A New Beginning for the Kansas City Marathon
Greetings Kansas City running community! My name is Dave Borchardt – I am the Race Director for the Kansas City Marathon.
As you have probably heard, our race has a new title sponsor for 2017 – Garmin. Needless to say, everyone involved with the Marathon is thrilled with Garmin’s commitment to our race. Not only are they the worldwide leader when it comes to superior, innovative fitness products and are a brand that resonates with runners, Garmin is also a hometown company that is deeply committed to the Kansas City area.
This year will mark the 32nd running of the Kansas City Marathon. While we are proud of what we have accomplished – this is the largest annual race event in the Kansas City area with more than 9,000 participants in 2016 – the addition of Garmin as our new title sponsor means it is time for us to take the Kansas City Marathon to the next level. There is no reason our race cannot be the best running event in the Midwest, as well as one of the best races in the country, and that is what we will be working towards every day.
These are certainly lofty goals, and we will not be able to reach them without the help of the entire Kansas City running community. My message to local runners is simple – Kansas City is our city and this is our race. While I have the title of Race Director, the Kansas City Marathon belongs to everyone who pounds the pavement and trails throughout our great city, and we need all of you to grow our event into a true destination race.
One thing we have to do is make the Kansas City Marathon a can’t-miss, circle the calendar day in the Kansas City area. Even people who would never consider running can have a great time with the race – a marathon is truly a unifying event that an entire city can celebrate. Our course allows us to showcase many of Kansas City’s most beautiful, unique areas, including 18th & Vine, the Plaza, Waldo, Westport and the WWI Memorial, and we need people in these neighborhoods and throughout the city to line the streets and show our runners what Kansas City is all about.
If you are running in the race, I ask you to encourage family and friends to come cheer you on along the course. If you are not a runner, come out and make signs, pass out goodies and do your part to give this event a party atmosphere. If you live along the course route, you can either be inconvenienced by the race or you can have fun with it. Please consider having a yard party or an early morning neighborhood tailgate party – after all, you would rather be drinking mimosas and bloody marys than running 26.2 miles, right?
If you have not run the Kansas City Marathon before, I invite you to join us for an unforgettable day that will include fireworks to kick off the race, a beautiful course lined with more than 15 bands, a cool participant shirt, a big medal, free downloadable race photos and a huge after party with live music, free food and local beer. With a 5K, 10K (new this year), half marathon, full marathon, kids marathon and the two-race I-35 Challenge, I truly believe the Kansas City Marathon has something for everyone, including walkers!
Myself and the awesome Kansas City Marathon Ambassadors (led by City Gym’s Cheryl Birkey) will be hitting the streets over the next several months as we approach our 2017 race on October 21. Our goal is to attend a group run with every local running store and running group/club in the Kansas City area, and I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months. Follow “Kansas City Marathon” on Facebook for all the info on these group runs.
We hope that all of you – runners and non-runners alike – will join us on October 21 for the first edition of the Kansas City Marathon presented by Garmin. I look forward to the journey ahead as we grow our hometown marathon into one of the greatest races in the country!