The first Saturday in June I ran the Baltimore 10 Miler for the first time. This race was the second out of three races in the King Crab Challenge series. The challenge includes the Frederick Half Marathon, which I ran in May, the Baltimore 10 Miler, and the Baltimore Half or Marathon in October. I was lured to this race by the awesome swag. They had a nice long-sleeved half-zip pullover (which it's too warm to wear now, but just wait until fall), and a penguin medal. Penguins in Baltimore, you ask? Why yes, in honor of the penguins at the Baltimore Zoo, the race staging area.
Rachael and I drove up to Baltimore early race day, as we had arranged to pick up our packets that morning (a nice perk for the 200 people who requested it). We got there in plenty of time to get our stuff and hang out in the car. It was early, but the air was already thick and warm. It was not going to be a comfortable race. We comforted ourselves by saying in jest that for us marathoners, it was "only" a 10 miler.
|Saw two of this Mexican hairless breed at the start (the dogs were just spectators)|
|Found Cathy before the start!|
|Also found Letty|
We knew that Sid was going to be at this race as he does all the Maryland Corrigan Sports events. I saw Letty and Nick on our way to pick up packets, and Letty said Sid was driving overnight and was cutting it close on time. Thank goodness Rachael and I saw him arrive before the start! I also saw Cathy, another running buddy I was looking for. There were a couple others I hoped to see as well.
Rachael and I started near the back of the corrals. We were planning to do run/walk and were not going to push too hard on such a muggy day. It was exciting to see that much of the first couple miles were downhill...but that meant that the end of the race would have a lot of uphill, and there were several other hills in between. I had been warned about the difficulty of this course, which was magnified by the weather. Still, we were in a good mood and ran (and walked) on.
|With Rachael before the start|
The morning got hotter, and the course remained hilly. Rachael and I did more walking up the hills, but took advantage of the downhills with running only. I had run some recent hilly half marathons and been training on hills, so I was actually feeling strong. I could have picked up my pace. But that was not the objective of the day. I wanted to run easy with Rachael so we could chat and enjoy 10 miles together before she moved to Seattle the following week. Late in the race there was a Dunkin Donuts aid station with Munchkins. It was perfectly placed so that we could eat our donut holes while walking up the next hill. This race really takes care of its runners!
|Took this horrible selfie with Sid & crew|
In our last mile there was a short loop. I saw Brittany, the new friend that I met at the Frederick Half. She was caught in the traffic and parking mess before the race, so I didn't see her sooner. We'd meet up at the beer tent later. Upon finishing, Rachael and I posed for a photo with a person in a crab suit. Then we claimed our awesome penguin medals and post-race food, including watermelon. There was a short walk to the tents to collect our half-zip pullovers. In that area I ran into Charli and also Keri, who had run both last year's Air Force Marathon and Baltimore Marathon with Sid and Scot.
|Our finish line photo with a happy crab|
|Finish pic with Rachael, me, Charli & Kc|
And then, on to the long line at the beer tent. Brittany joined us in line, we each took our allotted two beers from Harpoon. I had the UFO White and the UFO Big Squeeze grapefruit shandy. Both were refreshing on a hot day. The three of us sat in the grass among the trees and enjoyed some conversation while finishing our delicious beer. Then on our way out we checked in at the King Crab Challenge tent. Brittany and I were both registered for the challenge and it turns out we could have gone there for shorter beer lines (but Rachel couldn't have). The volunteers were trying to get rid of the remaining beer, so Brittany and I each took one (thank goodness Rachael was my driver).
|With Brittany and Rachael sporting our penguin medals|
This was a very well managed race with a lot of great perks. Yes, it's hot (it's in June); yes, it's hilly (it's in Baltimore), but I'd do it again. It was a fun morning with friends!