This may not seem to be related to MKE – but it is.
Every year I do races – usually mostly 5Ks, but a few 4 milers here and there. In the past I’ve done 8Ks, 10Ks, and tried a half marathon that did not go well – but I got great deal of education from doing it. Mostly I learned I’m not doing that again!
2021 was better on the race circuit than 2020 – no more itthatshallnotbenamed restrictions, so most races were in person this year. The mood was great for all the events, people were excited to be racing in person again.
The first this year was the annual Kick Off 5K. As you may know, football is a big deal in Kansas City, so of course, having the Travis Kelce t-shirt and medal were a must. It was on Super Bowl Sunday, February 8. It was +5 degrees with snow, so I chose to call this one a virtual and do it later in the year. I’ve done races in snow, ice, and cold, and have nothing to prove.
I was happy to see this race being offered for March 6. It took place in Maryland, but there was a virtual option so I was interested. I was very happy to see the bib was customizable. As you can see, I was honored to identify myself as the Proud Daughter of GH Watson, USCG Veteran, 1941- 1945. Semper Paratus!
Next up on April 18 was Noah’s Bandage Run. This was the 5th time we’ve done this one. Noah was a wonderful young child who lost his life to cancer in 2015. His parents started this event to raise money for pediatric cancer research. To date, over 1.2 million has been donated. This was our first live race of the season, there was a huge turnout, and we had a great time!
The Heritage Park 5K was next on May 8. I’ve done this one before – it’s in a beautiful local park and this year I won the award for placing third in my age group. I did that in 2018 as well on this course, so it’s definitely a favorite! Now, don’t get too excited – the best way to win an age group award – be one of only three in your group to participate! Next year I move up in age groups again, so I should bring home more bling!
The summer is a great time for races if you’re not concerned about heat! July 3, Lori, Darin and I did the Stars and Stripes 5K at a location we’ve never done before – the Museum at Prairefire in Overland Park. I’ve never been there, but it looks like a great place to visit! Check it out if you’re in town.
Speaking of heat – the summer can be brutal here, so we thought we would avoid a heat stroke and do the Midnight Run for Special Olympics on July 24. It started at 11 pm. It was still 82 degrees and very humid – difficult to breathe, but we finished and we weren’t last. That’s the goal.
Next up, the 18th annual Zoo Run – this year for the Koalas. This is a four mile race through the zoo that brings out hundreds of competitors. The oldest was 83, youngest was 5 – both beat me handily. In addition to the four mile run, there is a family one-mile fun run, so a great day on September 18 for the Koalas!
So grateful for a break in the heat – but this new course Kicked. Our. Butts! It started and ended at the beautiful Nighthawk Vineyard and Winery in Paola, Kansas, but had two MASSIVE hills, back to back, right at the beginning of the race. We were happy to find this Winery and will be back to enjoy some wine and live music next spring!
Well, earlier I said the goal was to finish and not be last – oh well, someone has to do it! This was a new one my race buddy Lori wanted to do but there was no medal – so she made one! The Maple Leaf Run was the kick off event of the 63rd annual Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin City, Kansas. If we do it again, we will stay and enjoy the festival!
We make up for lost time in the fall as the weather eases up a bit. This year we tried a new one on October 30th – The Graveyard 5K at Elmwood Cemetery in KC – one of the oldest in town. Many prominent Kansas Citians are buried there. We loved it and will definitely do it again!
November 25 – Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day 5K is another annual must-do! The shirt is a long-sleeved thermal, the route is mostly flat, it gets me out of cooking on Thanksgiving morning, and at the end – we get pie! Yay! A personal sized Pumpkin pie. It was really chilly when the race started, but after about a quarter mile, we didn’t notice it. But the car key died and we had to wait for a ride after, but it was a beautiful morning!
And another favorite to end the year – The Candy Cane 5K. I love the hoodie every year – and this time, it’s my best color! The ugly sweater medal is cool, too! This was at a new location I was looking forward to, but I had to change to virtual, because a wonderful opportunity sprang up to spend time with precious friends about 3.5 hours from here, so December 11 was spent traveling and enjoying old friends!
When I started I said that this relates to the Master Keys. How? Because, even though I walk and don’t run, I’m not in shape and that part is worse since itthatshallnotbenamed, I have the confidence to put myself out there – at least once a month, average – and realize that I’m lapping everybody who is still home in bed! I had many years where I would have hidden in the house because I wasn’t good enough. I got rid of that stinking thinking.
How is your life better because of the MKE? I’d love to know!