Race Review: Hospital Hill ReRun 2016 - Kansas City, MO

Disclaimer: I received entry to Hospital Hill ReRun as part of being a BibRave Pro. All opinions are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I started off the summer of 2016 with a trip to Kansas City with my good friend, Sara, to run the Hospital Hill ReRun event. I have never run this event before so I was thrilled for the opportunity take a little road trip with Sara and meet up with a fellow (Super)Bibrave Pro, Angie.

Hospital Hill ReRun includes two events run on consecutive days: a 5k on Friday evening, followed by either a 10K or half marathon on Saturday morning. I was ran the 5K + half marathon and Sara ran the 5K + 10K.

We made the 6 hour drive from Norman to Kansas City early Friday morning. It was a great getaway for me as I was in the middle of purging and packing for our move to Ireland. It was such a great set-up as the expo was at the host hotel where we were staying, which was just two blocks from the start and finish lines of the race! All we needed to do was park the car and we had everything we needed within a short walk.

Since this was my first Hospital Hill, I was not sure what to expect. I knew that this race has a very long and distinguished history as the longest running race in Kansas City, spanning back 42 years. I knew the course was going to be tough and that the accomplishment of finishing was known as “Conquering the Hill”. Race organizers reward this accomplishment with awesome medals and swag. Each runner received a short sleeve and long sleeve shirt for participating in the ReRun event. 

The expo had a super-hero theme and lots of vendors were there. I don’t normally buy too much gear at expos but I found a pair of Oiselle Roga shorts for super cheap that I just HAD to buy!!

After meeting up with Angie at the expo, the three of us changed quickly and headed out to the 5K start. It was such a fun, friendly atmosphere. Families lounged around the plaza, there was music and even a post-race BBQ for all participants! And, there was post-race beer. Not just a watery light beer, but a choice between two different craft beers. Yum!

The 5K route started off straight up a long hill and I got my first look at why this race had earned it’s name! The first hill was about 1K long, immediately followed by a short downhill. This pattern repeated for the entire race as there were not any real flat stretches along the route. The temps were hot and humid but the 2 aid stations were fully stocked and there was a misting station at one point.

We enjoyed our post-race beer but skipped the BBQ and opted for pizza and salad across the street, which was much more conducive to my plant based eating. It was a beautiful night to sit outside and just visit together with Angie and Sara. I asked Angie tons of questions about being a Bibrave Pro so I could learn from the master!

The next morning, we walked the two blocks to the start line and realized right away it was going to be a hot and humid race. I was a little achy from the 5K the night before and really just wanted to run well and not injure myself! Sara and I lined up together since the 10K and half marathon shared the course for almost 4 miles. But just like the 5K, the hills started right away and there was very little talking to be had on the course. I was so sad to see her turn off at the split!

I kept a steady pace as best I could, but the hills were relentless. Hamstrings and glutes worked overtime getting up the hills and quads took a beating on the way down. I took a few walk breaks around mile 10 and wondered how people could possibly run a PR on this course!

I overheard the pacers talking about the Hospital Hill at mile 12. There were so many difficult hill already, it was hard to imagine exactly what this last hill would be like. Well, it was short, steep and impossible for me to run up at this stage of the race. I actually laughed out loud and decided to have some fun with it.

The finish was a welcome sight and I happily accepted my medals. I was so completely drenched and started catching cold despite the hot and humid conditions. Luckily, we were so close to the hotel that I walked to the room, quickly showered and changed, then returned to the post-race celebration that included more beer and a pancake breakfast! Angie, Sara and I enjoyed the atmosphere and stayed around the finish line until the last runners finished. The volunteers formed a “Tunnel of Love” to welcome the last runners into the finish and it was a privilege to be a part of that.

Overall, it was a fabulous event and although the course was easily one of the toughest I’ve ever run, I’d definitely come back to Kansas City for this event if I were in the States.