26.2 Miles? What, Like it’s Hard?

Runners from across the country gather on October 15th to race at the annual Garmin Kansas City Marathon.


Sophia Meyer

Cheerful family participates in support of son’s recovery journey from a traumatic brain injury.

Sophia Meyer, Reporter

The first word that comes to most minds when we think of Saturday morning is relaxation. It’s the highly anticipated end of the work week, the glorious kickoff to the weekend. But for the one-thousand runners that registered for the annual Garmin Kansas City Marathon on Saturday, October 15, this day is quite the opposite of relaxation. 

Marathoners near the 2 mile mark of the course. (Sophia Meyer)

Many participants train for months, even years, for the grueling 26.2 mile race ahead. Some come to attempt new personal records, some run to raise money for certain philanthropies, and others simply run for the joy of it. But what makes this specific marathon so special is its scenic and traditional – yet hilly – course.

Starting at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art at 7 AM, the marathon route travels west along the edge of the Country Club Plaza, then heads to the World War I Museum & Memorial, the heart of Downtown KC, and Loose Park. Runners are able to see the magnificent highlights of Kansas City: from Westport to Waldo and the Crossroads to Ward Parkway, it is truly an unforgettable course. However, the races are not restricted to the traditional marathon. Runners are also able to choose between the 5k, 10k, or half marathon. All races included similar routes along the Plaza area. 

Weather was ideal for racing on Saturday morning. Sunny and forty degrees as the sun came up, then warming to the mid sixties by noon – a runner’s dream. 

Seniors Sophia Meyer and Macy Vance cheer on race participants with homemade posters. (Sophia Meyer)

The first finisher, a 30-year-old from Kansas City, crossed the line in 2:42:58 with the next just over a minute behind. The first female finisher, from Jefferson City, ran the race in 2:57:01. While every racer received a medal for finishing the race, special awards were also given to the first three finishers in each age group for all of the four races. At the end of the race the athletes received complimentary food, massages, tumblers, and more. 

The early event brought excitement to the community, as guests were welcomed from across the country to enjoy the electric environment of downtown Kansas City. Next year, consider taking advantage of the event to either participate in a race for yourself or cheer on its participants!


“Kansas City Marathon.” Kansas City Sports Commission & WIN for KC, https://www.sportkc.org/marathon.