KC Express motivates women
to exercise for better health
Kelly Pfannestiel introduces us to this organization
that emphasizes fun and fitness
Each month SHE KC will introduce our readers to some of the organizations that serve women and girls in Kansas City. In this issue, we’re pleased to share information on the Kansas City Express. We met with Kelly Pfannestiel, KC Express President, who filled us in on this great organization.
SHE KC: What is the focus and history of the KC Express? Kelly Pfannestiel: KC Express began in 1982 when a small group of women with big goals gathered together to train for a marathon, which was part of a national effort by the Avon Company to get a marathon for women accepted as an event in the Olympics.
The name “KC Express” was chosen because the group wanted to be like an express package, “shipped” to races all over the world. In 1984, the women’s marathon became an official part of the Olympics.
Since the late 1980’s, KC Express has evolved from focusing solely on competitive running to emphasizing the lifetime health and fitness benefits running and walking can provide. We have women in their teens to their 90’s who run, walk, or do a combination of the two. Some compete (we have three running Boston this year), while others focus more on the health and socialization benefits that KC Express offers.
SHE KC: Tell us how KC Express gets involved in the KC Community... Kelly Pfannestiel: In addition to our Mother’s Day 5K event, KC Express promotes fun and fitness to the women of Kansas City with other fun runs throughout the year: the Wednesday Night Run (WNR), Red Dress Run in February, participation as a centipede in the St. Pat’s Run in March, and our upcoming Tutu Run in September.
After getting several of our members coaching certifications earlier this year, we’ve just recently launched a beginner’s training program for women to progress from 5Ks to either a 10K or half marathon.
As a club, we are active in the Kansas City community through volunteering at various races throughout the year. We are well known for our aid station at the KC Marathon – last year we were the “Lunch Ladies!”
Our monthly meetings always feature a speaker and topic of interest to active women. For instance in July, Pip Taylor, a professional triathlete and sports nutritionist, will be sharing information on “Nutrition for Health and Performance.”
Finally, we are beginning to plan for our 30th Anniversary celebration next year, including sending ourselves as an “express package” to the Zooma Colorado Half Marathon & 10K in Colorado Springs next July.
SHE KC: Tell us a recent success story from one of your events... Kelly Pfannestiel: We’ve had a couple recent success stories following our Mother’s Day 5K. First, we’ve taken “steps” to educate women (& everyone) to wear ID while running and walking as an important safety practice through our Shoe ID tag program. We have had three recent requests from other businesses and groups about where we got our shoe ID tags, as they want to replicate them and emphasize safety measures with their employees and members.
Second, as I mentioned above, we’ve just launched our Beginner’s 10K and Half Marathon Training Program and already have over 65 women committed to going the distance in improving their health through running and walking!
SHE KC: How can someone get in touch with the KC Express to learn more or get involved? Kelly Pfannestiel: More information regarding the KC Express can be found on our website: www.kcexpress.org. We welcome guests at all of our monthly meetings and weekly walks/runs. Once you get to know us, we’re sure you’ll want to join us for fun and fitness all year ’round!
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