The Race Across Missouri: Concept, Rules, & My Calculations and Predictions

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Events, travel
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What started out as a “What if?” conversation between friends has evolved into what is being called The Race Across Missouri. What is the fastest way to get from downtown Kansas City to downtown St. Louis? We’re about to find out.

Contestant Name: Justin Meyer (@kcjetsetter on twitter)
Employer: Kansas City Int
l Airport, Aviation Dept. (@KCIairport on twitter)
Mode of transportation: KCATA bus route #129, Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 flight #1391, St. Louis taxi.

Contestant Name: Kris Nielsen (@krisnielsen1 on twitter)
Employer: Aristocrat Motors (@AristocratKC on twitter)
Mode of Transportation: 2011 Porsche Panamera 4

The race will commence at the doors of Kansas City’s tallest building, One Kansas City Place (1200 Main St, KCMO 64105) at 9:30am. Kris, with the Porsche, will depart immediately – and will be required to obey all posted speed limits throughout the trip.

Justin will stand by for KCATA Bus #129 which, per their schedule, will pick him up at 9:49am at 10th & Main. KCATA will drop Justin off at Kansas City Intl. airport Terminal C at 10:43am. He will have sufficient time to check in and clear security before boarding begins for Southwest Airlines flight #1391, set to depart Kansas City Intl. at 12:00pm and arrive at Lambert Intl. airport at 12:55pm.

Logistically, Kris will not have the Porsche parked right in front of the doors to One Kansas City Place, so it will take him a few minutes to retrieve the car and get on the road. The following calculations have been assembled per Google Maps, based on him taking 5 minutes to get to the Porsche.

9:35am: Porsche departs from One Kansas City Place.
9:49am: Porsche is passing Van Brunt Blvd – mile marker 11. KC Metro bus leaves One Kansas City Place for KCI.
10:02am: Porsche is in Oak Grove, MO – mile marker 28. KC Metro bus will 53 minutes.
10:40am: Porsche is in Concordia (MO-23) – mile marker 58. KC Metro bus will be at KCI in 16 minutes.
10:58am: Porsche is at junction of I-70 and US-65 – mile marker 78. KC Metro bus arrived 2 minutes ago.
11:41am: Porsche is entering Columbia – mile marker 124. Plane departs in 19 minutes.
12:04pm: Porsche is in Kingdom City – mile marker 148. Plane departed KCI 4 minutes ago.
12:48pm: Porsche is in Warrenton (MO-47), mile marker 193. Plane scheduled to arrive at STL in 7 minutes.
12:55pm: Porsche is in Wright City – mile marker 200. Plane has touched down.

Going off of the above calculations, Kris and the Porsche will be at I-70 mile marker 200 at the point when Justin touches down at Lambert St. Louis Intl. airport. The access road for Justin’s taxi to connect into I-70 from the airport is at mile marker 238 (which the Porsche wouldn’t arrive at until 1:35pm. Giving Justin a generous 15 minute window from the 12:55pm plane arrival to de-board and catch a taxi (as Justin will obviously not be picking up any checked-on luggage), the taxi would enter I-70 at mile marker 238 at approximately 1:10pm – 25 minutes ahead of the Porsche.

The exit off of I-70 to reach the Gateway Arch’s garage is at mile marker 250, which the Porsche should reach at 1:50pm. Going off of the previous calculation for the taxi, Justin would reach the exit at 1:35pm. A 4-minute drive from exit 250B to the entrance to the Arch’s parking garage puts the Porsche’s arrival at 1:54pm, and the taxi at 1:29pm.

Based on straight calculations, the Kris and the Porsche will face a 25-minute disadvantage. These calculations are under the assumption that there are no unexpected delays of the Porsche (and Justin’s STL taxi) due to traffic or construction, and that the departure and arrival times for Justin’s flight take place as scheduled. FlightAware will provide real-time tracking of flight #1391, and Garmin will be equipping the Porche with its Nuvi, GTU-10 and Edge 500 systems. This will allow “spectators” to monitor the progress of both participants (with Google Latitude as an option to track Justin’s progress while in the taxi).

Decision: Justin wins by 25 minutes.

I invite you to join me and see how this all actually plays out. You can follow real-time conversation of the competition on twitter under the hashtag of #RaceAcrossMO.

  1. […] Back in September 2011, I blogged about the competition of two Kansas City locals – Kris Nielsen and Justin Meyer – in their efforts to race from Kansas City MO’s highest point (One Kansas City Place building) to St. Louis’ highest point (Gateway Arch). You can read about the Race Across Missouri right here. […]

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