|Me & Michael at the Kansas City Plaza 10K|
Just a great day to run in our hometown!
September 15, 2013
Country Club Plaza
Kansas City, MO
Start Time: 7:30am
Course: Mostly Flat, w/only 71ft elevation gain
Weather: 72 degrees, 53% humidity, 10mph S wind
SWAG: Short Sleeve T-Shirt
Race Organization: Good
Crowd Support: Fair, good finish area
Volunteer Support: Good but sparse
Water Stops: Two, very well supported
Food: Panera Bread & yogurt
Health: Absolutely perfect, no issues at all
Conditioning: Very Good
10K Time: 38:41 NEW PR!!!
Avg Pace: 6:14
Place: 48th/3,137 Overall & 3rd/168 in 40-44AG
Comments: Probably the fastest race I've ever ran, good run
|JC Nichols Memorial Fountain - located on the Plaza, it's "The City Of Fountains'" most famous fountain|
|2013 Plaza 10K Finisher Medal|
Cool design with "stained glass" windows that
illuminate in the sunlight
Jewel of our beautiful city. And on Sunday, it was almost as beautiful of a morning for a 10K race. Michael and I ran in the 3rd Annual Plaza 10K on Sunday ... and both set new PRs ... RAWKFIST!!!
The Plaza 10K is the fastest growing, and quickly becoming one of the Midwest's premier 10K road race events. It's popular because with the exception of a small 2 mile fun run, it's simply a stand-alone 10K event. Also, it's flat. As in only 71ft of elevation gain flat. There are a couple of small rises at mile 5, but other than that, it's a smokin' fast course. And finally, you get to run through one of most beautiful areas of Kansas City. It's really a great race.
This year over 3,000 runners finished the race, which is a thousand more than last year. There were a whopping 168 runners in my age group alone. And Michael had 417 gals in hers. Chicks everywhere, man! And as I perused the results after the race, I notices hundreds of folks not only from the Kansas City Metro area, but many surrounding cities and States as well. It's really turning into a big event.
The race begins on Ward Parkway along side Brush Creek on The Plaza, and heads Southwest toward Pembroke Hill High School. Just past the high school, runners turn around and run back toward, and eventually through The Plaza on 47th Street headed toward Nelson Atkins Art Museum. After passing Nelson Atkins on Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd, runners again turn back toward The Plaza just before reaching 71Hwy, running along Swope Parkway and Volker Blvd., turning South on the campus of University of Missouri Kansas City - where Michael earned her MBA. After that, runners take the home stretch across Brush Creek again and back toward The Plaza, finishing again on Ward Parkway. The course is filled with beautiful historic homes, manicured landscaping, upscale retail shops, wonderful restaurants, and fine art and culture ... simply the best of Kansas City.
|(top left) "World Famous" Country Club Plaza Christmas lights, (top right) Finish Line at the Plaza 10K,|
(bottom left) Chiefs flags lining Brush Creek, (bottom right) Fogo De Chao Steakhouse on The Plaza
I spent a ton of time the week and morning before the race trying to relax and not let stress and excitement steal my energy before even getting to the starting line. I knew that I was in great shape right now and had a fairly fast race in me, but I've also experienced plenty of failure on previous race days from being too amped up. So the goal before the Plaza 10K was to relax, which I did fairly well.
The gun went off and about 100 runners sprinted out ahead of me. I'm a notoriously slow starter. I glanced at my Garmin and we were at about a 5:50/pace, which felt fairly easy, but I slowed it down a little because I knew I couldn't hold that for 6 miles. I spent the best part of Mile 1 catching my breath, settling in, and jockeying for position. You can always easily spot the overly ambitions runners who start too fast in these races. They are gassed at about a half mile in. It's kinda funny. During the first couple of hundred meters they're thinking "I'm King Of The World!" But a few hundred meters after that, they realize the field started a lot faster than they're used to running. And they quickly drop off. Such was the case on Sunday.
|Post-race on Central St at the 2013 Plaza 10K|
Miles 3 & 4 are mostly long gradual downhill stretches where you can really pick up some speed. I pushed my pace a little and ran a pair of 6:09's for both. I felt like I could have easily been under 6:00 on Sunday during this stretch, but really wanted to save my legs for the hills at Mile 5. The two mile stretch over Miles 3 & 4 were simply amazing, and I really felt like all my training was paying off. I was really fluid with a nice short quick stride, and really good posture. My legs felt strong and fresh and I felt like I was just gliding, not fighting it all at a faster pace for me. I was just a great day.
|Cheesecake Factory on the corner of 47th & JC Nichols Parkway|
I knew I was running a solid race because I had passed a lot of runners and was gaining on a couple of more. I thought I could still reel in before the finish line. So as we turned the corner back onto Ward Parkway for the last .2, I hit the accelerator and pushed by both of them at a 5:00/pace. At 44 years of age, I crossed the line at 38:41, for a 6:14 average pace overall. I was ECSTATIC!!! It was a 10K PR for me of about 1:11, and I couldn't have been happier!
|Finish line at the 2013 Plaza 10K in Kansas City, MO|
PR time of 38:41, 3rd in my age group at 44 years old
(photo from kcrunningcompany.com
However, one of the older runners that finished ahead of me was 51 year old Kevin Miller. On Sunday, he broke a 30 year old Missouri State age group 10K record with a blazing 33:21, for a 5:22/pace! When you age-grade the results, this guy is maybe the premier runner in KC. Simply amazing. And the winner of my age group was the ultra-fast Ken Moran, who at 43, ran a 35:32, crushing the rest of our field. In fact, the race officials are still confirming, but initially they reported on Facebook that it was the fastest 10K in the Midwest this year with the male winner running a blistering 30:55, and the female winner cruising to a 35:04! It was just a really fast field and really fast course.
After the race I met up with Michael and she told me that she had crushed her old 10K PR as well! She has been training great and running really well and I'm so proud of her! This race came with about 4 weeks to go in our Chicago Marathon training, and all in all it went exactly as planned. I've really been training well and have had the great fortune of perfect health so far. I knew that on a good, low humidity morning, I could probably come close to a PR. But I had no idea that I would shatter my old mark by 1:11. It was just one of those days where everything went right and I ran really well. I think I get an Age Group Medal mailed to me later this week, but that's not why this race was such a big deal. I really wanted a gauge of where I'm at in my marathon training, and based on the way I ran on Sunday, I couldn't be more pleased. Hopefully it's a harbinger of a great marathon next month!
... be great today!