How the oldest road race in Kansas City got its start

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Ninety-nine runners, and only one race – 6.8 miles. That was back in 1974.

“Dr. E Grey Diamond from UMKC and Dr. Ralph Hall from the St. Luke’s foundation started in 1974 focusing on health and wellness and wanted to start an event from a doctors’ symposium they were putting on,” said Race Director Lisa Drake. “That was the birth of the Hospital Hill run, but not only that, it was the first road race in Kansas City, so the Hospital Hill run is the grandfather of all Kansas City road races.”

The race has evolved into three events: the 5-k, the 10-k, and the featured attraction, the half marathon.

“So we’re known for the half marathon so people come from, really, all over the United States, almost every state and then sometimes other countries, so we’re known for that,” Drake said. “So really any ability can run our races.”

The Hospital Hill Hun is a nonprofit organization, giving back to the community for six years a total of more than $130,000!And this year, the run is announcing a special partnership.

“We have chosen and want to announce it’s Children’s Mercy Hospital,” Drake said. “That’s so special. It is so special because you know Children’s has touched so many of our runners lives.”

So get ready to head for the hills! You can do it!

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