Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon

09 Jun 2011 08:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race

§staticmap(9937,5,450,250)Hello, on September 25 2011, you’ll be organizing the Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The Salt City Run for the Rocks will be held in “Salt City” better known as Hutchinson, KS

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

Several people have asked where on earth did you come up with putting on a half-marathon race in Hutch as a fund-raiser? First, two of our race coordinators love to run. In fact, they probably can both tell you that their favorite distance is the half-marathon. Second, the half-marathon seems to be growing in popularity. Look around half-marathon races across the country, and you’re bound to see an increase in participation. It’s the go-to race these days.

The next question we’re getting is what’s the story behind the name? Hutch is known as being the Salt City. That said, we wanted to play with the salt theme, thus the name Run for the Rocks. We hope that you join us on Sept. 25th for our inaugural half-marathon in Hutchinson. Our event goes benefits two wonderful organizations in Hutchinson who benefit thousands of children on an annual basis: Boys and Girls Clubs of Hutchinson and the Hutchinson Recreation Commission. To get a sneak peek at what these organizations do, feel free to visit their Websites at and

Carey Park 1 mile or so
Credit : Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

Set for its inaugural running as summer is giving way to fall in Hutchinson, Kansas. Hutchinson is a city that lies along the Arkansas River and whose claim to fame is the home of the nation’s first salt processing plants west of the Mississippi. Hutchinson’s all-new Salt City Run for the Rocks half-marathon takes runners on a point-to-point route that starts in the city’s Carey Park and finishes just blocks from the Kansas State Fair Grounds and the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Gowans Stadium.

Runners will start the race at Hutchinson’s Carey Park, named for the Carey family who were the first to start mining salt in Hutchinson, founding the Carey Salt Company here back in the early 1920s. Runners will make their way through the park, running roughly the equivalent of a 5K as they run past the Hutchinson Zoo and an 18-hole golf course that lie alongside the picturesque Arkansas River.

Next, the course follows the scenic Jim P. Martinez Trail for the next few miles, all the way to Rice Park. Made up of paved surfaces throughout and mostly flat, the Martinez trail unfolds alongside the Arkansas River and Cow Creek for much of its path, leading runners northward to Rice Park, which will serve as the race’s half-way point and where spectators will find a great place to view and cheer on runners.

Carey Park 2.5 miles along the River
Credit : Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon
After exiting Rice Park, runners will head east across the city, making their way among the charming tree-lined streets of the Old Farm Estates and Hyde Park neighborhoods. There’s a stretch with several turns as runners are approaching the Kansas State Fair Grounds around the mile 10 marker, and then the course heads into the fairgrounds, taking runners past Lake Talbot and several of the fair ground’s historic landmarks like Ye Old Mill, Gottschalk Park and the grandstands before exiting the fairgrounds and heading onto Severance Street.

For the final few miles of the race, the course takes runners past the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, and then finally winds through the campus of Hutchinson Community College, finishing with half a lap around the athletic track at Gowans Stadium. Largely fast and flat throughout, the course features only very gentle, gradual rises in elevation over the first half of the course, followed by an equally gradual decline in the second half, which should really be imperceptible to runners out on the course.

This race also serves as a fundraiser that benefits two wonderful organizations in Hutchinson who provide support to thousands of children on an annual basis: the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hutchinson and the Hutchinson Recreation Commission.

Carey Park zoo
Credit : Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon
How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We anticipate around 500 runners. We want to attract runners of all abilities – novice to expert.

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

I don’t organize other races on the week-ends – I do run and run in races though! I love the half-marathon distance and am currently training for a full marathon in October and in November.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Located in central southern Kansas, just over 50 miles northwest of Wichita, Hutchinson is known to have what Kansans deem “typical Kansas weather;” meaning that it changes frequently but has four very predictable seasons. In September, the city’s weather is typically mild to moderately warm, with average monthly temperatures that range between 82°F and 56°F. On the day of the race (Sept. 25), the average high is 79°F and the average low is 52°F.

Cosmoshere, Hutchinson KS
Credit : Randy Read
Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

We will have great finish line festivities! This is a snippet from our website: Can you envision yourself crossing the finish line in a stadium filled with cheering fans? That awesome finish is only where the fun will begin. The awards presentation and Finish Festivities will be outstanding. Plan on great food and drinks as well as a few other fantastic perks.

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Hutchinson before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

We have two world class museums; the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center and the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. We also have AMAZING local restaurants like Wilders. I would recommend visiting the Convention and Visitors Bureau website for more great details.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon?

Join us in the heart of Kansas for a scenic and truly unique race (with lots of goodies!) that will benefit two wonderful organizations.

Interview with Amanda Buoy, runner, cyclist and the development director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hutchinson in Hutchinson, KS. Her favorite distance is the half-marathon and she truly enjoy running in new places.