Hospital Hill’s Hills

Here is an article from the 2011 Newsletter detailing Hospital Hill’s Hills. I have incorporated these hills into my treadmill runs by marking the times for changing the incline to match the course’s grade and decreasing the treadmill speed. According to Noake’s in Lore of Running, a 1% up incline results in -0.4 mph running speed for even effort. And I’ll back him up on that one. I have run some test hills, and even with the decrease in speed my HR spikes a little. I am hoping that by incorporating these hills now my legs will get used to them and the transition to roads will not be so hard.

Below are the real-life grades. On the treadmill I add 1%. So a 2% hill will be run at 3% on the treadmill.

It is great to think of the course in terms of its hills. Make the hills your friends… Climb them with an even effort. I’m going to be concentrating on my breathing on the ups, and trying to keep a 2-2 rhythm. After you climb the hill, get as much speed as you can out of the downs. You’re wasting effort if you push on the ups.

For even more details, check out the course elevation map, which is available from the Hospital Hill’s website FAQ:

PS I noticed that Trinity Hill does not appear to be accurately mapped above. Something is wrong: where the hill should be, the elevation is descending.

Hospital Hill from Mile 1.25 to 2.5, a 2-3% grade

This hill is where the Hospital Hill gets its name. The hill runs near Children’s Mercy Hospital, Truman Medical Center and UMKC School of Medicine. All 3 race distances get to run up our namesake hill. The key to the first hill is not going out too quickly; there are 3 more hills ahead for half marathoners.

Rockhill Hill from Mile 5 to 5.5, a 2-3% grade

Only the half marathoners run this hill. This hill is only half a mile and you will gain about 120 feet, as you make your way through the UMKC campus. After Rockhill Hill there is a break of downhills and flat street for the next four miles. Broken by a slight 1% grade on Meyer Blvd mile 7 to 7.5.

Meyer Blvd from Mile 7 to 7.5, a 1% grade

Broadway Hill from Mile 9.5 to 11.75, a gradual climb beginning at 1% grade for 0.5 mile, 2% grade for 1.75 miles

This is where your training really pays off. More than 2 miles long, Broadway Hill begins with a slow, steady climb and continues with a 2% grade. It is not only the steepness of the hill, that makes it tough, but also its placement in the course. By Mile 10 you have covered a lot of ground but still are a 5K away from the finish line. The Half Marathoners take on the entire hill, while the 10K participants cut across and join the half marathoners at 39th Street for the last 0.75 mile.

Trinity Hill from Mile 12 to 12.16, a short burst of 3-6% grade for 800 feet

Trinity Hill is the last hill for the half marathoners and 10K athletes. It is a short hill (800 feet), but it is quite steep (starting at 3% and increasing to 6% or more). Once you reach the top, there is a magnificent view of downtown Kansas City and the best downhill finish you will find.

In the February Runners World, it said Trinity Hill is an 8.5% grade. It’s steep, yes. But my Garmin data is mixed (from 5% – 9%) from 2011. Still, I’m wondering about cranking the elevation of the treadmill up a bit for just a couple of minutes to simulate this hill. I have data that shows this hill is 70′ of rise in .15 miles, giving a 9% grade; and that is about right given my eyeballing it.

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4 Responses to Hospital Hill’s Hills

  1. Tad says:

    As I recall there were some pretty funny spectators at the top of Trinity Hill last year. I guess that depends on what you find motivational though…

    • neltow says:

      I don’t remember any spectators. What I remember is that I just barely made it over the top and then felt like I was flying to Crown Center. On race day, the climb was brutal. But the downhill finish is a rush.

  2. Katie H. says:

    I love the hills on HH. To me, they make the run interesting enough that the time FLIES by!

  3. tubiemomma says:

    I second Katie H. on the hills adding interest to the runs. I’m so glad I have front door access to rolling hills. It’s great everyday strength training and when you hit a race that’s flat, you get surprisingly great times! That said, thank you so much for breaking down the HHH hills for us. I ran the 5K last year and will do the half this year. Even though I get regular hills on my everyday runs, I’m obsessing and my anxiety is building because I don’t tolerate heat well and will generally head indoors or to a track during our usual hot months here. I suppose I could just go down and run the course for practice sake, but it’s not practical with my family dynamics, so I am glad you spilled it out here. I’m definitely marking this entry. Thanks again!!

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