What’s different about Hospital Hill 2011?

Well quite a few things have changed… obviously things are going to change from year to year but there is one important thing you need to be aware of for sure… there is no race-day packet pick-up this year. Kind of a bummer, I always enjoyed that about Hospital Hill. I can understand them wanting to get more people to the expo though. I can find it in my heart to forgive, yes. But only you Hospital Hill… only you. Oh, and don’t blame it on the KC Marathon… they never had (at least not since 07) a race-day pick up so they’re grandfathered in. Anyway… what’s important is… get yourself to the expo or find a friend that will.

Now… for the real entertainment. The starting line has been moved – and this is a great er… move. No longer will it be with the center of Crown… Center (these are too easy tonight)… it will move up to slightly north of Pershing and the end of the race looks like it will roughly stay in the same place. To accommodate this loss of mileage at the start, which works out to be roughly .25 miles, a little runabout has been added to the southernmost part of the course. Have a look for yourself:

Hospital Hill 2011 Course Change

This isn’t exact, but I think I’ve got it to within two thousandths of a mile:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4546020 .3706
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4546021 .1224

Difference: .2482

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4546026 .2484

A change for the better as far as the start is concerned, especially because of another change: the 5k, 10k and Half-Marathon now all line up together and all start at the same time. I’ve never run anything but the Half, so I can’t comment as to how those runners take this change… but I imagine not well? That’s really got to crowd the 5k… which if I remember correctly started 10 – 15 minutes later. Should add some obstacles logistically, but apparently eliminate some as well. No harm in trying… and with the expanded start area perhaps it will not be so bad. I believe this will also be a record crowd this year in 2011 though… well if everyone can line up with pacing… – ad nauseum… that could be debated for a while.

Here is the quote from e-mail from May 17th:
“New in 2011, we will have one start line and one start time for all 3 races: the half marathon, 10K and UMKC School of Medicine.”

Email from May 19th:
“Event start times:
All events will start on Grand Boulevard just north of Pershing.
6:55 a.m. Wheelchair divisions of Half Marathon, 10K and UMKC School of Medicine 5K
7:00 a.m. Half Marathon, 10K and UMKC School of Medicine 5K
(New start time for 10K and 5K)”

Email from May 24th:
“Since everyone is starting together in 2011, the 5K can benefit from a pacer for the first 2 miles and the 10K can benefit for the first 3 miles. Take this advice from someone who almost always starts out too fast, by hanging with a pace leader you will guarantee a great finish!

The official website, www.hospitalhillrun.com, under the individual race info(s) has the start times for the 5k and 10k listed as 7:15am. Pay close attention race morning as it looks like you will be starting at 7:00am. NOT 7:15am.

Another change… no Boulevard!?!?!?! We’re getting Michelob Ultra instead!!!?! I still gotta hold out hope that Boulevard might show up (additionally)… but if they don’t… I’m a realist. I could see how this could happen. Do I particularly like this change? No I don’t. But, I don’t believe I’ve ever turned down a free beer before*. If you don’t know (and you probably do) Boulevard is the home-town KC brewer of some of the best beer on the planet. Michelob Ultra is quite the opposite: one of the lightest beers on the planet. It’s really not half-bad though… and for runners** well, they should enjoy the beer- being the “sporting / healthy” beer. Whatever… I could probably write about this topic debating the two endlessly as well. Suffice to say for the record that Boulevard is my favorite if you must quote me, because you may see me with an Ultra in hand.

(TIP ALERT – Get your age verified at The Expo, or if you don’t – have ID ready on Race day)

Hospital Hill ALWAYS (ok, since 07 at least) has a BOMBASTIC medal. Seriously, its pretty much guaranteed to be one of your best each year. This year they are starting the first of a three part puzzle which will culminate with the 40th anniversary in 2013 and the puzzle’s completion. Now won’t that be a beautiful sight?

Here’s something else new while I’m running through them all…

(copypasta from email:)

“New in 2011 prize money of $500, $250 and $100 to the top three male and top three female finishers from Kansas and Missouri. Additionally, a bonus of $300 will be awarded on top male and female finisher from EITHER Kansas or Missouri. Let the battle of the border begin!”

The expo is new too (not just the lack of race-day packet-pickup) and there are lots of speakers there including Bart Yasso from Runner’s World.
Also new – the race packets shouldn’t have any paper in them … (or barely any) as Hospital Hill is “going green” as is becoming quite popular for races. Not only are they doing this but many other things as well.

Well, I could go on and on and on trying to track down everything that’s new this year, but those look to be the highlights.

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