THE FINE PRINT: The following preview is written using the information available at time of publishing. Race organizers reserve the right to change the details, including route, sometimes without warning. That said, the details listed below may change come race-day. I do my best to avoid that whenever possible -- but sometimes it simply isn't possible. Thank you for understanding. Keep R/B/S'ing! -R3KC
EVENT QUICK INFO
Packet Pick-Up & Expo
New for 2017, packet pick-up and expo (formerly at Sheraton Crown Center's convention room) is at Union Station at their "Festival Plaza." Parking is free, but you may have to get your parking validated (no idea how that's going to work). As in years' previous, you MUST pick up your own packet. And, if you want to race but haven't registered, or are considering changing your registered distance (like me), your last chance to do this is at the expo.
Packet pick-up and expo location.
Race Day Parking
This is the trickiest logistic of the weekend, to be sure. Parking is quite limited, with the parking options from years' previous no longer servicing the race, new lots being small (and only accessible from one side), and construction in the area.
Organizers have provided a nifty map (see below) to help, but again, it's limited. The three lots available will ONLY be accessible from the south, meaning traffic is bound to be an absolute mess. And atop of that, they are small. I'm willing to bet a late start on Saturday due to participants still attempting to park.
But there's good news!!!! No only are there free on-street parking spots scattered around the area, but we have this fancy-schmancy new KC Streetcar that will be running on race morning. It's free, and you can park in ANY of the lots that are serviced by the Streetcar. That opens up things, A LOT. Organizers have also put out a nifty map to help with this as well.
See both the Streetcar map and the Race Day Parking map...here...
Like pretty much everything else about the race up to now, the course is new, too. It follows a similar overall path, with some of the finer details changed.
For instance, instead of a counter-clockwise direction, we're now going clockwise (i.e. through the 18th/Vine Jazz District first, rather than last). And speaking of which, we're ACTUALLY going THROUGH the Jazz District, rather than up to it and then turning (awesome change, by the way). Another big change is no longer are we climbing up to the WWI Memorial (terrible change, by the way -- although I'm sure many hill-phobic runners will disagree with me).
Overall, though, the course runs over the same roads. It's a little less hilly, but not as less as you may think (loses about 200ft of overall elevation gain -- from 1300 to 1100).
I've covered this race in the past, including a turn-by-turn, so I won't go in to massive detail this time around. Next year I'm hoping to get an on-course video up. Besides, the official website actually has some good preview stuff up for your viewing pleasure, so feel free to check that out.
Here's what the full marathon looks like, including elevation profile...
The half marathon runs the same route through 7.5 miles before the two split. Keep in mind you have to get to this point in under 2 hours, if you're a marathoner. If you don't, you'll be re-routed to the half marathon course.
The half marathon course meets back up at about the marathon's 22-mile mark, or the half-marathon's 15k split. Then it's matched for the remainder.
That's it, for now. As I become familiar with this new format, more detailed previews will be written for future years. In the meantime, you can check out my old KC Half Marathon preview if you want to see some of the roads, but keep in mind this is when the course was run counter-clockwise, as oppose to this years' clockwise format.
See you at the races.
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