State #42: Kansas
Running with the Cows Half Marathon & 5k
May 11, 2019
Overall: 424 of 1095
Females 45 to 49: 12 of 81
All Female: 173 of 664
My privileged poor flying self tried to fly out on the non-stop from Boston to Kansas City, Missouri on Thursday. Since I had to give a final exam at 2pm I couldn’t take the early morning flight which was wide open. My only option was the last flight which left at 6:59pm.
I forgot how May can be busy with Mother’s day weekend, graduations, and wedding season. The 6:59 was oversold by -8, but it still looked good until it didn’t. This changed my plans a bit. Normally, I like to get to the city early, explore and sightsee then pick up my bib number and rest the next day before the race. In other words, 72 hours is the sweet spot. Now the new plan was 38 hours to do everything I would normally do in 72 hours.
I was able to cancel my rental car reservation but I couldn’t cancel my hotel reservations. Things happen.
Friday my flight path: BOS-LGA-MCI.
Kansas City, Kansas
I flew into Kansas City, Missouri. Bucyrus is about 35 minutes from the airport. I took the time to explore downtown Kansas City, Kansas (KCK) when I arrived. KCK just broke my heart. It was like a waste land. Clearly all the resources have been sucked out of the city. It was depressive and depressing. The building that seemed “new” was the police department headquarters. There was nothing that would make you want to go to KCK. Most of the resources seemed to be in the suburbs or on the outer parts of the edge of the city. The historic African-American section is called Strawberry Hill and I tried to get a sense of community there but it was hard.
Driving through Kansas was very easy. I wanted to explore Topeka and visit Monroe school where the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education developed. The African-American community was vital for this landmark case that changed the nation. I was explore to explore the city and get more information about the history and the community.
Unfortunately, I ran out of time to visit the Oz museum, University of Kansas, Wichita, and some other places and cities to explore in Kansas. From my driving and running, Kansas does not seem flat. Actually my experience is of it being hilly and green.
I stayed in Overland Park, Kansas which was 20 minutes from Bucyrus, Kansas. Overland Park is the “happening suburb” and it was were packet pick up was (SCHEELS).
Pack- Pick was in a section of SCHEELS which is a sports/sporting goods store. The volunteers were so awesome and they told me about the race and the 10th year anniversary of the race. RWTC half marathon is known for having the best food spread.
Of course it rained. The race started at 7:30am. I made sure to arrive by 6:30am. There were so many cars driving to the race that I knew I was heading in the right direction. Some of the roads were blocked off and police officers directing traffic to get to the starting line. My one worry was driving and parking on the grass. I just hoped I would be able to get out. And of course leaving I got stuck in mud but several young men helped to push my car out of the mud.
These folks love their cow theme. Cows everywhere. I loved seeing the big ass cow on the grain silo. Everyone was super friendly and helpful with where to go and what to do.
The race was delayed for 15 minutes because people were still coming because traffic was backed up.
I was happy to see some sole sistas who ran the race. I also saw Black Men Run members too. Out of 1,000 people there were at least 10 African-Americans. It was good to see other and other non-white folks running. My last race, South Dakota, wasn’t as diverse.
Everyone I talked with told me the course was flat and I would be able to PR. To what I saw I have to say “what the heck is your definition of flat?”. The course, besides being wet, was hilly and hilly and hilly. It was an up and down of “flat hills.”
Yes, we ran by cows and fields. This was an out and back course. Around mile 6.5 we turned around. My body and legs were getting tired. A little bit after mile 10 I ran next to the 2:05 Pacer, Bryan. He said come run with me. I didn’t say a word but I stuck by him. He kept telling me I was doing good. How we were on pace. He commented on my breathing and told me to lean in because we were about to go up a hill. I had my own personal coach to the finish line. As we would pass people he said to them “come run with us”. I wanted to stop and walk but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to let him down and I knew we were close to the finish line. I just had to do a 5k. I can do a 5k. He talked and I just listened. I would smile or nod my head or ever give him a thumbs ups to let him know that I hear and acknowledge him.
Because of “my coach”, I kept going and didn’t stop. I finished with a strong PR!
The “cow” is known to have the best post race spread. Holy yes, it was “off the chains” amazing. I just kept walking around because I didn’t know what to do, what to eat first. Everything you can possibly image was there and for people with all different kinds of food preferences.