5 reasons to Run the Kansas Half Marathon/5k

In its 11th year, the Kansas Half Marathon/5k, presented by Edmonds Duncan Registered Investment Advisors, is the biggest race in Lawrence, Kansas. Over the years, the race has grown into a fun event that is a great experience for all levels of runners. Whether this is your first race or you’re an experienced runner, this race has something for everyone. Let me share with you a few reasons to pick the Kansas Half Marathon/5k!

#1 It Benefits the Community
You guessed it! This race helps the community. Proceeds from the Kansas Half Marathon/5k go towards Heartland Community Health Center. HCHC, the beneficiary of the race, is a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center and Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home that serves Lawrence, KS and surrounding areas. Heartland offers high-quality integrated primary care to all community members, regardless of income or insurance status. By running this race, you are helping several people get access to affordable health care.

#2 Beautiful Course
Both courses for the 5k and half marathon are beautiful and certified with USATF! The 5k course starts at Watson Park. Runners and walkers will head east on 7th street until they hit New Hampshire street. They will take a left and curve back to Massachusetts Street and head across the bridge over the beautiful Kansas River. Folks will then turn right onto the levee and then loop under the bridge to get a close up of the river. They will get back on the bridge and head back to Mass St., and then head into Constant Park toward the neighborhoods. After a quick loop you will head down to Pinckney Elementary School and cross 6th street using the tunnel and back toward the finish line!

The half marathon course features fabulous views of downtown, East, and North Lawrence. Participants will begin at Watson Park and run to Massachusetts Street. From there, you will take a right and run down iconic Mass St., until you hit 15th street. You head east and then go south into some of the neighborhoods. Runners will make their way back to 15th street and run west past the Oak Hill Cemetery. You’ll make your way north and back towards downtown Lawrence and across the bridge like the 5k route. Participants will  head east into the neighborhoods of North Lawrence and jump on the levee. The route takes you under the bridge and around to head back across the bridge and then head west on to Constant Park. Runners will then make their way around the beautiful Sandra J. Shaw pond and then make their way back to the finish line through old West Lawrence. Pacers will be available for the half marathon!

#3 Amazing Volunteers
You will see a lot of support from this race. Not only are there a lot of spectators with signs that will be cheering you on, you’ll also have wonderful aid station workers. They will be there to make sure you get water, Gatorade, GU and Honey Stinger products. They can direct you to porta-potties if you need to make a mid-race pit stop. Don’t forget to check out the awesome sponsors of the race that will be there before and after the race. There will be giveaways, massages, food and other fun things for all the family!

#4 Training Groups

Garry Gribble’s Running Sports is hosting training groups for both the 5k and half marathon. All paces welcome. We cater the program to you and where you are with your running and goals. The group meets at the store on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday mornings at 7:30 a.m. The store is located at 839 Massachusetts Street. If you have questions about the race or training, feel free to call and ask or come on in and see us!

#5 The Challenge
If you have never ran a 5k or a half marathon, but have always wanted to, this is a great bucket list race. Both courses are flat and great for beginners. With the amazing support from volunteers and sponsors, plus the beautiful course, you can’t go wrong!
Even if you have run multiple half marathons before you might check out the Harvest Half series challenge. This challenge works by running three half marathons in three weekends. The first is the Kansas Half marathon, followed by the Gobbler Grind in Overland Park and the Pilgrim Pacer in Shawnee, Kansas. All runners received the full benefits of each race and a series finisher medal and Harvest Half swag. The Kansas Half Marathon/5k is also a great course to go after that PR! Plus, there are amazing prizes for the overall winners and age group winners!

There are certainly more reasons to run this race, but these cover a few. You won’t regret crossing the finish line and getting your medal. So what are you waiting for? Sign up, have some fun, and enjoy! Register here!