Cliffhanger 5k After Action Report


Kansas City, MO

Well, I have never done this race before in nothing but a t-shirt and shorts. There have been years of doing this race where I thought I was going to freeze to death! A 65 degree start for this year's Cliffhanger 5k was sure a departure from the norm!

I have run this race multiple times. The course itself has changed over the last few years, but ultimately the feel of the course remains the same. Cliff Drive is in one of the older parts of Kansas City, MO. There are some huge and beautiful houses along this course. It really is quite impressive to see such an old part of my home town.

I would never call this one of the more difficult races around town. It is actually a pretty easy one, but you have to run it right! I did not. I ran this race like an idiot. So I certainly kept that tradition alive! I run this race wrong every single year! Maybe some year I will learn.

The first mile is a complete illusion. It is all downhill. You run that first mile and when your Garmin or Apple watch tells you you’re at mile one, your pace will be a thing of beauty. You will tell yourself that you are well on your way to a PR! During the second mile of the race, you will be feeling great! You are running fast after that mile long downhill. You are running fast on this beautiful straight away that is the most gorgeous part of the race. You will start to come to the end of the Cliff Drive part, you’ll exit the scenic road, you will get through the aid station, you will make a U-turn, and then there it is.

There is the hill that will take your PR away from you. There is the hill that will make you feel like an absolute joke for going out too fast. There is the hill that separates the men from the boys (if you’ll pardon the expression) and there is the hill that has defeated me multiple times over!

My first mile was (for me) a blistering 10:19. My second mile was a snail's pace by comparison 11:37. I recovered a little after getting to the top of Mt. Everest, but my last mile measured out at a 10:49 pace. My Straava had me at 33:30 for that race, but the official chip time was 34:04. Better than last week, but not what I was hoping for and not what my first mile told me I should have run.

Still though, this is a good course and a good race. It’s a beautiful part of town and a friendly crowd. I will keep this race in my yearly rotation.

Next week is the Monster Dash 5k in Overland Park. Have yourselves a great week of training and we will see you in all your Halloween outfits next weekend! I’m going to dress up as a runner next weekend. That will confuse the heck out of people! ;) Until the next start line.