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 6, Kansas City Corporate Challenge’s new Half-Marathon - Open Division on May 13 in Shawnee Mission Park and parts of the adjoining Mill Creek Streamway Park, and the third-annual Shawnee Mission Park Adventure Race on May 21.
“All three of these events continue to grow and attract new participants which is really exciting for us” said Special Events Coordinator Katy Renner. Heritage Park will welcome three youth running groups to the event this year: The Scarborough Elementary School Speedsters, the Cornerstones of Care Ozanam Running Club, and the Let Me Run groups from around the metro. It’s so wonderful to have such an impact on young athletes. The KCCC Half Marathon Open Division is the largest it’s ever been with 39 registrants right now and we expect that number to continue to increase as we get closer to the event. And finally, the Shawnee Mission Park Adventure Race has seen a huge increase in registrations for the two-hour race. Several families are looking for fun and exciting things to do together and this has hit that mark for them.”
She noted that registrations for all three events are strong this year and on par with 2022 numbers which were the highest on record.
Heritage Park 5K, 10K, & 15K - May 6
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!
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 finisher medals as well as post-race refreshments.
Registration fees for the 5K are $25 per person for ages 15 and under, and $40 per person for ages 16 and older. The fee for the 10K is $48, while the fee for the 15K is $59. For more information visit JCPRD.com/HP3. Register online at runsignup.com.
Kansas City Corporate Challenge’s Half-Marathon - Open Division - May 13
KCCC’s Half-Marathon - Open Division was offered for the first time in 2022 and is open to individuals with no company registration required.
“The Open Division was added as a way to get more people involved in the event and our goal was simple; add a “few” extra runners,” Renner said. “Last year we added 19 extra runners. This year, as of late April, we’re at 39 registrations and counting. Our half marathon is timed and runs on a great course with full support for half the cost of other events.”
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 $50 per person plus fees and taxes until May 1, when it increases to $60, plus fees and taxes. Details and registration can be found at runsignup.com.
Shawnee Mission Park Adventure Race - May 21
Now back for its third 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.
The 2021 SMP Adventure Race was JCPRD’s first foray into adventure races, and the sport has only grown since then.
“The biggest growth I’m seeing with this event is the younger kids and families coming out to experience the event and our park in a different way,” Renner said. “We’ve got people that have done other things with JCPRD, that are now discovering this event that is less like a ‘race’ and more like an experience.”
The SMP Adventure Race will take place rain or shine on Sunday, May 21. 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, visit runsignup.com.
For those who might like to practice map and compass skills on their own, JCPRD offers 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. See more information about these packets.
There’s still time to register for all three events, but don’t put it off any longer!
“These events are incredibly inclusive and offer a way for everyone to participate,” Renner said. “We love seeing the wide variety of people that come out to compete and look forward to seeing them achieve their goals.”