2016 Putting the Boots to ALS 5k
Saturday, July 16th, 2016; 8:00am
This event's official webpage can be found HERE.
A good cause, a loyal following, long-time volunteers, good venue... These are just some of the things that make the Putting the Boots to ALS 5k a must-go every year. It's not a large race -- "only" 256 finishers in 2015 -- but participants continue to come back, for all of the aforementioned reasons.
And you should, too! (then pop over to Lawrence on Sunday and hit up the Mass Street Mile)
If you haven't already, you can register HERE. Early-bird registration is over with already, but grab a few friends, and you can still register as a team for only $25. Not bad for week-of registration!
A change in packet pick-up location this year...
*Friday, July 15th, 3-7pm, at Price Chopper, 1030 W. 103rd St., Kansas City, MO 64114 (103rd & State Line)
*RACE-DAY: Saturday, July 16th, 7-7:45am, on-site.
Race Day Parking
There typically is ample parking at Rockhurst High School. Enter at Rockhurst HS off of State Line (the west side of Rockhurst), as entrance from the east off of Ward will be blocked off. However, if you arrive early enough, you should be able to pass by the high school, down the hill, and park in the small lot next to the track, and by extension, mere feet from the start and finish lines.
Additional Race-Day Information
If you've ever run the Rock the Parkway 5k, or the Ward Parkway section of the Four on the 4th, this course will feel similar .....because it is. Not the exact same: for example, for RtP, you start, run south, and turn around at Wornall, whereas here you turn around two short of Wornall. And start & finish locations are a touch different.
Start line is on the east side of Rockhurst High School. The course runs south towards Wornall, and nearly-immediately U-turns two streets before Wornall (Summit St), and then heads back north on Ward Parkway. Turn-around on the north end of the course is at 81st. The entire run stays on Ward Parkway.
Speaking of turn-arounds, the first turn-around at the southern end of the course also marks the lowest elevation on course, at about 840ft. After that, it's a slow and steady climb over the next 1 mile to 85th Street, up about 100ft. Not high or steep enough to constitute a true climb, but it does wear a bit on the legs for an all-out effort.
There is a short 30ft drop from 85th to 83rd, and then the road pitches back up slightly, making up the 30ft lost. A short drop right at the northern turn-around at 81st street, and then the second half of the course is a mirror image of the first half. This means a nearly-1-mile all-downhill finish.
I rarely write up a strategy section anymore because, well, everyone has differing strengths.
For me, I tend to fade at mile 2 during a 5k, and then struggle to have a strong finish in the final 500m or so -- it depends on the day whether or not I can muster up enough epinephrine to find a surge for the last half-kilometer.
That said, for me, the strategy is to attempt to pace over the first approximately three-quarters of a mile of the race, namely during the first half of the slow 100-foot uphill climb to the turnaround. Ideally, I'd like to at least have the legs to be able to host a good cadence over the last half- to full-mile: the downhill finish will reward quick turnover. And, with longer legs, a high cadence means massive speeds.
This is by no means a flat course, although the visual course profile would mislead you in to thinking different. And it's easy to fall in to the trap of thinking the worst of the course is over with at the half-distance turn-around. Respect the hills on the first half of this course, and mind that, any downhills on the first half of course have to be climbed on the second half.
And finally, we cannot forget the weather. This is smack-dab in the heart of July...in the midwest. Sprinkles are common (the last two years have actually seen rain), and high humidity is an almost guarantee. At publishing, the forecast calls for an AM start time in the mid-70's and HUMID (head index estimates just above 80 degrees), under partly cloudy skies. No forecast for rain (yet) in the AM, but there is a 60% chance in the evening, so don't completely rule out the possibility of a pop-up shower in the area.
That's all I got! Feel free to leave a comment or question below. Otherwise I'll see you at the start line!
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