Westport, Kansas City, MO
Dashing through the streets of Westport, it is the 2022 KC Santa Dash! Of course by now you have heard the podcast episode with Chris, the Race Director for this race. We had a great time talking about everything in store for 2022 and Chris did not disappoint!
The race weekend kicked off Friday with packet pickup at Fleet Feet in Ward Parkway Mall. Yes, if you hadn’t heard, a while back Fleet Feet bought out Garry Gribbles. The name change took a while, but all the Garry Gribbles are gone and are now Fleet Feet. I bought my first pair of running shoes at Garry Gribbles in Overland Park back in 2010. So this kind of feels like the end of an era in Kansas City running. I welcome in Fleet Feet though. I was introduced to them in Chicago back in 2018. They have a big Chicago presence and work closely with the Chicago Marathon. But I digress!
Packet pickup was nice and festive! All the volunteers and race merch get you right in the Christmas spirit. Race morning was more of the same. It was a cold gray morning down in Westport, but you really could not complain about the weather. For December in the midwest, it could have been SO much worse! The temperature at race time was around forty degrees. Not bad. I have found that my optimal running temp is somewhere between 45-50, so we were close to being right in my wheelhouse.
The horn blew and we were off! The start line featured artificial snow cannons, so we started the race going through snow. A very nice touch! Up the street we went. The course started with a little uphill, and a little down hill, then some twists and turns. Once the course straightened out, it was just a rolling straight show to the halfway point. I definitely under-sold the hills to folks though. This was far hillier than I had remembered. Not terrible though. Such is the terrain of KCMO. Once we got to MCC, you had some uphill work to do to get to the aid station and to make the turn back toward the finish line. If this race gets just one mark against it, it is that the poor one person working the aid station was way overwhelmed. He didn’t have any cups filled and ready for the runners when I ran by, so I just did without. As did most of the runners around me at that point.
After the aid station it was just another rolly straight line to the finish line. With about a quarter of a mile left, you get over your last hill, and then it is ALL downhill to the finish. It definitely makes for a fast finish. The Christmas Carols were blaring as I came barreling down to the finish line. I pulled up just a hair so that I didn’t hit that fake snow on the ground while trying to put on my brakes. I had no idea if that stuff was going to be slick or not and would hate to wipe out and land on my keister in front of absolutely everyone! Even with the slight pull up at the finish line and without an aid station, I was able to run this race to a new 5k PR! I was so happy to get it at THIS race. A race that I hope is a good friend of the show for years to come!
A huge thanks and Congratulations to Race Director Chris for a race well done! It was a great morning! Also a big shout out to the fans of the show that I ran into that morning. Alex, Amy, Ben, Ella, Josie, and Terri! Great job all!
Our next race is the Great Santa Run on 12/18/2022. We’ll see you at the starting line!