Barefoot Rick's Kansas City Marathon - September 22, 2005
I really wanted to run this race. After missing the Heart of America marathon on Labor Day due to having to work, I didn't want to miss another. Hurricane Katrina was an event that I could not balk on my work responsibilities in order to go run a marathon. Even though Rita rolled into the Gulf last week, I knew I still stood a pretty good chance of doing the race since it was the hometown marathon. I wouldn't have to travel, so that was good. I could even work crazy hours and still get up on Saturday morning to run (which is what I did). I put in about 65 hours M-F before the Saturday KC Marathon, leaving my last shift Friday night at 11 p.m. I knew all I had to do was go home, get a few hours sleep and go run the marathon.
The phone rang at about 5:55 a.m. Saturday morning. Holy Cow, why didn't my alarm go off? It was Jennifer from the KC Sports Commission telling me that she would meet me down at the start line before the race for interviews. I thanked her for waking me up, and said I would be down there shortly. I made the half hour trip from Lee's Summit to Crown Center in Kansas City and met up with Jennifer at the starting area. I thanked her again for the phone call, because I don't know that I would have woke up otherwise!
I should say something about the weather. The end of September in KC can be one of two temperatures, it seems -- hot or chilly. Unfortunately, we got the former. It was 71 degree with 88% humidity at race start. The only saving grace was the haze which hid the sun for the most part until 10 a.m.
I knew I was not going to try to race this marathon, so I took off with the 9 minute a mile group and kind of hung with them the entire marathon. About a half mile out, some guy running along side me looks over and sees my bare feet and says, "You're trying to make the rest of us looks bad, huh?" I said, "Nope, actually it would be a handicap for me to run in shoes ... I might get hurt that way." He just looked at me kind of strange and went on.
After the first mile, we headed up Main and then Wyandotte around the Liberty Memorial (some hefty hills). Soon we were in the Westport area listening to the sounds of a great blues band. The crowds in Westport were really getting behind the runners as we passed through. There were several bands along the way, but the one I remember the most was down at Meyer Circle near Swope Park. They were cranking out some awesome R&B sounds!
The course provided a mixture of hills and straight-aways that made the marathon interesting. Someone commented after the race that it had a big time marathon feel with the small town friendliness we all like. Although the crowd support was sporadic the 2nd half, those that were out cheering really helped us along.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 7.
On the same scale for barefoot-friendliness, I would give it an 8.
I believe the race committee in KC is moving in the right direction with their marathon. There are a few improvements that can be made, but as a whole it was a very enjoyable event.
Chip Time: 4:02:25
AG Place: 19
11th Barefoot Marathon
29th Marathon Overall
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