The Martin City Whiskey Run 5k is nearing the starting line and shaping up to be bigger than ever this year. Nearly a thousand runners are expected to stretch their legs, taste top-shelf whiskey, sample local restaurants and explore our neighborhood on Saturday, March 21st. Now is the time for local businesses to get involved and sprint into a spotlight that will attract attention across Greater Kansas City!
A Big Crowd Races Toward Martin City.
When the Martin City Whiskey Run 5k debuted in 2013 with just 60 runners, few predicted that participation would snowball year after year. But when you capture the lingering spirit of the St. Patrick’s Parade with the unusual pairing of whiskey and running in one of Kansas City’s fastest-growing hotspots, you’ve got an incredibly fun idea.
“The event sells itself,” says KC Running Company Event Director Brad Ziegler. “It’s all word of mouth. People participate, tell their friends, and then even more people come out the following year. And this is happening at a time when many other races are struggling to draw participants.”
KC Running Company has always managed the event, even before the company located its headquarters in Martin City. That makes the Martin City Whiskey Run 5k a special source of pride for the KC Running Company team and an exciting chance to show off their event coordination expertise, their retail store and the neighborhood they love.
“People from more than 25 communities in the Kansas City area will pour into Martin City to be part of this. We’ve moved it from a Sunday to a Saturday this year, which will likely draw an even bigger crowd.”
A Good Idea, a Fun Run, and So Much More.
Organized by the Martin City Business and Community Association (MCBCA) with support from the Martin City Community Improvement District (MCCID), the Martin City Whiskey Run 5k attracts runners of all levels and their families. The event is a good example of how KC Running Company combines all the right stuff for an experience that brings people together.
“We’re playing to our strengths as a company for the benefit of our own community,” says Ziegler. “Showing off our team and Martin City at the same time is a lot of fun for us and we go the extra mile to make it a good time.”
Going the extra mile includes championing the odd and irresistible combination of whiskey and running to send a message that Martin City is anything but ordinary, a hallmark of our community’s reputation going back to prohibition. Ziegler can’t explain why the combination works, but the proof is in the participation.
“The concept of a whiskey run is just really appealing. There’s a broad ‘cool’ factor. It attracts runners, drinkers who like sampling local spirits, and people who love Martin City and just welcome a reason to visit.”
Martin City’s Lukas Wine and Spirits Superstore sponsors the event’s whiskey experience and expects to offer a variety of distinguished tastes this year. Every participant gets a shot and a special shot glass to take home. That’s just for starters. Register for the event and you’ll also get a Martin City Whiskey Run 5k t-shirt and an exclusive Finisher Medal. KC Running Company is well known for the creativity they put into their Finisher Medal designs. Ziegler says the Whiskey Run medals are among the best.
“This year they’re all wood, not metal or acrylic. The design will center on a whiskey barrel like last year because it’s just so perfect.”
Of course, no Martin City event would be complete without a taste of local cuisine. Registration includes a free breakfast after the run at Martin City Coffee, RC’s Restaurant or Martin City Brewing Company.
“People love a free breakfast, especially at one of those restaurants. We’re known for our food in Martin City,” says Ziegler. “It’s always a big hit.”
A Tour of One of Kansas City’s Oldest Neighborhoods.
Crowds will gather at the starting line in the parking lot of KC Running Company early in the morning on March 21st. Reno’s Powersports KC on Holmes Road is offering up a stylish vehicle that will lead runners along the route that winds through Martin City.
The three-mile course amounts to a tour of our area’s diversity. It takes you through the heart of the community on 135th Street, the growing residential area north of 135th including the historic Martin City K-8 school, and then south along Wyandotte Street businesses where companies like Smithfield Foods, Habitat ReStore, MMC Contractors, and Hangers Cleaners base their operations.
Serious runners will welcome the expert measurements and accurate timing ensured by KC Running Company, and draw on the energy of a bigger crowd that comes with a bigger race. The route is perfect for all other runners too. You don’t need a lot of training and the casual atmosphere makes everyone comfortable. There’s also a special Kids Fun Run right after the 5k.
You can expect the running to wrap up by 10 am or so and then participants will begin to spread out to make a day of it in Martin City.
The Walking, Dining, and Browsing Following the Run.
For many people, exploring Martin City is a big part of the Whiskey Run’s appeal. It’s a chance to kick back and spend time checking out the ‘City’ within Kansas City with roots dating back to the Old West. Martin City’s revitalization is no secret and newcomers will want a taste of our special cultural vibe that unites small-town heritage with big-city influences.
“Many people will come for the Whiskey Run and then keep coming back for Martin City,” says Martin City Community Improvement District Executive Director Vickie Wolgast. “The event is such a great opportunity to sample the wonderful things happening here and the people that make them happen. It makes new Martin City fans every year.”
Local businesses that have been here for a while know the Whiskey Run opens the door to new customers and helps energize the community in a way that benefits all businesses. New businesses in Martin City can’t afford to be shy. You don’t get too many chances like this one.
“Get involved. Get your name out and help us make the Martin City Whiskey Run 5k all it can be. You’ll be glad you did,” says Ziegler. “The event is a rare opportunity to package all of the best in Martin City and there’s a real feeling that it will continue to grow. The more that local business owners pitch in, the better it’s going to be and we know we’re far from reaching our potential.”
The success of the Martin City Whiskey Run 5k is a direct reflection of the success of our community’s renaissance. The event keeps getting better and so does Martin City. Whether it’s volunteering, running, sponsoring or just lending a helping hand in some small way, you’ll want to be here on March 21st. Come thirsty, hungry and ready to discover a good time with no finish line.