Monday, October 14, 2013

Baltimore Running Festival RECAP!

Baltimore Half-Marathon Recap

Conservative Time Goal - 2:30
Ambitious Time Goal - 2:20
Actual Finish Time - 2:16:13 (!!!!)

The Baltimore Running Festival consists of several race options: Kids Fun Run, 5K, Marathon Relay, Half-Marathon, and Full Marathon.  Downtown Baltimore was decorated with signs welcoming runners all over!  Loved this one at Camden Yards!


As you know, I was running the half-marathon...but I had several friends who were running in the full marathon.  The full started at 8:00, and the half started at 9:45.  We had 2 different start lines, and the courses merged around mile 3 for the half and 16 for the full.  The start corrals for the half were also along mile 9 of the marathon course, so those of us running the half were able to cheer on the full marathoners for awhile!  My parents and I arrived at the start area in time to catch all 3 of my full marathon running friends at mile 9 - including my friend Jeremy, who earned a race entry by running the whole 26.2 in an iced coffee costume.  HAHA!!

Everything I'd heard about this course involved one word - HILLY.  My full marathon friend, Lauren, said she didn't think it was all that hilly though.  And I have to say, I agree with her.  I don't actually remember any hills from the course.  There were some hills, but none that stick with me.  I wouldn't use the word hilly to describe the course at all.  However - because I'd read the word "hilly" so much, I made sure I trained every long run on serious York County hills.  So, I guess my training paid off!

I was really worried about my hip and IT band going into the race.  I'd rested Thursday and Friday, and my leg was feeling good - but I still remembered the pain of a few long runs, like the one I ended in tears.  But - my leg held up great on race day!!! I had zero pain in it until around mile 10.  I paused at mile 11 and stretched my IT band quickly and moved forward. 


Overall, I LOVED this race.  The spectators on the course were awesome - there were some really funny signs, people offering candy and beer, and lots of general cheering.  The course was well marked, had plenty of water (and Gatorade - every 2 miles!) and great variety in the scenery. 


The absolute best part of the race was the last 1/4 mile or so.  We ran down Eutaw St. alongside Camden Yards (home of the Orioles) and finished right before M&T Bank Stadium (home of the Ravens).  This entire section was FULL of people clapping and cheering.

I really almost lost it at this point. I knew I was well ahead of my "ambitious" goal time and I couldn't stop grinning. The people cheering, the finish line approaching, and knowing I'd run an awesome race - it was a GREAT feeling!!

This was a fantastic race.  I'm already excited to do it again next year, and I've convinced some pals to join me!  See you in 2014, Baltimore!!

2 comments:

  1. I love your enthusiasm, Jess. You absolutely KILLED your ambitious goal...wtg! I love running in the Baltimore Running Festival too, though I've always participated in the team relay. Maybe next year I'll try the half there. I agree with you about it being hilly. There were some years where I found the first leg to feel really hilly, but this year it didn't seem that way at all. Love the pic of you running...what an athlete!

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