Sunday, January 3, 2016

Racing Recap: Wadell and Reed Kansas City Marathon (Shhhh! They have a half marathon too.)

Better late than never? Maybe not, but I'm going to go ahead and write this review anyway. Let me just start by letting you know that I hate this race, and I plan to never run it again. I have run the half marathon twice since I started running. This was the half marathon that I signed up for that catapulted me into running when I had yet to take a single step at the time of my registration. So you'd think it would hold a fond place in my heart. It doesn't. The first time, I didn't know much better, but still there were some things I didn't like then, and I still don't like them now. Plus, there were things I had forgotten, and now I remember, and this race sucks.

One of my first and biggest pet peeves is the shirt. I HATE when races don't have a separate shirt for the half and marathon participants. I know that there are plenty of races that don't, but there are also plenty that do. I didn't like it the very first time I ran this race, and after finishing a marathon myself, I really don't like it. I don't want people thinking I ran a marathon that I did not run. I know the work that goes into a marathon and unfortunately the pain when the work doesn't go in ahead of time. Here's the thing that puts me over the edge about the Wadell and Reed Marathon shirt; it doesn't even MENTION the half marathon. IT JUST SAYS MARATHON!!! I DIDN'T RUN THAT MARATHON, and now I have not one, but TWO FREAKING MARATHON SHIRTS!!! Can you tell it drives me absolutely crazy?!!! At least mention the half on the stupid shirt if you're only going to have one. They have a 5k as well... do those people get a shirt that says marathon on it? Seriously, the majority of your participants who are paying money to run this race are running the half. Get with the freaking program!!!!

Ok.... give me a minute to calm down.... and I will move on.

I'll give props for a few things now to try to not make this a total crap fest of a review. First, this is a small race in a relatively small city. So the lines at the porta-potties aren't terribly long either pre-race or during. That's always nice. Secondly, the medal the first year I ran it is the worst medal I own. I have received nicer medals at 10k's. I don't want or expect them at a 10k, but I have received one or two before. Medals have admittedly gone a little crazy lately, but I still enjoy a nice medal. I display them in my home, and they help motivate me at times when I don't feel like I am capable. Being able to have that physical reminder is something I personally enjoy. The medal for the 2015 race was EXTREMELY nice. It had color, a nice ribbon, was weighty, and looks nice all round. Kudos on that much. Lastly, the best view during the whole race in my opinion is Liberty Memorial, which most runners end up passing right around sunrise.

The course sucks. I forgot how much the course sucks. It's much hillier than I remember, and there are few spectators in the grand scheme of things. I enjoy races that aren't full of spectators, don't get me wrong, but I want some good scenery if that's the case. The Delaware Marathon Festival for example isn't packed full of spectators. They are few and far between, but the course is still gorgeous despite its MANY hills. Don't get me wrong. I love Kansas City. It is the city I consider my city, and running past all the World Series Champions signs and the blue fountains was something I will cherish, but my beloved Royals will not win the World Series every year.

Post race is ok. I hear they have BBQ now. I didn't actually see any, but I did see an extremely long line of people whom I presume were waiting for the BBQ. Their slogan is something like, "Come for the race. Stay for the BBQ." Let me tell you, when you're freezing cold after running, the heat sheet they give you is not enough to make me wait around for a little sandwich. I don't care how good the BBQ is.

When it's all said and done, I would likely do this race again even though I don't like much about it at all IF it were at least convenient for me. It's not. I live outside St. Louis. I can have a pick of half marathons in my area without having to drive all the way across the state of Missouri. This is not a destination race, my friends. If it's close by, and you really want to do it, then by all means. But I will also say that there are other choices for half marathons in the KC area in both the Fall and Spring.

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