Passion for Community Tradition Outruns Pandemic
Sunday, October 24 isn’t just a big day for our neighborhood, it’s a milestone for the entire area! The 2021 Whiskey Run 5k will draw its crowds to Martin City for the first time since the pandemic hit, and race to reclaim its reputation as the biggest organized run event in South Kansas City.
“It’s going to be a fantastic morning for all of us,” says Angie Boehner, Vice President of the Martin City Business and Community Association (MCBCA). “A perfect opportunity to get outdoors with family and friends, and explore our wonderful community.”
A Run Rich in Rewards.
The Martin City Business and Community Association is hosting the event with support from the Martin City Community Improvement District (MCCID) and local businesses pulling together to help the experience live up to its tradition. Just a few dozen people turned out for the first Whiskey Run in 2013, and now there are hundreds. KC Running Company has managed the course since the beginning.
“The Whiskey Run is like no other,” says KC Running Company Event Director Brad Ziegler. “There’s a very broad appeal. We get all kinds, from walkers who just enjoy everything the event has to offer, to serious runners focused on finishing times.”
The whiskey itself is quite an attraction, echoing Martin City’s rough-and-tumble roots going back through the Prohibition Era. The Whiskey Run literally involved no whiskey in its early years, but that’s changed in a big way since Martin City’s Lukas Wine and Spirits Superstore took over as the event’s Presenting Sponsor.
“Lukas is preparing whiskey tastings before and after the run, including top shelf brands like Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Union Horse, and Tom’s Town,“ says Boehner. “Plus, you get a customized shot glass too! The Whiskey Run truly lives up to its name.”
“I can’t say enough about Lukas’ commitment,” adds Ziegler. “They’re giving a lot, and that’s what makes events like these successful. Businesses that pitch-in make the Whiskey Run all it can be, which also benefits them and the Martin City community. It raises awareness and draws interest.”
In addition to the whiskey and shot glass, participants will also receive a custom event t-shirt and the coveted Whiskey Run Finisher Medal. The medal is different for every Whiskey Run, and this year’s design is as cool as ever. Just what you’d expect from KC Running Company, a Martin City business known for its collectible Finisher Medals in addition to its unique race management expertise and specialty retail store on 135th Street.
Martin City restaurants are pitching in, too. Event participants get a free breakfast from Martin City Coffee, Martin City Brewing Company or the Coast-to-Coast Pub. Which one? Boehner says the choice is yours! “How can you beat that for a finish? Top off the morning with a free breakfast in Martin City, a neighborhood known all over Kansas City as a destination for great food.”
A Morning Tour of Martin City.
The Whiskey Run 5k offers yet another bonus — a chance to explore Martin City. The course is designed to take you through our historic community, born in the late 1800s and now the home of diverse businesses that combine to look and feel like a small, hometown.
You’ll start in the parking lot of KC Running Company early in the morning on October 24th. The three mile-course takes you past the historic Martin City K-8 school and the Martin City Animal Hospital, right along the train tracks through the heart of our community.
The iconic bull atop Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse points you west along 135th Street where you can’t miss the colorful murals on the Coast-to-Coast Pub and Sidelines Custom Floral. You’ll continue along Martin City’s “Main Street” and then head south on Wyandotte where companies including MC Crossfit, Habitat ReStore, MMC Contractors, and Hangers Cleaners base their operations.
Martin City Community Improvement District (MCCID) Manager Vickie Wolgast says it’s an especially interesting way to see our community. “The Whiskey Run gives you a taste of Martin City and our ongoing revitalization efforts, from new sidewalks to landscaping. Events like this really show off all of our hard work.”
Don’t sweat training! A casual atmosphere will make participants of all levels comfortable. And serious runners can still expect expert measurements as well as accurate timing. There’s even a Kids Fun Run scheduled right after the 5k, plus awards presented to top finishers. Then it’s off to breakfast!
“We’ve tailored the Whiskey Run to be inclusive. Don’t hesitate to sign up and bring your family,” says Boehner. “And we still need volunteers so don’t be shy! It’s perfect for businesses wanting to give employees a chance to work together outside of the office and have fun at the same time. You’ll be glad you got involved.”