July 9, 2012

36 Hours in Kansas City

I love traveling with The Pilot. When he gets long layovers in places I've never been, I'm always eager to hop on a flight and join him. Kansas City was no exception. 

The Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game is in Kansas City this week. With the game scheduled for tomorrow and the Home Run Derby tonight, the weekend festivities kicked off on Thursday starting with MLB FanFest, a Charity 5k race and a number of other baseball-themed events throughout the weekend.

The Pilot wouldn't be arriving in KC until much later that night but since he was flying in from Houston and me from Newark, I got in in the early afternoon so that I could wander around and sightsee for a bit.

When I landed, I felt like I landed in the middle of nowhere. Oh my goodness. The airport was desolate.  There were no cars/buses/taxis/any mode of transportation outside and I ended up finding some people from my flight who worked for MLB to share a cab downtown with. 

When we got downtown and the first thing I saw was this:

That's when I got excited...it was impossible to turn a corner without finding MLB signs plastered everywhere. Kansas City was hosting the All-Star Game...and they were definitely excited for it. 

As soon as I got downtown, I made my way to the Power & Light District to pick up our race packets.

Our packets came with t-shirts and socks. The t-shirts were awesome, they said "I Run for the National League. We Will Win." Even though the shirts were cotton, I knew I was going to wear mine for the race which was fun because everyone was wearing their race shirts so the whole field was decked out in American versus National League.

Yes, we even got medals post-race. 
After Packet Pick-Up, I grabbed some lunch in the Power & Light District and then made my way to our hotel to lay down for a bit and shower. It was 105 degrees and I was definitely struggling in the heat. After my cat nap, I made my way to The Plaza to walk around and do some shopping.

You can't really see it, but they dyed all the water in the fountains blue for All-Star Weekend!
After walking around the shops for a few hours, I made my way to a bar/restaurant called The Foundry. First things first, I delved into their beer menu. They had a lychee beer on tap which was amazing! I had some beers and food and made my way back to the hotel. 

The Pilot arrived just after midnight, and after what felt like a short nap, our alarms were going off to signal the start of Race Morning. 

The MLB All-Star Charity 5k and Fun Run: I didn't think any race could be as bad as the Hot Chocolate 15k I ran back in December but oh  man, this race came in a close second. The race was a 5k through Kansas City's Power & Light District. It started about 15 minutes late with the temperatures climbing what felt like every minute. There were 8,000 runners and no announcement was given to runners/walkers to keep to one side of the road or the other. I know that in most races, these rules aren't abided by, but I do feel like they provide some organization to the race. 

We spent most of the race weaving in and out of people over the duration of a hot, somewhat hilly course. The Pilot seemed to be having fun and he quickly made a game of stomping all over the cups strewn all over the ground from the aid stations. I purposely didn't bring my Garmin and was just enjoying the fact that we were racing together. Just before Mile 3, we spotted the Finish Line and started sprinting toward it. We hit Mile 3 and bam. Stop. Traffic jam. 

The Finish Line was so backed up that once we hit Mile 3, we had to slowly shuffle our way to and across the Finish Line because there were so many people. We watched the clock tick by for about 3 minutes before we finally crossed. It was so disappointing. 

Next year, the All-Star Game will be at CitiField, home of our team, the New York Mets. I'll be avoiding that race like the plague, thank you. Dear Major League Baseball, Stick to baseball. Road racing is not your thing. 

The Pilot was pretty happy to get a medal but he was just as bummed as I was about not being able to finish the race the way we wanted to. 

Results: 31:17 (10:06/mile) 

Post-race we headed to MLB FanFest (Disney World for baseball fans) and then made our way to Kauffman Stadium for the Futures Game before boarding our flight home.

Despite the details of the race, I finally got to run a race with The Pilot and we had a ton of fun being in Kansas City for All-Star Weekend...maybe one day, I'll be able to justify spending $200 on a baseball game and will actually be able to go to the All-Star Game...

How was your weekend? Have you ever been to Kansas City? Have you ever run a race like that?  Ever been to an MLB All-Star Game?


  1. Hi - glad you're enjoying KC! We love it! The race was fun but only showed a portion of our great city - hopefully you'll have time to enjoy a lot more of it!

  2. That's awesome they had a run, even if it sucked. And I'm glad you got to see all the cool stuff around the city for the game!! I would LOVE to see a city for the All-Star game--my brother and dad went to St. Louis and Pittsburgh when they had them a few years ago for the FanFest, they always had a great time!

  3. So jealous! Love KC! Went to KSU, so I flew in and out of that airport all the time. Lived in KC for a year after college, too. Wish I was there!

    Went to the All-Star Game in 1989. Yes, I'm old. Enjoy KC

  4. I did once the Susan Comen Race for the Cure in DC and I basically walked the 5k. In this case I was prepared for it and didn't bother me too much. I hope The Pilot will run another race with you and you can show him this is not always the case.


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