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Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon

Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon Logo


Manhattan, KS

Time for a run through the Flint Hills of Kansas at the Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon! The Back of the Pack Podcast saddled up and headed down to Manhappiness, KS! Manhappiness is the nickname given to Manhattan, KS by our Producer Katy. She has a thing for those K-State Wildcats. EMAW!

This is the first time we have ventured down for this race. This is the ninth time it has been run, so I feel like we are behind the times on this one. Our apologies for not making it out to this race sooner. That being said though, while this was our first time out, I don’t see any way (barring serious injury) that it is our last time out. This was one heck of an enjoyable race!

The busses load you up at the K-State Football field early in the morning for a 7:00am start of the race. You have to be bussed out to the start of the Bill Snyder Highway which is about eight-nine miles away from the K-State campus. The busses ran smooth and there were no problems getting from point A to point B with plenty of time before the race.

Once out at the start line, you are basically in a field in the middle of nowhere. It was definitely a unique start. There were porta potties and a start line. That was about it. Then you were surrounded by about 700 of your closest friends and fellow half marathoners. Definitely a good field size for this race.

As the race starts, you do have to be careful until the pack thins out. You are running in one lane of an active highway. Venturing too far left could make you a truck’s hood ornament if you aren’t careful. The course though is beautiful. The Flint Hills make for wonderful scenery as you run that stretch of the highway before entering actual Manhattan, KS. After a solid eight miles on the highway, you finally enter town. It was wise for them to put on this race a week after all the students have gone home for the summer. The town definitely felt a little less populated. The run through Manhattan was a breeze. Plenty of police presence to keep you safe and enough volunteers from the Little Apple to keep you motivated.

The race winds through town until you get to the campus. You run all through the K-State campus. For someone who had never been on campus before, this was a great way to go sightseeing! The race concluded on the K-State Wildcat Football Teams practice field. A beautifully built new facility for that program. The man, the myth, and the legend himself was at the finish line to take photos with all those who were willing to stand in line long enough to wait for a photo opp. Those of us who had an hour to get to the hotel, get showered, and get checked out before driving home did not have the time to wait, but I still appreciate his availability to the runners all the same.

This race was wonderful. A new PR in a half marathon for yours truly and an enjoyable start to the Memorial Day Weekend all around. This is definitely a race I hope to run again in 2024.

Next up is the Hospital Hill Half Marathon. The 50th running of this race. We are going from a breeze of a course in Manhattan, to a beast of a course in Kansas City. Put on your big boy/girl running shorts and be ready for the HHR run in just five days! We’ll see you at the start line!


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