2017 Baltimore 10 Miler Flamingo Fest

I ran my second Baltimore 10 Miler last Saturday. This involved a flight back to DC and a road trip to Baltimore, and it was totally worth it. Last year's Baltimore 10 Miler (blog post here) was the first year that they offered a medal. It was a penguin medal to represent an animal at the Maryland Zoo (the race starts and finishes near the zoo). This year runners were able to vote for the medal animal, and the flamingo was chosen. That pretty much meant that Magenta the Road Trip Flamingo had to do this race. And that meant that Scot and I would be there with her.

Hanging with flamingos after the race: Brittany, me, Sam, Jody and Scot

In the past I would drive from Arlington VA to Baltimore early the morning of any races I ran there. This year I didn't know exactly how my plans would shape up so I booked a hotel in downtown Baltimore with an Expedia credit. The Lord Baltimore Hotel is a historic hotel, so I think I got a bargain. I flew in Friday morning and Scot and I drove up from Alexandria when he got off work that day. We picked up our packets at the zoo and then took in an Orioles game that night.

Race morning showed the promise of good running weather. We took Magenta and some of her cousins to the race, but only Magenta would be "running"; the others hung out at bag check. I quickly found my friend Brittany at the start. She and her friend Sam joined me in wearing flamingo headbands. Scot escorted Magenta. We got to the start corral and the race began.

Read to go, rocking my flamingo headband

The course was the same as last year, meaning: hilly! We had some nice downhills in the first couple miles, which meant we'd be coming back up them later on this out & back course. I pretty much ran this race alone, doing my run/walk intervals. I felt good. I got a lot of comments on my flamingo headband and my coordinating pink and blue outfit. There was an aid station of people wearing flamingo hats. There were other runners getting into the spirit by wearing flamingo headbands and pink tutus. This was fun.

Around Mile 3 or so I found Sid, who should pretty much be the Corrigan Sports mascot. Sid does all their races, and they take great care of him. Every other person on the course knows Sid, if not personally, then by reputation. At 71, he has not stopped running races in honor of a fallen military hero. This day was no exception. Scot and Magenta were with Sid for most of the race.

Thanking Sid for running again, and offering my condolences on the recent loss of his mother

I found Sam on the mile-long loop around Lake Montebello. And then I found a huge group of young Marines out on the course showing us their support. And then after the lake we began the second half of the course, which included most of the uphill portion. It was still a nice day, and I was doing well, but some of those hills were long and I needed to walk a little more. I did not have a time goal. i just wanted to finish feeling well, because I had another race the next morning.

Lake Montebello
Selfie with Marines at Lake Montebello

I found Letty on the course after Mile 8. She also runs in honor of a fallen hero. I did a little work to catch up to her, but then she ran ahead of me at the Dunkin Donuts aid station. I'd been looking forward to the donut Munchkins all morning, and they come right before a big hill. My plan was to eat my two chocolate donut holes while walking up the hill. In the last two miles I walked a lot, but when the course leveled off in the last half mile, I picked up the pace. Even though I had a port-o-potty stop, photo ops, hills and a donut stop, I still wanted to finish under 2 hours, and I did.

Volunteers at the last aid station
Coming in for my finish...what am I looking at?

The finish experience at the Baltimore 10 Miler is amazing. In the chute you get a cold, wet washcloth, a great flamingo medal (animal will vary next year), water and Gatorade, Utz chips, and lots of fresh fruit: apples, orange wedges, bananas and watermelon. You really can't beat that! Then there's the finish festival where there are vendor and sponsor tents, Harpoon beer, and the finisher jackets. This year's jacket was a nice blue, lined windbreaker with a hood. Gotta say that the sizing for the women's jackets was a little off. Every woman I know, no matter what size, had trouble with the jacket being too tight around the hips but too big everywhere else. (Lucky me, I traded mine with Scot. His men's medium fit me better, and he was able to wear mine with no problem. It doesn't look like a ladies jacket, so no one will know.)

After I finished I made a beeline to the jacket tent, and then to the beer tent. Each runner could choose two beers from Harpoon IPA, Harpoon UFO White Ale, and Harpoon UFO Huckleberry. I choose both of the UFO beers, but wasn't really in love with the huckleberry version. Still, I like to try new beers, so I was happy. Soon after I got settled in the grass with my beer, Jody found me. She'd had a good race and finished before me but was still in the beer line when I texted her. After a bit we were joined by Brittany and Sam. Everyone had a good race.

With Sam and Brittany, our medals and goofy flamingo headbands

We hung out for a while, getting some photos. Finally, Sid and Scot finished. Scot got the flamingo cousins out of bag check and we had fun with flamingo and medal photography. Then we walked over to the VIP tent to say goodbye to Sid.

Fun with flamingos: Magenta on far right and clockwise: Verde, Mallet and Fuchsia 

I really can't say enough about this race. I don't normally travel so far for a 10 miler, but this is a good one. In spite of it being a hilly race and usually hot (last year was oppressive), it's done so well, and is fun. Corrigan Sports puts on an awesome event, and you can't go wrong with any of their other races (Baltimore Marathon/Half, Frederick Half, Delaware Marathon/Half). If you like animals, running, and a fun party, run the Baltimore 10 Miler next year.

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    1. Magenta is impressed (but not terribly surprised) that you know this. She usually travels solo, so it was fun for her to hang out with her flamboyance for once.

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