Tuesday, October 30, 2012

2012 Baltimore Running Festival

Overall the 2012 Baltimore Running Festival was pretty amazing! Huge success in my book! They've put this event on for several years and have worked out most of the kinks. I will take you through our experience:

Expo! The expo was held at the Raven's Stadium and was very well organized. We got there around lunchtime and there was a smooth flow of traffic. There were tons of freebies and vendors and we hardly had to wait in line to get our shirts. The race shirts were purple this year for the half-marathon. They are tech material Underarmour t-shirts and super lightweight. They had a women's cut (thank you AU!) that is pretty flattering with a wider neckline. I have since run in it a couple of times and it's overall pretty swanky.

outside the expo (near the finish line)

we got skills
Joel and I took it easy the rest of the day and found an Italian place in walking distance to carb load the night before the race. I had spinach gnocchi. So good!

Saturday! Race day!! I woke up ready to run! I get a tad excited on race day..esp if I have friends running with me! I woke Joel up with excitement (he wasn't quite as excited as I was) and we got ready to race! It was CHILLY out but there were no clouds. Thank goodness for drop-bags. We bundled up for the walk down, dropped our bags, and headed to the start line. I have to give them credit, the line for the drop bags was pretty efficient. The line was really long by the time we were done but I hear it moved quickly. And there were tons of porta potties. You can tell 2012 wasn't their first rodeo.

We got to the start of the half (it had it's own location due to the # of runners) and this is where my only complaint comes in to play. Coming from the drop-bag area (near finish line), we had to cross over the full marathoner's course. Our start was their halfway point, but we were separated for 3 miles and then converged until the finish. The marathoners started at 8am and we started at 9:45am. So many of the runners were coming through while we weaved through them to get to our start line. Thousands of half runners had to cut off the full runners. I would not have been pleased as a full runner. At any rate, that is my only complaint. 

We started in the 2nd wave and did lots of weaving in the beginning. After 3ish miles, the weaving was at a minimum but there were still plenty of people. The roads were wide with plenty of room to get around. The support on the race was serious! Water stops pretty much every mile after the first 2 or 3. They were well prepared! I somehow missed the powerbar station but had taken GU anyways...tends to treat me better.

The route was surprisingly hilly - long and gradual hills, but the community support was awesome! There were rarely times when people weren't on the sidelines cheering us on! Hands down, my favorite section of the race was through the hood. People were banging pots and pans together cheering us on! They showed some runner love in any way they could! 

I hit a bit of a wall around mile 7, slammed my GU and was back at it around mile 9. Joel was amazing and stayed with me the whole time. We ran his first half together...awwww. I was going to suggest holding hands when we crossed the finish line, but I was far too focused on my PR. Was not going to waste 10 seconds trying to get our hands together.

We pushed hard the last 1.5 miles and smashed my old time! Poor Joel had knee problems (which is why he slummed it to run with me) and suffered through the last few miles. But he hung in there and finished!! 

PR baby! Those are Joel's legs behind me

The after party was pretty well organized other than the food line. We somehow ended up waiting almost an hour to get food. I'm not really sure how that happened. We got 2 beer tickets and food and space blankets. There were food vendors and a band playing for entertainment afterwards. The metals were pretty great too! They were purple with Maryland crabs!


We found Lisa not long after we finished and partied it up with her for a while. This was her first half marathon and she rocked it!! All in all, I had an awesome experience and would gladly do this run again.

Joel, me, and Lisa! 
On a side note, my heart goes out to the NYC runners and coordinators for this weekend! Good luck to all!

My stats:
DistanceHALF MAR
Clock Time2:01:45
Chip Time1:54:36
Overall Place2124 / 10230
Gender Place744 / 5937
Division Place204 / 1434
Age Grade57.4%
5 8M0:51:35
6 9M1:01:25

1 comment:

  1. Great finishing time!!!! It looks like everyone that ran this race had fun from what I read in the recaps.