Well I’ll start by saying this: the Baltimore 10-miler is a hell of a race. It’s the second race in the King Crab Challenge which I am participating in for the first time, and I really loved it for a number of reasons.
First, it is no secret that Baltimore and the BCPD have had a hell of a year. It’s been splattered all over the news, and mostly not for the good kind of publicity. If you begin typing “Baltimore City” into google, the first autopopulated responses are a bit dim. But on every street for 10 miles of the course there were BCPD officers smiling and cheering us on, holding up traffic (sometimes fielding less than positive response for doing so…which was “entertaining”), smiling and waving at runners and thanking us for running in their city. It didn’t take more than a mile or two for this to hit home. Now, I purposely do not watch the news… I purposely avoid giving media/news outlets any attention… They say “good morning” and then tell you why it’s not… But you have to be really really ignorant to not have some inkling of idea that they’ve had a stressful year. It wasn’t long into the race that my humanity began to feel for them and recognize what their presence means. I thanked every single officer I could throughout that run. I mean, I really thanked them as genuinely as possible for the few seconds I passed each officer. What an honor to have them as our cheering squad for 10 miles.
Not only were they our cheering squad, they were our post-race volunteers handing us medals, handing out swag and post-race refreshments and congratulating every runner that came through.
The race itself came with a lot of hype. Everyone who has ran it in the past gave us newbies sufficient head’s up on the challenge of the course. Fast first half, uphill to the end… Add the humid Maryland conditions that reared their head on race day and that was a winning combination of *blehhhhhh*…
To quote the ABC2 News: “Sweat. Heat. Humidity. Five thousand runners laced up for charity Saturday morning despite the thick humidity and periods of sweltering sun to finish the 9th annual Baltimore 10 Miler.” (here) I always welcome a challenge, and with my full marathon 2-weeks away, I needed the tough conditions to help me prep. The official race recap (see below) stated the start was 73F and 84% humidity. *UGHHHHH*
The course starts at the Baltimore zoo, winds through the city to Lake Montebello and then works itself back up Druid Hill to loop around and finish at the zoo again. Yea…so just take a look at that elevation map and try not to barf at the last mile and a half.
Post race “runner-village” was awesome as well… The finish line was jam packed with ICE cold towels (literally a lifesaver), watermelon and other refreshments, vendor tents (I scored an enormous bottle of free sunscreen) and a King Crab Challenge VIP tent with it’s own beer line. Harpoon Brewery covered the two beer tickets (TWO!!!) and their grapefruit shandy did not disappoint. The race premium is probably one of the nicest jackets I have ever gotten for completing a race, though there have been a lot of complaints that it runs pretty small (I haven’t worn mine yet, so here’s hoping it fits alright!)
Overall, amazing race, awesome experience, very well organized and I will be back to run it again!