Last Saturday, the angry city-goers stuck in a half-day road block must have had a terrible day.
But for the 17,000 participants of the Baltimore Running Festival and the rest of the Baltimore community that took the time to be involved, I imagine that the experience couldn’t have been any more rewarding.
At the end of Summer before coming to Hopkins (when you know, everyone’s afraid of leaving their tight-knit high school friends), one of my good friends (currently at Brown University) and I foolishly decided to sign up for the half-marathon in hopes of forcing us to: 1. Visit each other, and 2. EXERCISE. So, we pledged to exercise 6-days a week, so that we could absolutely destroy the half-marathon at the end of October.
Fast-forward to the week before the marathon. Our conversation went a little something like this:
Me: “Hey, have you been exercising?”
Friend: “That’s hilarious.”
And that’s when we knew we were extremely screwed for what we signed up for. Although both of us did 4 years of cross country and track & field together in high school, both of us hadn’t run since the end of senior year.
Running the actual half-marathon wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be (it was still horribly painful), and because we ran at a reasonably constant pace, we basically jogged all 13.1 miles of it. The 2 hour run gave us time to catch-up and also enjoy the surprising scenery of nature landscapes, contrasting Baltimore neighborhoods, and the beautiful inner harbor. Along the way, community members from all over cheered us on with hilarious posters and encouraging cheers.
Here’s a small picture diary of the experience!
Immediately after the race, we were led to a finisher area that had tents filled with fruits and chips for post-race recovery. That part of the half-marathon experience is a blur, but I still remember wolfing down 6 or 7 bags of chips while trying to wobble around on my numb legs.
There’s something about the Baltimore Running Festival that struck me as heartening. Besides the fact that my friend and I conquered 13.1 miles we thought we couldn’t, running with the Baltimore community and seeing all the runners/supporters throughout the entire city was just amazing. I wish I could find a better word to describe the experience, but it was just that.
Here’s to next year’s race!