Gregorian Chants

Columnist Vahe Gregorian offers musings about the sports scene in and around Kansas City

This weekend's Groundhog Run can provide relief from the cold

01/23/2014 1:58 PM

01/23/2014 2:20 PM

As I type this Thursday morning, it’s less than zero degrees outside and closing in on that inside with the heat conked out at home.

Going for a run is the last thing on my mind, not that it’s ever the first thing, and it’s hard to imagine what it took even the most intrepid souls to get out this morning for one.

But for those inclined to get back running ASAP, relief, shelter and even adventure awaits on Sunday in the 32nd Groundhog Run at Hunt Midwest Suptropolis, the world’s largest underground business complex — so large that it could contain 38 Arrowhead Stadiums.

As it is, the labyrinth 100-150 feet below the surface near Worlds of Fun is the home of more than 50 local, regional, national, and international companies that employ more than 1,500 people who burrow in there.

(Per Hunt Midwest,

have a gander at a “typical 100 square foot building flyer.”

)

According to event publicists, tenants include the U.S. Post Office, the National Archives and Records Administration and Underground Vaults Storage, which stores a vast array of original movies and TV classics including “The Wizard Of Oz” and “Gone With The Wind.”

But more likely it’s Batman and James Bond you’ll think of as you descend into the underground lair.

Or, if you prefer, “the caves,” as Chiefs historian Bob Moore called the location when I set out to meet him there for a look at some archival material last summer and found myself in an otherworldly place once I found the entrance.

The way in will be made obvious for the races, a 5K at 8 a.m. and a 10K at 10 a.m., that continue to benefit the Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center, a pre-school that provides educational and therapeutic services for children with disabilities and according to promoters has received $4 million from the race since 1982.

“You run,” the promotion goes, “so they can fly.”

And you run inside, in effect: If the temperature in Suptropolis isn’t quite tropical, it’s a constant between 65 and 68 degrees.

About 4,500 runners of all levels and backgrounds from all over the country are expected. Online registration is closed, but there are still a few spots open: Go to

childrenstlc.org and click on the Events tab for more information and to register for a chance to warm up.

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