I signed up for this race prior to becoming pregnant, but I am glad I decided to go ahead and run the race while still early in the pregnancy. I was definitely sore afterward (hips, back…. well, everything), but I really, really enjoyed this race and highly recommend it for anyone looking for a solid and relatively flat (for Kansas City…) race.
Packet Pickup: This was one of the best race-day packet pickups that I have experienced. We arrived early to get a parking spot close to the race start and were impressed with the amount of race support from the start. There were several people directing traffic, clear signage showing where the alternate parking zones were and helpful organizers ushering people to the packet pickup. Packet pickup took place at the Liberty Community Center. The building was warm and had bathrooms that runners could use while they picked up the packet! We got our packets quickly and relaxed in the car until race start.
Pre-race: There was a lot of great energy pre-race! There were a lot of vendors set up, offering free samples (smoothies, cookies, chicken bacon wraps, coffee, donuts, etc) to the runners. The local police even entertained the crowd by dancing to the YMCA. The anthem kicked off about 10 minutes prior to the race start. There wasn’t any corrals, but that was okay because the race was relatively small. There were pacers scattered throughout the crowd.
The Goods: We received a nice cotton blend t-shirt and a few goodies in the bag at packet pickup. Not pictured are the work gloves (kinda like gardening gloves) that many people used and tossed during the race (I kept mine… until my husband threw them out. Womp womp), a chapstick, pen, stickers, and a little travel bandaid pack. It was nice to get something more than just race adverstisements and a couple coupons. Good job Liberty organizers!
The medal was HUGE. I have a couple of large medals, but this one is probably my biggest (minus the Marine Corps Marathon medal). I placed a quarter next to it for scaling:
As with all races in the Missouri/Kansas area, this route was full of rolling (but manageable) hills. The course itself was not what I would consider scenic, mostly running through country roads and a few residential areas. What I DID enjoy was the course support and the lack of traffic. The organizers did a great job of blocking off the roads for the route. Even though I was in the back of the pack as a run/walker, there was still great support at the water and fuel stations. They also had port-a-potties throughout the course (which was reassuring for my pregnant self, although I didn’t have to use them).
Miles 1-3: Miles 1-3 were pretty uneventful. Clear roads, only a slight hill, and a thinning crowd helped ease into the race. I had to take many walking breaks, but tried not to get frustrated with my slow pace.
Miles 4-6: Still slowly trucking along with a run/walk. There were starting to be more consistent climbs. When I say climbs, this is relative. Nothing like the climbs in Baltimore, but still some nice rolling hills to slow me down. We went through a little housing development and looped around their community center and park. It was kind of random, but it was nice to see some of the residents out on the sidewalk cheering us on.
Miles 7-9: This part included an out an back portion in a farmland area. Not very scenic, but the roads were clear and there was plenty of support out there for us. Still continued with the run/walk to keep the HR below 155-160 as much as possible.
Miles 10-13.1: I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly it felt like the miles were ticking away. In reality, this was the longest it had ever taken me to hit the 10 mile mark, but with the run/walk intervals it felt manageable. I guess runs go by quicker when you don’t feel like you’re dying the whole time. I finished the race strong (see the uptick in HR/maximum heart rate) and it was nice to hear the announcers congratulate husband and I on completing the race. I was so thankful that he stuck with me and ran the race slowly… he probably could have finished sub-1:45 or 1:50 if I didn’t hold him back.
This is what the race looked like pace, heart rate, and elevation-wise:
Garmin Results: 13.22 Miles, 2:54:27 Average Pace: 13:12, Average HR: 154
Actual Results: 13.10 Miles, 2:52:22 Average Pace: 13:19