It’s year number 33 for one of the most popular races in the country, held underground right here in Kansas City. This weekend, Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development will host the 33rd annual Groundhog Run at Subtropolis, the world’s largest underground business park. The park, which was created by mining its 270 million-year-old limestone, is a comfortable track for runners as it is consistently 65 to 68 degrees year round – a huge perk to its tenants.
Proceeds of the event go to Children’s TLC, a local therapeutic preschool and outpatient therapy clinic serving children with disabilities, developmental disabilities and fragile medical conditions. The race serves as the organization’s largest fundraiser. In fact, since the race started in 1982, it’s raised more than $4.2 million for the cause.
Here’s what some of this year’s runners and race sponsors had to say:
Michael Scott, Block Real Estate Services: “The Groundhog Run back in 2011 was the first running event I’ve ever participated in… For the months leading up to the event, it helped motivate me to stay in shape. Since then, I’ve run the Jeff Taylor Race, Warrior Dash, Color Run, and last year I did the Tough Mudder. As far as the event itself, the caves are an interesting part of the region, which makes for a unique running experience. The overall vibe on the day of the race is very positive and energetic. The event staff is very friendly and positioned around the race course to cheer us on.”
Jim Hansen, H2B architects: “H2B architects is a small architectural firm who has been fortunate to provide Hunt Midwest with design services for some of their projects in the SubTropolis over the last several years, for such tenants as Leggett & Platt, Food Service Warehouse and Light Edge. It was important to us to do what we could to help support the Children’s TLC Groundhog Run and therefore all three of our partners, Bill Browning, Jeff Hall, myself and several of our family members are running the 5K. This will be the first organized run for Jeff Hall and myself, while Bill Browning, ran cross country in high school and continues to run regularly is expected to be our front runner. I will be happy with just not being the last guy across the finish line. I’m hoping that my familiarity with the SubTropolis will give me the advantage over the last guy.”
Richard Wetzel, Centric Projects: “We’re participating first because it’s a great cause – Children’s TLC is an amazing organization – a second because it’s such a cool venue. The Hunt Midwest Subtropolis has a great story and atmosphere. And third because it’s a great team building opportunity for our firm’s associates and families. We’re thrilled to be part of the race this year!”