I ran my 5th Baltimore Half Marathon on Saturday, October 15th! And, as Facebook reminded me, exactly 5 years from my first one! I love love love the Baltimore Half Marathon. Yes, I know that the Baltimore Running Festival is known for its hilly courses. And the Baltimore has a certain urban reputation. And I love this race and this course. I know the course well enough now that I know when to push through tiredness, when the hill is longer than you expect, what to look for from the crowd at various places. I love that it’s an out-of-town race for me, in that I don’t run this city every day or week, but close enough that I can sleep in my own bed the night before.
The half marathon has a late start, since the courses join for the final 10 miles of the marathon. This means there are plenty of crowds still cheering and people around you if you’re running the full marathon. So I sleep until normal Saturday time, drive from northern VA to Baltimore, park and meet up with friends before the race starts.
Garmin is still on the fritz, so I just have my phone tracker- not as accurate. My first 2 miles were at 9:40 m/m- I made the mistake of starting with a lightweight long sleeve and I got hot by mile 2 and slowed down to take it off. I was feeling good- perfect weather for race day! I started comfortably. Miles 3-4 were at 9:32 m/m. I enjoy these miles- I do! The half joins the marathon, there’s a park, and it’s through part of the “rougher” part of town, where the kids who come out to cheer are the cutest.
Miles 5-6 were at 10:15 m/m. Slowed down a bit, and a little before mile 6, a sharp pain started in my left hip again. So much earlier than usual! The cure for the stabby pain is to walk for 30 seconds to a minute. Hence, it all slows down.
Miles 7-8 is around the lake. Walk break! The average pace was 11:31 m/m. Miles 9-10 have some rolling hills, and then the big hill. Every year, I tell people about the big hill, and then look forward to it every time. The salsa dance music, the tiger couple dancing to “Eye of the Tiger”… pushes me to keep running up that hill every year. Average pace- 11:05 m/m.
Miles 11-12- 10:28 m/m pace. It’s rolling hills at this point of the race, with some lovely downhill sections. And even though I did have to walk parts, I knew that the end was soon.
Mile 13 is all downhill. Literally. You can see the stadiums (where the finish line is) parallel to your eyes around the mile mark. Wheeeeee- downhill! pace was 9:18 for 13.57 miles (according to my phone tracker).
Then it was time to get some snacks and meet up with my girls. I suggested they run the relay (and they did!) Even though we didn’t run together, I totally enjoyed seeing them at the end 🙂
Here are my 5 (FIVE) Baltimore half marathon medals, in order from right to left, with the Maryland Double (Frederick and B’more halfs) medal in the middle.
The Baltimore Running Festival always gets a thumbs up from me. Under Armour does the shirts and they are so soft, they are my go-to racing shirts. Hope to see you there next year!
If you ran B’more, how was your race day?