By David Markham
There’s still time to sign up for three races being offered by JCPRD in May.
The races are: the Heritage Park 5K, 10K, & 15K on May 7, Kansas City Corporate Challenge’s new Half-Marathon – Open Division on May 14 in Shawnee Mission Park and parts of the adjoining Mill Creek Streamway Park, and the second-annual Shawnee Mission Park Adventure Race on May 22.
Heritage Park 5K, 10K, & 15K
With its three different race lengths, the Heritage Park event promises something for everyone, from the seasoned veteran looking to add miles to their trusty running shoes or a first timer interested in gaining a little experience while having fun among a stunning landscape. The spring event date creates the opportunity for athletes to jumpstart training and kick off the race season!
“HP is one of the only 15K distances in the metro,” noted Special Events Coordinator Katy Renner. “It’s a nice option if you don’t want to run a half marathon but want more than a 10K. Coffee Creek Trail (which has a trailhead within Heritage Park) is relatively flat and is new, so the condition of the trail is impeccable.”
JCPRD is proud to welcome back Let Me Run Kansas City, a nonprofit organization offering a running program for fourth- through eighth-grade boys led by coaches from around the community. After taking 2020 and 2021 off, the group will use the HP race as its culminating 5K race of its spring program. Visit letmerun.org for more information about how Let Me Run KC is preparing boys for the long run.
All three race routes will begin at 7:30 a.m., and incorporate the natural beauty of the parks’ trail systems with breathtaking lake views and spacious trailways. 5K participants will compete in two age-based categories: Youth (ages 15 and under) and Adult (ages 16 and older). The 10K and 15K events are for ages 15 and older. Participants who register by May 2 are guaranteed an event T-Shirt, and all participants will receive post-race refreshments.
Registration fees for the 5K are $23 per person for ages 15 and under, and $37 per person for ages 16 and older. The fee for the 10K is $43, while the fee for the 15K is $53. For more information, click here. To register online, click here.
Kansas City Corporate Challenge’s new Half-Marathon – Open Division
KCCC’s new Half-Marathon – Open Division will be the first time since it started in 1980 the organization has offered an event for individuals with no company registration required.
“For several years, we’ve been fielding calls about folks outside of participating KCCC companies wanting to compete in some of our events, mainly the running events,” Renner said. “This year, we decided to open the Half-Marathon to outside competitors to try it on and see how the public receives it. Anyone outside of KCCC and over the age of 19 can sign up for the KCCC Half-Marathon Open Division. You don’t have to participate on behalf of a company. We’re hopeful that some KCCC participants will invite their spouses and/or older children to participate alongside them.”
This event will begin at 7 a.m. and will involve 13.1 beautiful miles through Shawnee Mission Park and the adjoining Gary L. Haller Trail in the Mill Creek Streamway Park. Participants will receive a finishers medal, chip timing, a fully-supported course, and post-race food. The open division will not earn KCCC points or awards. The cost is $60 per person, plus fees and taxes. Registration can be completed here.
Shawnee Mission Park Adventure Race
Now back for its second year, the SMP Adventure Race offers two- and six-hour options, both for singles and teams of up to four. Depending on the event selected, the race may involve navigation, trekking (running or hiking), mountain biking, and paddling. There may also be surprise challenges for all courses. Athletes will have access only to the gear, food, and drink that they carry on their bike or in their pack. Topographic maps will be issued at check-in. The team that completes all the checkpoints (or more than other teams) with the fastest time will win the race.
Last year’s SMP Adventure Race was JCPRD’s first foray into adventure races, and the inaugural event drew 210 participants. A fall adventure race offered for the public and KCCC Fall Series participants in September at the TimberRidge Adventure Center drew 150 participants. Renner anticipates this year’s races will exceed 2021 numbers.
She said adventure race participants are finding something they can’t get from traditional races.
“They’re looking for something new and different,” Renner said. “The course isn’t predetermined and known to them. They have to show up on site and figure out how they are going to tackle this challenge. It’s more than just a physical adventure – there’s a big mental portion to it as well. They like the option to literally choose their own adventure. They can do as much or as little of the course as they’d like. It’s different in that it’s not an event that must be completed in a certain order. They can do it with their family.”
The SMP Adventure Race will take place rain or shine on Sunday, May 22. The six-hour course will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Currently, registration costs for the six-hour course are $65 for solo participants, $130 for a two-person team, $190 for a three-person team, and $250 for a four-person team. On May 1, these will increase to $70 for solo participants, $140 for a two-person team, $200 for a three-person team, and $260 for a four-person team.
For the two-hour race, costs are $40 for solo participants, and $70 for a four-person team. On May 1, these fees increase to $45 for solo participants, and $80 for a four-person team. To learn more or to register, click here.
While it is not part of the adventure race, those planning to participate in the race could benefit from a Map and Compass: Orienteering Workshop being offered on Saturday, April 30, at the Ernie Miller Nature Center. During this three-hour program, participants ages 16 and older will be introduced to orienteering and learn the basic skills of using a topographic map and a magnetic compass. The cost is $15 per person, or $17 per person nonresidents. Click here to learn more or to register.
For those who might like to practice map and compass skills on their own, JCPRD offers also Orienteering Course Packets for Shawnee Mission Park. The packets include color topographical maps of the park and are available at the JCPRD Administration Building in Shawnee Mission Park. The packets, which do not relate specifically to the upcoming adventure race, are $4. Find more information about these packets here.