Saturday, October 25, 2014

Baltimore Runinng Festival 5k

On Saturday, October 18 I ran the Baltimore Running Festival 5k. In 2010 I ran the Marathon Relay with friends and had a great time. I had been wanting to get back to the race, but the last few years we had conflicts. But this year? Signed up!

It started Thursday night at packet pick-up. We headed to Baltimore right after work to grab my bib and shirt. We arrived at the convention center and it was a big hectic. We entered the convention center from the front and there were no signs for registration. We headed upstairs and found where we needed to go. And it was crowded! There were two rows of registration tables facing each other with only about 20 feet between them. I got my bib and pins, then headed downstairs for my shirt. We went down the stairs and into the expo area and wow, the amount of space just opened up! This is where registration should have been. Got my clear plastic bag and t-shirt, then moved into the race swag area.

And became instantly jealous of those running the half and full! The BRF did a fantastic job of making available cool shirts/tech tees/pants/jackets for those two races. For those running the relay or the 5k {both of which sold out, unlike the marathon and half marathon} there were no generic options. I was disappointed. With 4,500 people in the 5k I'll bet a few generic BRF with a crab would have sold.

We wandered the expo for a little bit. It was a nice one with lots of options. Hubby picked up a pair of running sunglasses that he needed. Other than that, it was nice to wander around. I did stop off at the J&A Racing table and pick up my free 13.1 sticker, a free Shamrock koozie, and Shamrock magnet {I'll be running the 2015 Shamrock 8k and half marathon}. Then it was off to dinner and home.

Friday, we headed back to Baltimore to stay overnight. Because of the ALCS and the Orioles being involved, the BRF moved all races back an hour, so we stayed overnight. The 5k was moved to 7:20 a.m. I think that's the earliest 5k I've ever run! LOL! We arrived at the start area and milled around.
It was a tad chilly and dark, but not bad. Ravens stadium looked pretty cool with the purple lights going around the top. But, it was a little chaotic with so many people and three races all waiting to get going.

Eventually they got the marathon and relay off and invited the 5k runners to the starting corral. We waited for what seemed like forever, but finally did get started with the same fanfare as the marathon/relay runners.

The thing I remember most about the first part of this race was the quarter mile uphill start! It was insane! And that is how the race went the whole time - uphill, straighten out a little, uphill, downhill, oh look more uphill... Until we reached the turn around point, then it was basically all downhill.

As I was coming back, I could see the clock tower outside Camden Yards and got excited. Yea! It's almost over. Until the clock tower never seemed to get any closer. LOL! It was a much further away than it seemed.

Finally, I reached Camden Yards {and the clock tower}. As I started through the statue area out front, I saw hubby! I missed him on the way out so it was good to see him at the finish. I ran down Eutaw Street {a place I have walked many a time during O's games} and headed to the finish line...which seemed a bit further away than I would have thought!

Crossed the line and checked my watch for finish time. Am I alone in this? My goal was to finish faster than my last 5k and woot! I managed that by over a minute! It's not my fastest time by far, but it's an improvement.

It took a bit to get through the finisher's area and find hubby, but we managed. We walked around the village and I tried to get my free adult beverage, but apparently there were tickets and I never received one {well, I should have had two}. I was slightly annoyed by this. I have no idea where people got these because when I checked my bag when I got home, I didn't have them in my bag either.

We headed out shortly after this and grabbed breakfast. That course was hilly and I was hungry!
Enjoyed breakfast at one of my fav places in Baltimore - The B&O Brassiere. After breakfast, it was back to the hotel to shower, then home. We had plans for later in the day and I had to prep for my 10k on Sunday.

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