I’ve had more than enough time to let my race experience at the Baltimore 10-Miler sink in. All-in-all it was a great morning and I’d highly recommend the race to anyone looking for a challenging urban course look no further than this event.
Let me break down all the positives of the event and look at its challenges. I think “Challenges” is a great way to look at things because there really aren’t any negatives with this race in my opinion. There are some things that you might want to consider if you’re looking for a 10-miler to do. You’ll also notice some of positives are also challenges. It really all depends on how you look at them.
- Great swag! The medal was awesome and adorable with the cute little penguin runners on it. The finisher’s premium was this great half zip. It’s a really nice material and the embroidery on the sleeve and front is really nice. I love the color too!
- The hilly course was great! I train where you can’t avoid hills so I usually just power through them on race day as best I can. There were several in this race, including a long challenging one at mile 9.
- The weather! It’s June in the mid-Atlantic and that can mean just about anything when it comes to the weather forecast. You could get sunny and 50 or 85 and thunderstorms. This year, it was somewhere in the middle. It’s a gamble, but nothing that should make you shy away from the race.
- The post-race party is always a big hit. There is a live band, a wide variety of food and even a place to buy more Baltimore running gear.
- The volunteers were outstanding! Everyone from the police along the course and at the finish to the water/aid station volunteers had smiles on their faces. They were loud and proud and happy to be out there with all the runners.
- Post-race food for runners immediately following the race was exactly what I would love to see offered at all races. There were numerous tables of watermelon, plus bananas and orange slices. There were also chips, granola bars and much more. I personally enjoyed two large slices of watermelon before I left the coral.
- The urban setting. I haven’t run a ton of urban races so this was a nice change of scenery for me. The loop around Lake Montebello was great and it was neat seeing Baltimore residents out and about using the bike/walking path and the wide variety of exercise equipment along the way.
- The race benefits a lot of great causes and organizations, including the Maryland Zoo, Athletes Serving Athletes, Back on my Feet, Team Diabetes and Signal 13. If you want to run for a cause you definitely can.
- The course is challenging! While that’s really a positive for me, it can be tough for runners not used to hills. Some of the hills are steep, some are long, and some are both. Mile 9 is one a lot of people talked about. I know it was making me want to walk, but I pushed through it simply because I knew I’d get to the finish faster if I kept running
- Another challenge the course has is it’s not always the prettiest along the way. It’s a very urban course and while some areas are pretty nice, others were not. There were also some angry drivers stuck in traffic along the way, but us runners just smiled, kept running and let the police handle them.
- The weather was a challenge for me personally. Despite the sun not being out, which turned out to be a big plus, the temperature was high and the humidity was higher. I might have grown up in that weather, but I’m no longer used to it. We have our humid days in central PA, but it’s not something we really get used to even through a long summer. The weather pushed my plans to PR aside.
- There wasn’t a lot of crowd support. The volunteers and police more than made up for this, but it would’ve been nice. While I saw some people out along the course in front of their homes, most weren’t cheering and the sidewalks and porches otherwise were empty.
Overall, I really enjoyed the morning. I even traveled to this race alone, but it wasn’t a big deal. I had people tracking me along the way and runners are a pretty fun and inclusive group. I finished with a 1:24:56, which wasn’t too far off my PR. I’d definitely like to see my time improve in future 10-milers.
Keep this one in mind in the future if you’re looking for a race that’s a bit more challenging than a 10k but not quite a half marathon. This was a great summer race distance, especially after coming off my Maine Coast Challenge and training season. I’ll be keeping this one on my list for a repeat down the road.
Have you ever run a fun 10-miler? Which one?