This past Sunday I woke up early, laced up my sneakers and walked over to Rash Field for the Baltimore Women’s Classic 5k. I wouldn’t classify myself as a “runner” but I actually enjoy running/jogging and it’s usually my preferred form of exercise.
I have participated in a couple of 5k fun runs/walks before, but this was my first time running a real race. My goal was not ambitious – just to finish and try to hit around the 36 min mark (12 minute miles). I met up with a friend who has run quite a few races at varying distances and as a first-timer it was nice to have someone more experienced around to make me feel more at ease. There was a huge crowd of women milling around when we arrived and we had a little trouble finding the starting point, but eventually navigated through the crowds to Key Highway and before long the race began.
The first mile was very slow as the crowd was still bunched up and it wasn’t until we turned off of Key Highway that the path freed up some. The second mile felt great and the third mile felt rough, but the whole experience was pretty amazing! All of the women who were running near me were so nice and supportive and I was impressed with the number of people who were along the course cheering us on and shouting encouragement. After the race, I collected my medal and a fresh rose at the finish line, snacked on some fresh watermelon and half a blueberry bagel and left feeling like I accomplished something before 9am. For those of you keeping score at home, my time at 36:47 which I know is slow, but made me really happy!
For others out there who are interested in running in Baltimore, there are a ton of great resources. Charm City Run has brick and mortar running/walking store locations in addition to hosting races, evening workouts and training groups. They are hosting a run to Fort McHenry on Saturday in honor of the 4th of July and encouraging participants to where red, white and blue! I just might have to go to that and I also have my eye on a couple of their upcoming races:
8/16 5k Trail Run at Boordy Vineyards – An evening race followed by wine tasting, cheese and live music? Sign me up! But really, I’m signing up – who is running this with me?
9/9 Ravens 5k – Another evening race around M&T Bank Stadium followed by a post-race tailgate. Sounds like a great way to kickoff football season.
Other upcoming races:
9/5 Night time Color Run – Jeanette and I did a daytime color run in 2013 and had a blast, I can only imagine it’s even crazier at night. If you don’t like getting dirty and covered in colorful powder this is not the race for you. It took a couple days to scrub off all of the color.
10/31 KidsPeace Trick-or-Trot 5k – A race at Oriole Park and around the Harbor on Halloween – costumes encouraged 🙂
There are also some great Baltimore running blogs. Even though I tap out at about 3 miles and will never be training for longer races, I like reading about running workouts along with diet and health tips:
Running Out of Wine – Lisa lives in Baltimore, has run a ton of races (including 5 marathons) and also loves wine (which is the part of the blog that I relate too).
Run Salt Run – Lauren aka Salt shares about running and mommy-dom in Baltimore.
There are also local running groups if you are looking for some extra motivation and other Baltimore locals to run with:
Federal Hill Runners – These guys meet every Monday at 6:30 at Federal Hill Fitness for a 4.7 mile run. It is free and they welcome people of all speeds though they encourage you to bring a similarly paced buddy if you’re slower than 9 min miles.
Baltimore Road Runners Club – This group has an annual membership fee ($22 for young(ish) peeps), races, training programs and social events like a summer picnic.
If you have other good running resources please share them in the comments!
Are you a runner? What is your favorite race you have run?