Dr. Dimond approached Dr. Ralph Hall of Saint Luke’s Medical System with his idea. Ralph, a runner himself, was supportive and looked to Jim Burnley for advice on administering the race. Burnley was the secretary-treasurer and newsletter editor for the young running group called the Missouri Valley Masters Track and Field Association, or MVTAFA for short. That organization’s current name is Mid-America Running Association.
Under Jim Burnley’s leadership, the race was held in early May of 1974 and consisted of a 6.4-mile run and a 1-mile race. The races started and ended at Crown Center. Crown Center was in its infancy, and the race and symposium provided public awareness of the new development in midtown Kansas City, Missouri. To this day, Crown Center is a sponsor and hosts the Hospital Hill Run, providing shopping, dining, two hotels, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, and SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium.
The entry fee for the first year Hospital Hill Run was an affordable $1.00. A total of 99 runners entered, 66 in the 6.4-mile run and the balance in the 1-mile race. Former Kansas City, Missouri mayor Charles Wheeler was the official starter for the event, and the first winner of the Hospital Hill Run was John Haraughty of Lenexa, Kansas.