“It's easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.”
Henry Ward Beecher
Hills were the word of the day yesterday. The 49th running of the Hospital Hill half marathon was upon us! We really lucked out with this one, as it was a beautiful day for a race! Light clouds, low temps, and no wind set everyone up perfectly for a great morning run!
This was the sixth time I toed the line at the Hospital Hill half marathon. It was the first time in quite a while though. I hadn’t done HHR since before my heart surgeries. My last running of this race was on 06/06/2015. The years change but the start line atmosphere is still the exact same. There is something different about HHR. I have never really been able to put my finger on what it is. It definitely has a big race feel to it. We all have gone to races and been rather indifferent when it started. You’re just out for a run, maybe a cool medal, you might be thinking about what the rest of your day has in store for you. Not HHR though. You get to that start line you are focussed and ready for what you know is going to be a hell of a challenge! If a race can make me feel like that, I am IN!
The race begins and everyone is off together. 5k, 10k, and half runners all together and intertwined. You get to start with a nice little downhill, but quickly you understand why “Hill” is in the name of this race. You are at your first uphill within the first mile. It’s not bad as you get to T-Mobile Center, then you make a U-turn and get a great downhill! Your next hill hits you infront of Children’s Mercy Hospital. That is where the fun really begins. That hill is a beast, but you have to feel motivated running in front of such an important Hospital. CMH has a big place in my life as my youngest daughter spent six weeks there in the ICU when she was six months old. Any race (like HHR) that benefits CMH, I am there!
You’re up and you’re down for the next eleven and a half miles. There are no flat spots in or around downtown Kansas City, MO. Unlike some courses where you feel you only go up, HHR does give you a great mix of downhills as well. I will tell you that I needed all of them!
You can hear a little more about the IN race action on this week's podcast. I did not cover much of the post-race festivities. The post-race was great. A HUGE shoutout to HHR for keeping everything up and going even for us folks in the back. They don’t pack up and close down when the elites are done. The place was still buzzing even as the three hour half marathoners finished and I have great respect for that! I got my complimentary beer, had some water, and took a moment to just sit down and take it all in before starting the walk back to my car.
I have always enjoyed the Hospital Hill Run race experience and this year was no different. Thanks to a great promotional offer they had at the expo, I am already signed up for the 50th anniversary run for HHR. I will be there 06/04/2023 ready for another half marathon through KC. I hope to see some other folks out there running in their Back of the Pack shirts! Oh, you don’t have yours yet? Better get to www.backofthepackpodcast.com and get one ordered! Shameless plug!
Thanks for sticking with us! You all are the best! Our next after action report will be on the Heroes for Hospice 5k coming up on June 11th. Until we meet again my friends! Peace, Love, and Pounding Pavement!