Brian Johnson (MM8807, DA707, HF7287)
Marathon Distance or Better Race 33
State 18 (Kansas)
Garmin Olathe Marathon in the Land of Oz.
This year’ s theme was “The Wicked Witch of the West”
Let me say this…my word it was windy! The race took place at the Garmin World Headquarters in Kansas.
Winds were a constant 20 gusting to 50.
The weather was at least nice enough that I could wear shorts.
This race is a great race if you are looking for a half marathon, or a a 5:30 or better marathon, this is the race for you. If you are a 6-6:30 marathoner, prepare to be alone..alot.
The pre-race was a lot of fun. I got a chance to meet quite a few people from the running community. I also chatted with quite a few during the race.
The wind would be a factor all day.
The race was a lot of fun and everyone ran together until about mile 5. Then the full marathoners split off and I was alone for a while.
And by a while, I mean a long while.
I did start seeing other runners again going into mile 8, but at that point they were the fast runners coming out of an area and were at mile 14. Even still, it was nice to see people.
The aid stations were great. there were a lot of inspirational signs.
The wind was extremely fierce at different times. There was more than once I chose to walk instead of run because the wind was that bad.
I actually had someone behind me at one point, but they dropped out at mile 11 because the weather and wind were that annoying.
The race was on over the course of the morning. I was told I had to be at mile 18 by 11:30 (4:45 into the race) or I ran the risk of being swept off the course. I made it with plenty of time to spare.
That’s when the escort started.
The plus side of being well in front of the cutoff, I knew I wasn’t going to get swept. the down side, when you are near the back, you get to deal with the sweepers.
I met up with another runner and we were able to get onto the last stretch of trail around mile 20.
Prior to that in mile 19, we were going over a bridge and we hit a solid 50MPH wind. It just sucked!
So the weather started to become a factor.
When it’s 80 and windy, its a great day to run in shorts.
The down side is, your sweat evaporates quickly. you don’t know how dehydrated you truly are.
Around mile 20 I had a bad calf cramp start setting in. I knew it was from dehydration.
I had taken pickle juice (still don’t like it) at the start and at mile 13. I could have probably used one more shot. I ended up walking most of the last 6 miles in. every time I tried to run I could feel that it was going to be a bad idea.
When we were on the back stretch of trail, we started running into other runners again. They were about a mile-mile 1/2 in front of me.
It was nice to see people again. But that wind!
in the open areas I had to walk because the wind was so strong.
The scenery along the course was beautiful for spring.
It was nice to get to the last mile, be back out on the city streets and see the Garmin Building again.
The race director came out on a golf cart and helped run me the last little bit of the way in.
It was a great joy to finally cross the finish line, but that wind (and dehydration) slowed me down by more than a half an hour.
The one thing to the plus side about being last, they had a lot of beer they were trying to give away from the beer tent.
I drank 1 and brought 3 back to the hotel with me.
They asked me if I wanted a Michelob Ultra. I immediately responded, “That’s not beer!” Multiple people laughed.
The race director is cool. The race has a good cut-off (7 hours), and its a good smaller race.
If you want Kansas, I would encourage it.
Photo and Post Credit Brian Johnson