A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Goin' to Kansas City

Actually, "Went to Kansas City" would be more appropriate but it's a lot less catchy than the title of the famous jazz tune by Wilbert Harrison. The truth is I was in Kansas City last week and am just now getting around to writing about my trip. In any event, it was good to get back to KC, see some old friends and pick up some new Chiefs gear to wear back in Denver. I just hope my beloved Chiefs look better in their first game this weekend than they did in preseason!

While in KC attending a meeting at the Westin Crown Center, I went for a run through downtown, past Liberty Memorial, Union Station and the new Sprint Arena (at left) that opens on October 13 with a sold out Elton John concert. It's great to see the new arena taking shape and helping reshape downtown Kansas City.

Downtown Kansas City, once on the verge of becoming a ghost town, is now one big construction zone. The new 17-story H&R Block World Headquarters sits in the middle of the mess, waiting for the rest of the city to catch up. But it won't be long before the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Power and Light District, and other new attractions complete the dramatic transformation of downtown KC.

Before heading back to Denver last Friday I had a unique opportunity to visit the worldwide headquarters of Garmin, manufacturer of global positioning systems for flying, driving, running, cycling, hiking, hunting, and boating. I am a huge fan of the Garmin Forerunner and Edge GPS-enabled running and cycling computers, so it was cool to visit the place where these amazing gadgets are made.

My friend and former colleague Ted Gartner (left) is the manager of media relations for Garmin, so I got a private tour of the manufacturing, warehouse/shipping and marketing departments. It is an impressive operation. I loved seeing boxes and boxes of Garmin products ready for shipping to stores across the country. Ted tells me that every device Garmin passes through that facility in humble Olathe, Kansas.

Next stop: It's back to the Windy City for the running of the Chicago Half Marathon on Sunday and the National Beef Cook-Off next week.


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