This is part of a series of posts from my quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states. Kansas was my 18th state.
How many of you have heard of Olathe, Kansas? Now how many of you have heard of the company Garmin? I’ll bet most of you have at least heard of Garmin, but probably none or very few of you knew Olathe, Kansas is the headquarters for Garmin. Or maybe it was just me that wasn’t aware of that until I went there.
The point of my questions is because the start and finish of the Olathe Kansas Marathon and Half Marathon was at the Garmin headquarters. This race was a nice size with 703 finishers for the half marathon and the average finish time was 2:09:22. The course was flat except for some rolling hills and small hills near the finish.
The race course wasn’t the most scenic I had run, with a portion of the course going past an industrial area followed by ordinary looking houses in neighborhoods. The weather was good for racing, mid-50’s at the start, rising to the low 60’s by the finish. Water and Gatorade were plentiful at the aid stations. The pacers were awesome and right on their target finish times.
At the finish there was the usual food- bananas, oranges, and bagels, plus water. Although when I ran this race in 2010, the shirts and medals were small and cheap-looking, the medals for more recent years’ races look awesome! They’ve definitely stepped up their game. My finish time for this race was 2:06:01.
Olathe is a suburb of Kansas City, which is where my family and I spent the majority of our time before and after the race. Kansas City was surprisingly beautiful when I was there, with so many flowers in bloom, and fountains everywhere. Kansas City, Missouri has more fountains than any other city in the world except Rome, Italy. We had a lot of fun going to the museums and enjoying delicious Kansas City style BBQ. Of course my husband couldn’t resist saying (multiple times) “We’re not in Kansas anymore” every time we would cross the state border going to and from Missouri and Kansas. That never got old to him.