The Baltimore Marathon is the biggest running event in Baltimore, Maryland that hosts four different races; the 5K run, half marathon, full marathon, and team marathon relay. You can also participate in the BaltiMORON-a-thon, which is the 5K and half marathon on the same day. This running event is also referred to as the Baltimore Running Festival. It is a fast growing marathon in the United States and is a qualifier for some of the bigger marathons, like the Boston Marathon. So why am I writing a blog about the Baltimore Running Festival?
As a team event, many of us at Hangry Mates decided to participate in this years Baltimore Running Festival. Some of us ran the 5K and others ran the half marathon, but there was one member that decided to do the BaltiMORON-a-thon. For some of us this was our first race ever and first half marathon. This was my first race ever and I decided to run the 5K the day before the race. I would not recommend running the half marathon and not even the 5K without some training. Since this was a team event we decided to all get matching Hangry Mates shirts.
Health and Fitness Expo
There were some members of the team that went to the Health and Fitness Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center. The Expo was open on Thursday and Friday before the event and is open to everyone. Runners are required to attend because it is where the racing packets with race shirts and race bibs are picked up. The Expo is a fun event with a bunch of vendors selling apparel, accessories, shoes, and even health care products. It is fun for anyone to check it out. You can also take a photo with the Baltimore Marathon background and some props.
The 5K race packet included a half sleeve race shirt, race bib, and safety pins to pin your bib to the shirt. The half marathon race packet included a long sleeve race shirt, race bib, safety pins, and a skincare product.
Leading Up to the Race
I had no idea what to expect since this was my first race ever. I had to wake up early in the morning to get to downtown Baltimore. We wanted to get there early enough to park and meet up with the rest of our team. It was a chilly Saturday morning, so I made sure to bundle up. When we got there I started to get nervous because it was now hitting me that I would be actually running this 5K race. I made sure to eat a banana and some Gatorade Energy Chews before the race hoping it would energize me.
The 5K Run
Once we all met up and took our 5K team picture we went over towards the starting area and stood in the second to last start groupings. It was amazing to see all the people lined up for this event, waiting there on a chilly Saturday morning with a great view of the Baltimore Inner Harbor. The announcer signaled the start of the race and we walked slowly up to the starting line waiting for our starting group to begin. Our team stuck together with a steady pace running along Key Highway enjoying the view of the Harbor. We circled back around on Key Highway and started back towards Light Street at around the 1.5 mile mark. It wasn’t easy for me to run without stopping but knowing we were running as a team and the motivation it gave me helped me through it.
As we got back to Light Street I know the end was near. Some of us decided to pick up the pace to finish out this race strong. When I saw the final turn I used all the energy I had to sprint towards the finish, so that I could finish. It felt great to finish, especially finishing with my friends. It felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and was relieving when I went across that line. After I crossed that line I was out of breath and tired, but once I caught my breath I felt great. We walked down towards the Harbor where they were giving out the medals, fruits, and snacks. The feeling of completing my first race was amazing.
After the Race
Once we were finally finished with the race and with the snacks, we met up with the half marathon team to wish them luck. We all took a group photo and then watched them start their racing event.
Once we saw them take off, we were all hungry; so, we decided to grab some food from some of the vendors that were setup around the Inner Harbor. But before we got food, we decided to grab one of the cold beers we earned for finishing our race. One of the reasons I agreed last minute to run, two free beers for all runners! After getting my beer from one of the beer gardens that were setup, I decided to get a rice bowl with gyro meat from a local place called Cava Mezze.
With the time that has passed after running, my body started to feel stiff and sore. One of the things I was scared of, just hoping I wouldn’t be so sore where I couldn't help my wife with the kids. It turned out my soreness didn’t get too bad, but it did last a couple of days.
I am grateful for the opportunity to take part in the Baltimore Running Festival as my first race, but more grateful to help out the community with my friends. The race allows you to fully experience our city, Baltimore. The support for the runners in the community is amazing and something worth experiencing!
You can watch our experience of the event from the 2019 Baltimore Running Festival video we have uploaded on our YouTube channel. The link is below if you want to check it out.