I ran this race back in 2007, and I believe it was the first time I walked during a 5k since I was in High School (that was at a race in Philadelphia – I remember it well). My time in 2007 was 30:47. Possibly my worst 5k. Despite some unpleasant memories, I like the charity that runs the event: Brain Injury Association of Maryland.
I am also trying to slowly work my way back into some distance races without going overboard. This was my first race since hurting my hamstring in last year’s Hershey Half Marathon (which I never took the time to review).
Pre-Race: I received an email from the organization a few nights before the race reminding me of the 2 opportunities to pickup my race bib before the event. I figured that I would be fine if I just arrived early to the race, and I didn’t feel like making an extra trip.
Race Day: I was about an hour early for the race (which is my sweet spot). They had plenty of volunteers on the road directing you to the race site and to a parking place. I was there early enough that I parked at the base of the hill near the pickup point. I waited behind one person and I had my stuff. I then waited in my warm car, and drank coffee / water. I also found if I hop in the back I have plenty of room to stretch and stay out of the elements. It was definitely cold and windy so I waited as long as I could before heading up the hill to starting line.
The Race: The course starts on the road and goes out and back before heading into the park. The rest of the race is on the park paths. There are lots of volunteers showing you which way to go. It is not the flattest course I have ever been on. It tends to roll up and down from the start to finish. The hills aren’t steep but they are there. When you add the wind and cold it was not a day to set a personal record. I had 27:00 as my goal and crushed that finishing in 24:28.8. That was good enough to get me third place for my age group.
Post Race: I thought I had an outside chance of placing in my age category so I hung around a little longer than usual. They had some hot chocolate and coffee which was nice on such a blustery day. They also had the usual bagels, water, bananas and some pretzels. I was excited to have my name called and have my picture taken with my new mug.
Goodies: I still have my shirt from 2007 so I was hoping this one would be just as nice. It is the long sleeve green shirt to the right. I am a fan of the long sleeves. I have plenty of white shirts with “insert your race here” on the front. They are just different enough to stand out.
****Overall it is a well-managed race and I would give it 4 stars. Everything from parking to the awards went smoothly. The course is challenging but not the worst I have seen. Charm City Run was in charge of the event and they did a great job. I wish they were all this well-managed.
Website: http://www.biamd.org/ for The Brain Injury Association of Maryland