The Kansas City Marathon, now attracting just under 10,000 participants annually and presented by Garmin, returns to the streets of downtown KC this weekend.
The starting line will be located just east of Washington Square Park on Grand Boulevard, with the race beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19. The full marathon course winds past the World War I Memorial, Country Club Plaza and Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, as well as the Waldo and Westport neighborhoods and 18th & Vine district.
Spring Hill Elementary teacher Colby Kromminga won the men’s marathon in 2018 with a time of 2 hours, 34 minutes and 42 seconds. Emma Hauser (3:01.57) was last year’s overall female marathon winner one year after a runner-up showing in the half-marathon.
Stephanie Andre won the 2018 women’s half in 1:18.35, while Joe Moore paced the men in 1:08.01.
This year’s event, which again includes a half-marathon as well as 5k and 10k races along with the headlining 26.2-mile race, arrives with a redesigned logo evoking the essence of KC as one of jazz’s traditional hotbeds.
The color scheme of the new logo will be represented around town next week as such venues as Union Station, the Giralda Tower on the Plaza and the Downtown Marriott light up in green in observance of the marathon. The J.C. Nichols Fountain on the Plaza will be dyed green next week, too.
Organizers are urging greater spectator turnout this year, with Johnny’s Tavern gift certificates planned for the most memorable “cheer zones” along the course, as judged by the runners: $500 for first place, $300 for second and $200 for third.
Residents along the course and anyone venturing downtown Saturday should expect various street closures from early morning until the last runners and walkers are off the course, which should be around 1:30 p.m.
Streets immediately surrounding around the start and finish areas will close down Friday at 6 p.m., reopening at approximately 3 p.m. Saturday.
A free Kansas City Marathon Health & Fitness Expo will take place Thursday and Friday at Union Station. Featuring more than 70 health- and wellness-related vendors, the expo will be open from 3-8 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday.
Results of this year’s races will be posted on the marathon’s website and should also appear in the Sunday, Oct. 20 issue of The Star’s print edition.