The State of the State’s Running, 2015
The 5K race remained the most popular distance in Kansas in 2015, with 79 races that were held on certified courses and that provided results. A total of 69 races were held on certified courses at all other distances for which results were provided. These ranged from 21 10Ks and 18 half-marathons to no races at the 12K distance, one 15K, and two 8Ks.
We encourage runners to seek out races held on certified courses, which should be noted in the race information along with the certification number provided by USA Track & Field. Course certification is often an indication that the race director is experienced and is more likely to have taken runners’ needs and interests into consideration.
Wichita continues to be the running hot bed of the state with nearly 40 races held on certified courses and almost 30 in suburban Kansas City. Topeka and Lawrence also were the sites of multiple races in 2015.
The 1-mile race continued to be popular in 2015, with five races highlighted again by the Kansas Road Mile Championship in November, which was again a USA Track & Field championship event and featured former world mile record holder Jim Ryun as a special guest. This is a relatively new event for state record purposes, and all-time bests were set in three male age groups and five female age groups.
Ultra distances saw the third running of the KUS 6/12/24-hour on a certified course (moved to Chapin Park in Wichita in 2015) and the addition of the Ad Astra Per Aspera ultras in Derby with a marathon, 50K and 50-mile, and 100K and 100-mile races, all on certified short-loop courses. We hope these events continue to grow, as they provide an alternative to traditional ultradistance trail races.
The decline in some traditional standard distances continued in 2015. There were two 8K races with the addition of the 811 8K and the Erin Is Hope 8K and the dropping of the Princess Prance 8K (new in 2014), all in Wichita.
The Winnie Hesse/Run for Life 10-mile in Topeka returned in 2015. Again, there were no races at the 12K distance, which provides an opportunity for an enterprising race director, and the Goddard Tiger Trot was the only 15K in the state. There are no races on certified courses in Kansas at 20K, 25K, or 30K.
We ask race directors to provide hometowns and exact ages for all runners in order to recognize state honor roll qualifiers.
We also encourage race directors to seek assistance from local running clubs when planning events.
And once again, 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 & Gene Wee