What better way to start a new month than a race! This morning, after a glorious extra hour of sleep, Amy and I drove up to North East Kansas City to run the Cliffhanger 8k. I was invited by two separate people to run this race, and was told by countless others how gorgeous this race would be. The Cliffhanger 5k and 8k is put on by the KC Track Club, and this year was the 30th year for this race, and after running it, I can see why it is so popular. It is gorgeous. And in the fall, with the leaves falling, just gorgeous.
The 5k started at 8:00, with the 8k following at 9:00. Amy and I got to Kansas City University around 8:00, and picked up our shirts and bibs, used the bathrooms, and we were ready to go!
We found Jen, Jana, and Gerardo before the race too!
We made our way down to the start line and were ready to go by 8:45. I decided to ditch my long sleeved shirt, and tied it around my waist. I’ve never had to do that before, during a race, and was pleasantly surprised that it stayed put and didn’t bother me at all! I’m glad I took it off, with the sun coming out and the temps getting warmer, I would have burnt up in long sleeves.
The race itself is an out and back on the Cliff Drive scenic byway. We watched the final runners and walkers finish their 5ks, listened to the National Anthem, and then we were off!
An 8k is 4.971 miles. I had never ran an 8k race before, but do plenty of 5 milers on a regular basis. I’ve had 1 5 mile race before, over 2 years ago, so I knew what the distance was, but had never really gone full out in a 5 miler or 8k distance.
The course was fairly flat, with a few rolling hills along the byway. I read that the scenic byway is closed to vehicles on the weekends, and is only open to pedestrians and bikes. I think closing the road every weekend is amazing, and I can definitely see why runners, bikers, hikers, and walkers flock to this area, the views, the cliff on one side, and beautiful winding road is absolutely breathtaking, and reminded me of fall in Colorado.
I kept a fairly steady pace and effort throughout, and was very pleased to come in under 50 minutes for my first 8k. The water stations at 1.5 miles, 2.5 miles, and 3.5 miles were very well run, as were start and finish lines. I was handed my medal, got some water, and met up with Amy, both of us celebrating our PR’s!
Just a few minutes later, I met up with Paul, who was the second person who told me I needed to sign up for this race. Luckily, we were both smiling, and both had great runs on this beautiful morning.
Back at the Kansas City University campus, a quarter mile or so from the start/finish, we filled our plates with eggs and pancakes, and ate while listening to the winners of each age group.
Overall, I can’t say enough about this race. I’m so glad I signed up for it last week. We couldn’t have had a more perfect morning or a more perfect race location. I highly recommend this race for anyone thinking about it next year!