Thursday, October 23, 2014

Baltimore Half Marathon Race Recap

We woke up at 6:50 race morning to get ready and head to the start line. Our race didn't start until 8:45, but we weren't sure how crazy it would be to cross the marathon course (they started at 7 am) to get to our starting line so we allowed a lot of extra time. We got to our start area in time to see the first male marathoner run by, so we stood and cheered the marathoners on for quite awhile. We then headed to the port a pot line which was ridiculously long and there were probably only 7 or 8 pots. We stood there for maybe 3 minutes then decided it would be faster to go back to our hotel, so that's what we did.
Pre-Race Pictures

Upon returning, 15 minutes before the start we got into our starting waves which we told would be enforced (they were not). We were so far back from the start line that we couldn't hear any announcements and had no idea when we were starting until people just started slowly walking forward. It was really strange.

This course was tough and definitely kicked my butt! Since I had been sick and didn't want to over exert myself I wanted to treat this as a nice, easy training run. I printed a pace band for 2:29 finish time and tried to stick to that. I ended up finishing in 2:26:44 so I was happy with that.

Miles 1-7: Hills on hills on hills is the main thing I remember about this part of the race. The first three miles of the race you run with only half marathoners, then after that the full and half marathon courses combine and you run the last 10 miles together. This was a pretty cool aspect of the race. At the beginning of mile 6 there was a great out and back stretch where there was a lot of cheering on the runner's on the opposite side. The "out: portion was downhill and the "back" portion was uphill, so you could mentally prepare yourself for what was coming.  I didn't listen to music for the first six miles because the crowds were so great. I wanted to take it all in and enjoy every minute of it. Even when I started to listen to music I only had one headphone in so I could continue to interact with the crowds.

Mile 7-8: This section was around Lake Montebello which was totally flat. It was a much needed recovery period for my legs.

The lake was huge! That helicopter just hovered over the middle of the lake.

Miles 8-10: Somewhere in this stretch of the course we entered this adorable neighborhood that seemed to be full of hippies (don't take that the wrong way, it was awesome!). There was a tent set up with a person playing acoustic guitar, another drumming and a lot of singing. There was a sign on the tent with the name of the community/neighborhood on it and for the life of me I can't remember what it said.  There were also the cutest kids handing out dixie cups with gummy bears in them.

Mile 10-Finish: I decided to abandon my run-walk intervals and just jog at a steady pace for the last 5K of the race, it worked out pretty well. A lot of the last 3 miles of the race was downhill or flat. At about mile 12 we hit the part of Eutaw Street that you can drive on. I could see Camden Yards in the distance which meant the finish was just beyond the stadium.

Not sure where this bridge was, but it was pretty cool

Camden Yards in the distance

Huge crowds outside the stadium

Cal Ripken Jr.was my favorite baseball player growing up

Running down Eutaw Street

Other Highlights: There was a tent set-up with "Good Morning Baltimore" from the musical Hairspray playing and a few women passing out gummy worms and bears. I saw at least 3 groups of random people that had set-up beer stations. One was offering shots of Natty Boh. There were countless signs with encouragement and humor. The two most memorable were, "Too legit to quit" and "Honey, now that training is over can we have sex on Friday nights?" There were so many kids out cheering and I tried to high-five as many as I could, because their faces would just light up after each high-five.

Post-Race: Upon crossing the finish you walked a short ways towards M&T Bank Stadium where you received a bottle of water and your medal. Then in the runner's only village they had post-race pictures and four tents with lots of snacks (bananas, oranges, chips and pretzels, fruit cups, protein and granola bars, gatorade, etc.). We then headed over to the Celebration Village. We basically got some free Naked Juice and our MD Double Medals and then headed back to our hotel so we could shower and check-out before 1:30. The only thing I can gripe about is that we don't have both of our medals in the professional finisher pictures because you couldn't go back into the runner's only area once you left. 

One of the food tents


Post-Race picture at the Inner Harbor

Other than the tough course this was an awesome race! 

That's all for now!


  1. Sounds like a great race with some funny signs. When I saw that "8" at first I thought it was a mile marker! And you killed your time goal! Great job!

  2. What a great race. It looked like the perfect weather day and your only complaint was lack of porta potties oh and not getting the photo wi both medals. I'm still waiting for my World Rocker and Rock Encore medals from Rock n Roll since we completed their challenge this year.