Barefoot Rick's Kansas City Marathon Report - October 7 2006

I often hear marathon runners complain about "the hills of Kansas City", but I love the hometown marathon! Kansas City is a beautiful town and even more so when the skies are blue and the leaves are showing autumn's approach. It is a lovely time of the year to run in the Heartland! October 7 was one of those picture-perfect days! The temps at race time were cool, in the low 50s, but the day warmed to comfortable 60ish and 70ish running temperatures. A splendid day for a marathon!

The "barefoot running brigade" at KC had grown from just me in 2005 to four of us this year. Barefoot Sanjay and Barefoot Byron (Byron from Overland Park and Sanjay from Topeka Kansas) and Barefoot Scott from Lawrence Kansas. Byron and Sanjay were planning to do the full marathon while Scott was satisfied with just doing the half marathon since he had to scoot back to Lawrence to hand out Kansas Jayhawk football tickets to his high school student class.


(L to R) Barefoot Rick, Barefoot Sanjay, Barefoot Scott


Before the race and the feet are already dirty. Sanjay, you're glowing! What's up with that?


Barefoot Rick and Barefoot Scott Pre-race

We never found Byron but Sanjay, Scott and myself hung out before the race. Then, we lost Sanjay! Shoot! Well, Scott and I lined up at the start line and about that time the start cannon went off with a hefty BOOM! We were off! It was great talking to Scott along the way and it always makes it more fun with another barefoot runner along. We get twice the questions that way and have twice the fun!

Scott and I continued our chat from downtown, through Westport until we got to the Plaza area. I'm thinking it was around the 6 mile mark where I lost Scott. (I would have had to say goodbye to him anyway because shortly after I lost him, the full marathoners and half marathoners split off.) The marathoners continued on down J.C. Nichols Parkway and then up and around Loose Park, finally coming out on Ward Parkway. About this time, I saw John D. who I had ran a bunch of the Olathe Marathon with back in May. We ran a few miles together and then I continued on as John dropped back.

I should reiterate at this time that I love the hometown marathon! There are so many runners and spectators that I know, either through past races or just a casual encounter making the KC Marathon a blast for me. I can't remember, in past years, more spectators than this year. I made it a point to wave a lot and thank a bunch of people for coming out. Engaging the spectators is a lot of fun, as I try to give back to the sport I love so much! These folks are kind enough to come out and cheer us on -- I just enjoy cheering them on for being out there. Besides, if you can go through life and make folks feel that they are happier and better off because of the encounter that they just had with you, then you're fulfilling a huge accomplishment in life.

I digress ... back to the marathon! There was just a lot of talking to runners and spectators for me along the course and the miles just peeled away. Funny how that happens if a person is "getting out of one's self" how the time flies! Before I knew it, I was entering the Freight House District and I was at mile 26! There was the finish line up a head! I did a lot of hand slapping as the crowds were very gracious to coax me to the finish line.

I didn't really think I would do better than a 4 hour marathon, so I was very pleased to finish at 3:49:10! I had a bunch of fun chatting with folks after the race, offering a couple of first-time marathoners a HUGE congratulations on their accomplishment!

Click Here For More Pics!

So, in my humble opinion the hometown 'thon keeps getting better and better. My hats off to Race Director Karen Raymer and her staff for a national-class marathon. As that famous "Kansan" stated, "There's no place like home". Especially, when "home" keeps getting better and better.

Factoids:

Barefoot-Rick Roeber
Ran all 26.2 miles
22nd Barefoot Marathon
40th Marathon Overall

bib number: 45
age: 50
gender: M
location: Lees Summit, MO
overall place: 164 out of 651
division place: 16 out of 41
gender place: 128 out of 403
time: 3:49:10
pace: 8:45
13.1 mile : 1:56:35 (what d'ya know? A negative split!)

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Here's a short slideshow that my friend, Dick Ross, from www.seekcrun.com put together. The intro slide states "10/7 KC Marathon and Half-Marathon. A beautiful Day! And One barefoot runner". Guess Dick didn't get to snap pictures of the other 3 barefoot runners out there on the course that day!

http://barefootrunner.org/reports/06kcmarathon/10-7kcmarathon.wmv

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