Lace up your sneakers, grab your water bottle and stretch out those legs, Kansas City. Today, June 1, is Global Running Day, and with the weather forecast at a balmy 82 degrees, there’s no better time than now to get moving.
KC Running Company commemorated the day by holding two runs from its stores in Leawood and Lee’s Summit. A combined 225 people met at 6 a.m. and ran or walked up to 4 miles to celebrate their “common love for running,” event director Brad Ziegler said. The stores hold group runs several days a week, but today was a special gathering with food and beverages.
“Running has never been more popular than today,” Ziegler said. “People of all ages are participating in 5Ks and 10Ks. Racing is typically very competitive, so today just focused on getting together and enjoying running.”
Here are some of the best Kansas City places to hit the pavement and break a sweat:
Loose Park, 5200 Wornall
The site of a Civil War battle, the 75-acre Loose Park sits up the hill from the Country Club Plaza. With a 1.5-acre rose garden, a duck pond on the east side and two trail loops (1.04 miles and 1.16 miles) around the perimeter, it’s an elegant option for runners looking for a calming, beautiful trail.
Blue Valley Park, East 23rd Street and Topping Avenue
In addition to a 1.14 mile interior loop, the 238.5-acre park includes a disc golf course and a renovated ball field and water playground. With plenty of grassy space, the park provides a good opportunity for off-trail running.
Penn Valley Park, Pershing Road and Main Street
Located by the National World War I Museum, Penn Valley looks out over downtown. It provides plenty of hilly running options, as well as an off-leash dog park, skate park and almost three miles of winding paths in its 176 acres.
Kessler Park, The Paseo to Belmont Boulevard
This 303-acre park overlooks the Missouri River. It’s heavily wooded, perfect for those looking to avoid the sun, and has plenty of cliffs for more strenuous exercise. The cliff scenic byway covers almost three miles, but other bridle paths meander through the park as well.
Hidden Valley Park, N.E. Russell Road & N. Bennington Ave.
In the Northland, near Worlds of Fun, Hidden Valley Park offers an expansive open space with sports fields and wooded trails. The park stretches almost 3.5 miles north from the Missouri River and was once used as a radio-controlled-airplane airfield.
Of course, there’s always this option:
In addition, the area will offer multiple organized races this summer:
Hospital Hill Run, June 3-4, Crown Center area. hospitalhillrun.com
Golf Croquet Tournament, June 9, Kactus Creek Croquet Club. parkvillechamber.com
29th Annual Tonganoxie Library Run, June 11, Tonganoxie Public Library, tonganoxielibrary.org.
Heroes for Hospice 5K Run/Walk, June 11, Overland Park. heroesforhospice.com
CASA SuperHero 5K, June 12, Corporate Woods. casakc.org/superhero5k
Heart Association 5K, June 18, Power & Light District. kcheartwalk.org
ASCS Sprint Cars, June 25-26, Lakeside Speedway. lakesidespeedway.net
Stars and Stripes 5K, July 4, Summit Fair Shopping Center. starsandstripes5K.com
Four on the Fourth, July 4, Ward Parkway Center. wardparkwayfouronthefourth.com
Rock the Crossroads 5K, July 23, Crossroads Arts District. rockthecrossroads.com
Run for Raptors, July 23, Camp Lake of the Woods in Swope Park. runsignup.com/Race/MO/KansasCity/Lakesidetrailrun
Bubble Run, July 30, Kansas Speedway. bubblerun.com/upcoming-locations/kansas-city
Rivalry Run, Aug. 13, Power & Light District. therivalryrun.org
Jackson County Triathlon, Aug. 14, Longview Lake. jacksongov.org
Race for the Cure, Aug. 14, Union Station. komenkansascity.org
Black Light Run, Aug. 20, Providence Medical Center Amphitheater. providenceamp.com
Diva Dash 5K and Lil’ Princess Girls Run, Aug. 20, Corporate Woods. divadash5k.com
Head for the Cure 5K Run/Walk, Aug. 28, Corporate Woods. headforthecure.org/metro-kc
Lucas Oil MLRA Clyde Ellis Memorial, Sept. 2, Lakeside Speedway. lakesidespeedway.net
Heartland Heat Triathlon, Sept. 3, The Springs Aquatic Center. kcparks.org
WWE Raw, Sept. 5, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
Includes reporting by Dan Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Parks info from Kansas City Parks & Recreation