Photo of Raquel Stucky, Wichita.

Introduction - explains how the records are organized, as well as other aspects of the data.

Photo of Raquel Stucky, Wichita. Photo of Chris Melgares, Manhattan. Photo of Dennis Smithhisler, Wichita. Photo of Deborah Torneden, Andover. Photo of Mathew Chesang, Olathe. Photo of Kathleen Johnson, Shawnee.

The State of the State’s Running, 2014

The most interesting development in 2014 was a proliferation of 1-mile races, most of them drawing a good field. Six new 1-mile races were held, highlighted by the Kansas Road Mile Championship in November under the guidance of Trevor Darmstetter and GoRun Wichita. This race was especially appropriate in view of the Kansas connection with the 1-mile race, from Glenn Cunningham and Archie San Romani to Wes Santee and Jim Ryun. This was a USA Track & Field championship event. The only previous state championship we are aware of was a 12K championship in Pittsburg in 1996.

The only previous certified 1-mile race was the Massachusetts Street Mile in Lawrence, which wasn’t held in 2013 or 2014. State records for 1 mile were added this year in response to the new races.

In addition, the second running of the KUS 6/12/24-hour, on a certified course, was a positive development. While there are many trail and mountain races at ultra distances, there aren’t many on certified courses that allow comparisons from one event to another. We hope to see more of these events, particularly at the standard distances of 50K and 50 miles and 100K and 100 miles.

On the down side, there was a continued decline in some traditional standard distances. Only one 8K race was held in 2014 in Kansas, and there were no races at the 12K distance with the discontinuance of the Lawrence Dam Run.

The Goddard Tiger Trot was the only 15K in 2014 with the loss of the Topeka Spring Burn and the Cerner 15K in Kansas City, Kansas. The Winnie Hesse/Run for Life 10-mile wasn’t held in 2014, leaving only the Lake Atwood 10-mile (the state’s longest-running race, dating from 1972)   and the Wichita Turkey Trot, another long-standing race that dates from 1986.

There are no races on certified courses in Kansas at 20K, 25K, or 30K.

The most commonly run event continues to be the 5K distance, most of which are fund-raisers for charities. In 2014, there were more 5K races on certified courses than all other race distances combined. Race directors of some 5K events, unfortunately, don’t post results on a timely basis or at all. We encourage race directors to seek assistance from local running clubs when planning events.

And instead of “just another 5K,” we encourage race directors to consider holding two events simultaneously, such as a 5K for novice runners and a longer standard distance for others.

Dick Lipsey



  copyright - 2015