Here is a list of races that fit well within our training sessions. 3 specific reasons to do these races are:
No Conflict with our longer Saturday workouts – they aren't scheduled at the same time as our longer long workouts which are the most important ones to improve your endurance and have a positive race experience
Gain experience before race day – – for those with little to no race experience, they provide valuable opportunities to practice running a smart pace within the high energy atmosphere of an actual race – something that cannot be duplicated even in our Saturday group workouts. This will help you correct the common mistakes that most novices make such as experimenting on race day (shoes, clothing, pace, replenishment at aid stations, etc.), getting to the race too late, starting off too fast, not drinking enough at the aid stations, and so on. Those with a couple of tune up races under their belt will have more experience and confidence on the day of their target race to set themselves up for success. Even those with years of race experience can get rusty if they don’t do tune up races in the few months leading up to their main race.
Provide the best speed workout – In training, the smart ones know to hold back and run within a recommended pace range given the purpose of each type of workout. Those that participate in the speed sessions know the importance of this. However, a race is THE time to see how fast you can go for a given distance. In doing so, you’ll get the most accurate assessment of your speed, and using the race prediction chart on page 106 of the handbook, settle on a realistic time goal for your target race. No matter what your finishing time is, you’ll get the best workout to boost your speed and your mental toughness.
19 – Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon. Now in its 31st year, this is the toughest course around, it attracts hardcore runners because of weather and terrain. It starts in Topeka and makes its way south through some hilly suburbs before switching to long, hilly county roads to a small town called Auburn. There's a nice school to change into some dry clothes (they bring your bags to the finish area) and enjoy pancakes. Park at the finish and buses transport you to the start. It makes for a good off-the-beaten-path adventure. http://www.sunflowerstriders.org/topeka-to-auburn
*A great strength workout and fun race to do between our winter and spring sessions.
19 – Battle of the Bean 5K. In just its 2nd year, this is a fun, local 5K to do with a fast course for those who want to stretch out there legs. The best part if the hot chocolate and coffee offered afterwards! Runner’s Edge receives a discount for this race. www.battleofthebean5k.com
27 – Groundhog 5K/10K. In its 31st year, this is the only underground race in the country is located across the street from Ameristar Casino at the Midwest Hunt underground Business Park. The novelty of running in shorts and a singlet inside a cave (average temperature is upper 60's) with 3,000 fellow runners on paved roads as well as the post race goodies makes it worth your while to try it once. www.ChildrensTLC.org
*An excellent way to assess your post holiday fitness and kick off speedwork with a time trial.
17 – The Sweetheart Run 4 Mile. This race is on the pancake flat road around the downtown airport. They have a couples awards division. www.sportkc.org
*This can serve as a time trial for the spring speed sessions.
9 – St. Patrick's Day 4 Mile. One of the biggest local races in its 35th year, it starts and finishes in Westport at 10am on a rolling loop. www.sportkc.org
*This is a great race for our 5K/10K participants to consider. Since it’ll be on the same day as our longer long run, those who want to do this race can get their mileage in with 8-12 before the race and 2-4 afterwards.
7 – Brew to Brew Relay. This long time favorite is a 44 mile relay race that starts from the Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City and ends at the Levee in Lawrence. There is a post race party sponsored by the Free State Brewery in downtown Lawrence. The relay is divided into 10 legs with 5 person teams (two 4-5 mile legs) being the most popular arrangement, although you can have 2 or more 2 person teams to get your long run in (i.e. run with people from other teams for your portion of the entire relay). www.brewtobrew.com
13 – Rock the Parkway 5K/10K/Half Marathon. The largest spring half marathon on an excellent course along Ward Parkway, it starts at Burns McDonnell (9400 Ward Parkway) and heads out to Loose Park. The Runner’s Edge SmartPace Team will be on hand to help folks have a great time while running a great time in the half marathon! Runner’s Edgers get a discount off any race (go to the members only section for the coupon code). www.rocktheparkway.com We will NOT have a group run that day so I encourage you to participate.
*Any distance will serve as a great tune up race towards later spring target races.
20 – Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz/Wickedly Fast Half Marathon/Dorothy Dash 5K. The only local spring marathon option, they offer fast courses for all 3 races with the start and finish at Garmin and have incorporated the Wizard of Oz theme. The Runner’s Edge SmartPace Team will be on hand to help folks have a great time while running a great time in the half or full marathon. Runner’s Edgers will get a discount (go to the members only section for the coupon code). http://www.olathe.org/cvb/sports/Marathon/index.html
*Since this is the flattest local half marathon, I encourage everyone to do this at least as a tune up race.
21 – Kansas Half Marathon/10K/5K. . This nearby race is rolling with some noticeable hills and takes you by the University of Kansas campus and downtown Lawrence. This is the 2nd race of the 3 race Heartland Series (those who do Rock the Parkway, Kansas Half, and Running With the Cows Half will receive a special medal). The Runner’s Edge SmartPace Team will be there to help folks have a great time while running a great time in the half marathon. Runner’s Edgers will get a discount (go to the members only section for the coupon code). www.kansasmarathon.com
*A good local tune up half marathon for Hospital Hill with its hills.
28 – Trolley 4 Mile. Now in its 25th year, this is one of the largest races in Kansas City. The gently rolling to downhill point to point course (starts at 75th & Wornall and ends at the Plaza) is super fast as most people are able to run the 4 miler at their 5K pace. There is a wonderful post race food booth area. www.trolleyrun.org
*You’ll run your fastest race of the spring on this course. With its big crowds, it’s also a must to practice running fast and smart in a mega-race setting.
5 – Lincoln Marathon/Half Marathon. A popular regional race and the destination for the Runner’s Edge spring group trip. This race fills up it’s 10,000 spots early so sign up as soon as registration opens in December. The course is gently rolling and fast and finishes in Memorial stadium. This is the only race that I know of that places lids & straws on each of their aid station cups. The Runner’s Edge SmartPace Team will be on hand to help folks have a great time while running a great time in the half or full marathon. www.lincolnrun.org/races/marathon
*For a nearby race outside of KC, I highly recommend this one.
11 – Running With the Cows Half Marathon.A peaceful, rolling course south of Overland Park off the beaten path. This is the final half marathon of the 3 race Heartland Series (those who do Rock the Parkway, Kansas Half, and Running With the Cows will receive a special medal). The Runner’s Edge SmartPace Team will be there to help folks have a great time while running a great time in the half marathon. Runner’s Edgers will get a discount (go to the members only section for the coupon code). www.runningwiththecows.com
12 – Mother's Day 5K Run/Walk. A very popular women's only race. www.mothersdayrun.com
28 – Amy Thompson 8K/5K Mile. A long time Kansas City tradition now in its 26th year, it starts at Loose Park and goes through beautiful neighborhoods on a more scenic, faster course designed by yours truly. Enjoy the wild & wacky Runner’s Edge aid station! FYI – an 8K is 50 yards short of 5 miles. www.amythompsonrun.org
*The final tune up race for Hospital Hill and a rare opportunity to race an 8K.
1 – Hospital Hill Half Marathon/10K/5K. The oldest race in Kansas City now in its 40th year. The half marathon covers hilly but scenic terrain from Crown Center to the Plaza and Brookside areas. The 5K or 10K is a nice alternative if the weather gets too warm. People do this race because of the challenge of heat, hills, and humidity. The Runner’s Edge Pace Team will be there to help folks have a great time while running a great time in the half marathon. Runner’s Edgers will get a discount (go to the members only section for the coupon code). We will NOT have a group run that day so I encourage you to participate. www.hospitalhillrun.com
*Our final spring race and a must if you’re a local runner to support this race as a participant or volunteer.
15 – Run the Good Race 5K Cross Country Course/Do the Double. Coach Valdez has converted the brutal City Park hills into a 5K race. This race is so tough with its 1,000 feet over 22 hills, that you’ll get a similar feeling of accomplishment from finishing this race as a half marathon or marathon. Sign up for the road 5K course as well to ‘Do the Double’ and receive a special shirt. Afterwards, enjoy a great pancake breakfast on the serene grounds of the Sanctuary of Hope retreat center. www.sportkc.org
*A must if you want to be called a hardcore runner, especially if you do both the challenge course and street 5K course. Besides, it’s in between sessions. Treat this as an adventure race and don’t worry about time.
4 – Lenexa Freedom Run 5K/10K. One of the oldest races in its 35th year, this 4th of July race features a mixture of flat and hilly sections. The heat and humidity makes this a challenging course. www.lenexafreedomrun.org
*This will serve as our time trial for the fall speed sessions which begin July 12.
11 – Race for the Cure 5K. The largest race in Kansas City with over 20,000 participants and a must for anyone to practice running with thousands of runners for any target mega race. www.komenkansascity.org
2 – Labor Day 5K. THE fastest 5K course around with its flat terrain and long straight stretches along with a nice pancake breakfast afterwards. www.leawood.org
*Most Runner’s Edge folks end up running their PR’s on this course so I strongly recommend it. We will also use it to assess your progress towards any fall racing goals you may have.
14 – Zoo 4 Mile Run. A unique course that takes you through the Kansas City Zoo, this is a race for everyone to do at least once. www.kansascityzoorun.org
15 – Plaza 10K Run/Walk A rare chance to race a 10Kor 2 mile through the scenic, gently rolling Plaza area. www.plaza10K.com
5 – Kansas City Zoo 4 Mile 'Run for the Penguins' Enjoy running through the KC Zoo and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of this race! www.kansascityzoorun.org
19 – Kansas City 5K/Half Marathon/Marathon/Marathon Relay. Kansas City’s largest half marathon and marathon taking in many of the city’s landmarks, I encourage everyone to participate, spectate or volunteer for this race. The Runner’s Edge Pace Team will be there to help folks have a great time while running a great time in the half marathon. Runner’s Edgers will get a discount (go to the members only section for the coupon code). We will NOT have a group run that day so I encourage you to participate. www.kcmarathon.org
3 – Cliffhanger 5K/8K. A longtime fall tradition along scenic Cliff Drive, this fast course is a great tune up race for those doing late fall half marathons or marathons. www.cliffhangerrun.com
21 – Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day 5K/10K Run/Walk. An old tradition has been brought back. It starts at the Ward Parkway Center and runs along Ward Parkway. Participants can choose between a pumpkin pie or race t-shirt. www.enter2run.com.