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Race Preview: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon

Posted Apr 13 2012 9:30am

Well, my 24 hour flu seems to be gone.  I was laid out pretty good from Wednesday to Thursday with a fever, headache and body aches. It was miserable and I couldn’t get out of bed.  Now it is Friday and I feel like a totally new person.  Tonight I am flying to Kansas City to visit family and run the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon with Coach Jerry.

About the Race: This is the third annual Rock the Parkway and it is the fastest growing half marathon in the Midwest with 2012 promising to be even bigger and better. The event again offers several of the features that made it popular the first two years, plus many new benefits:

  • A great course along scenic Ward Parkway in Kansas City that has been voted a Best Race Course in Kansas City
  • Great live music along the course and at the post-event plaza at Burns & McDonnell
  • A high-quality adidas® technical shirt for half marathoners and gender fit cotton shirts for 5K participants
  • Mylar blankets for all finishers
  • Great food from some of Kansas City’s favorite restaurants and food vendors
  • One of the best and largest half marathon participant medals in the area

The Course: Since this is an “away” race for me I was curious about the course and its elevation.  Here is its description:

The Rock the Parkway course, along historic Ward Parkway, is one of the most scenic in the Midwest. The long downhill finish makes it one of the fastest. It was voted a “Best Course” by area runners and is even better in 2012 with a loop around Loose Park for the half marathon turn around. We also removed the 10K race this year, making the finish line less congested and more enjoyable for both participants and fans.

The USATF-certified course will have five aid stations for half marathoners and one for 5K participants, along with large distance markers.

I was happy to see a very friendly plateau elevation for this race, one that certainly could produce a negative split.

My Goals: Well, I have not run more than 4 miles since my NYC Half marathon on March 18th.  Between my move, Bermuda for Easter and being sick I’ve been slacking.  My recent injury seems to be in my rear view mirror and I am feeling positive about my fitness considering the hurdles I have had.  So, what is my goal?  Well, it isn’t a time goal I can tell you that.  Being my second race since injury and being so early on in the year still I plan on running for fun again.  I want to enjoy a new race in a new location and finish feeling strong and positive about my fitness.  I will have another run/walk strategy that worked so well for the NYC Half when I was running my first race since injury.

I’d rather enjoy these early in the year races, continue to build fitness and confidence in my health than bust out and try for some unrealistic goal.  I have found that trying to PR and run for time every race is just too much. I am excited to run another race with Coach Jerry as we had to postpone our Boulder Spring Half this year due to his third son being born.  I always get jealous when toeing the line with Jerry on an out and back course, to see him fly past me before I have even made the turn is both amazing and frustrating.

Have fun. Complete another half marathon. Experience a new race. Enjoy spring morning.  These are the goals and I think all are attainable.

What are your running goals this weekend? Do you set goals for each race?  Do you always try to PR? When do you feel is the best time of year to run a race?

- Scott


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