After start at Camden Yards; hilly marathon course now winds through historic Ft. McHenry
The Animal and I arrived at Camden Yards rough and semi-ready. That is, he was ready and I wasn't. Coming off his 3rd place at JC50K just two weeks ago, he was well rested and prepped for the distance. He went out with the 8 minute folks and held on in the heat and hills with a stout 3:38.
Following a couple of weeks of rain, and mild temperatures in the mid-Atlantic; the temperature today rose to 80 degrees. Nice too hang out in on a Fall Day, but warm for a marathon. Also, Baltimore is a bit hilly, and for Flatlanders from Delaware like the Animal & I that can create trouble.
Today was my 84th overall marathon finish, and third of the five Baltimore events. And in those three years i have seen three different routes. The course today was my favorite as we toured all the regular city sites, including the Inner Harbor, ethnic neighborhoods, and a loop through the cannons and incredible fortress at Ft. McHenry. Along the water the view was nice, and a brisk breeze kept the huge American Flag extended to it's mightiest position.
The city was also highly geared up for the Baltimore Running Festival. With over 10,000 participants, 3,300 starters in the marathon traversing city streets, logistics can be a nightmare. Not today, and i was way in the back. City police were at EVERY intersection, stopping traffic, and the majority were even smiling and enjoying the influx of runners through their communities. Aid stations were well-stocked, and well-staffed. The RD's have a First Class Event here, and no doubt will continue to enjoy rapid growth.
My day and run couldn't have gotten much better. I was incredibly slow, loved the Ft. McHenry loop so much that i did it twice, and met dozens of friendly and kind folks proud to show off their city. While many runners in the area still proclaim MCM king; i suggest if you haven't tried Baltimore, skip the DC race next year, and come have some fun in the hills. You may not go back!
Happy Trails & Keep Runnin'