KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If your New Year’s resolution is to improve your health or take up a new hobby, running is a great option for 2022. It’s a chance to get out of the house, clear your head and maybe even meet new people.
In addition, running strengthens your heart and puts a beneficial load on your muscles and joints. In fact, analysis shows that regular runners reduce their risk of all causes of death, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, by 25-30%. In addition, running is an accessible method to help you lose weight.
And if that weren’t enough, many runners experience a mental boost from hitting the pavement, or even a treadmill if necessary, and research backs this up.
If you’re new to running, make sure you start simple. Experts don’t recommend jumping into a marathon right away. Those 26.2 mile races require some serious training. But with hard work you can conquer a mile, then a 5K and so on.
Make a leap forward in your NYE resolution with these top picks
So if you’re ready to get started in 2022 — whether you’re a novice or a seasoned expert — here are 10 races in the Kansas City area to check out.
Editor’s Note: Most of these races require entrants to: pre-register. Please refer to the attached links for more information.
It’s the 40th anniversary of the Groundhog Run, which benefits children with disabilities at Ability KC. This annual run offers a 5K, 10K or “tunnel-to-tunnel” experience in the Hunt Midwest SubTropolis – so even when it’s cold outside, runners can stay warm. In honor of the 40th anniversary, the Groundhog Run has an 80s theme this year.
When: January 30; 5K starts at 8am, 10K starts at 10amTrue: Hunt Midwest SubTropolis, 8300 NE Underground Drive, Kansas City, Missouri
Grab your loved one (or family and friends) and get moving during this Valentine’s Day themed 5K or 10K. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, you can participate in the 5K course as a team of two.
When: February 12, 9:00 a.m.True: 9089 West 135th St., Overland Park, Kansas
Gear up in your favorite team’s livery and celebrate the Big 12 Conference Championship this spring. This 5K course begins and ends in downtown Kansas City, where participants will see Power & Light, the Sprint Center, and more, decked out for college basketball.
When: March 12 at 9 a.m. True: 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri
This half marathon and the Jewell 5K, in support of the Liberty Hospital Foundation, takes you on a scenic route through William Jewell College and historic downtown Liberty.
When: March 26; half marathon starts at 8am, 5K starts at 8:45am True: William Jewell College football field/track, 924 State Highway. H, Liberty, Missouri
The Rock the Parkway track, along Kansas City’s Ward Parkway, is a USATF certified race. According to the organizers, it is one of the fastest half marathon courses in the area. There’s also a 5K option if you’re looking for great views of Ward Parkway a shorter distance. The annual event benefits Children’s Mercy Hospital.
When: Apr 9; half marathon starts at 7:30am, 5K starts at 7:50amTrue: 9400 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri
With 5K, 10K and 15K options, organizers claim this Johnson County race has something for everyone. The course takes participants past beautiful Heritage Park Lake and through various other areas of the park.
When: May 7, 7.30 amTrue: Heritage Park, 16050 S. Pflumm Road Olathe, Kansas
This old Kansas City road race brings together participants from Crown Center, the World War I Museum, the Power and Light District, and more. There are 5K, 10K, and half marathon options, or you can take your run “virtually” and complete it in person. This year’s race benefits Children’s Mercy Hospital.
When: June 4, 7 a.m.True: Grand Boulevard, north of Pershing, Kansas City, Missouri
Thousands typically take part in this annual race in Overland Park, and over the years the Head for the Cure 5K has raised millions for brain cancer research. This will be the 20th anniversary of the race.
When: Aug 28, 8amTrue: 9401 Indian Creek Parkway, Overland Park, Kansas
The Kansas City Zoo Run offers a 4-mile timed running/walking course and a 1-mile family option, both of which take participants through the zoo. Each year, the run spotlights a different animal, and once you’ve completed the course, enjoy a day off at the Kansas City Zoo!
When: September 17, time to be determinedTrue: 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City’s largest race attracts thousands of participants each year, and with 5K, 10K, half and full marathon options, there’s a course for every runner to test themselves on. New last year, the race starts and ends outside the famous Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art as you are guided through some of Kansas City’s best neighborhoods.
When: October 15; half and full marathons start at 7am, 10K at 7:30am, 5K at 7:45amTrue: 4525 Oak St, Kansas City, Missouri Close Modal
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