up Main. This is a huge hill that climbs for 3/10 of a mile. More of the same type hills were on Main as on Broadway as we made our way back to Crown Center. From Crown Center we headed for the 18th & Vine Jazz District. At this point, I've probably run about 10 miles, keeping pretty close to my 8.5 min. pace.
Leaving 18th & Vine, we climbed the Paseo hill and came to Truman Rd. Here the half-marathoners split off and the marathoners continued into Cliff Drive Park. At about mile 14, I feel my pace starting to slip. No race day magic today! At that time, I knew it was going to be a long 12 miles to go.
Got to mile 16 after we turned around on Gladstone Blvd and it started to rain. Rained pretty good for a while. Even with gloves on, I had to start beating my hands together to keep them from numbing out. (Might have had a little hypothermia going on.)
Anyway, got warmed up some and got back through the park and back to the turn onto Truman Rd. where the half-marathoners had split. 6.5 miles to go! To make a long story even longer, I was fading fast in the next couple of miles (wall? hell yes!). Then to top things off, it starts sleeting at mile 22. Geezz! Fortunately, it only sleets for about a miles and half, but by this time I had slipped to 11 min. miles. Oh well, at least I was going to finish, and close to what I originally predicted - about a 4 hr. marathon.
The last 1.5 is ALL uphill. Think they did that on purpose. I stumbled through the runners chute and proceeded to dry heave. Nothing was coming out, but hey, any type of sickness was a first for me after a marathon. I think I was showing some real signs of exhaustion and just being really cold!
Crappy weather today
Splits were not manned and not always easy to see (I finally gave up after a while)
Water stations every two miles? Maybe, but they needed more.
14th marathon completed
Excellent finisher's medallion