I ran this in 2012 and looked forward to running it again this year. Last year I enjoyed the “Spirit of the Matzoh” and hoped to rekindle that feeling this year. It was my first real 5k since crashing and burning during the Run For You Lives 5k last October. I figured if I ran anything under 29 minutes would be a good day.
Race Day: I arrived early (as usual) and had plenty of time to meander to the registration/starting line. (If you haven’t been to this race before, the registration and starting line is located at the top of the hill. The Howard County Wellness Day is at the bottom of the hill.) Just like last year, the registration was friendly and fast. They had a $10 raffle for an iPad just like last year. One thing that was different from last year was the addition of a violin and guitar player playing live before the race. It was an interesting change from the usual Rocky Soundtrack playing in the background.
The Race: The course was the same one as last year; a winding course through Centennial Park in Columbia, MD. I guess I had mentally blocked out the hills on this course. I went out a little fast and my first mile was 7 something which is NOT my pace. I definitely paid for that first mile the rest of the way, getting slower and slower as time went on. I had to mentally battle to not just give up and walk. Even the end of the race is a hill before flattening out to the finish. My favorite part of this race is how they call your bib number ahead to the finish line so you can hear your name being announced as you come up the final hill to the finish line. The announced me in 28:03, slower than last year, but I’ll take it.
Post Race: They had all the usuals at the finish line: water, fruit and bagels. I think that is my minimum requirement to keep me happy after the race. They continued the violin and guitar playing before starting the awards and the iPad raffle. Just like last year, everyone was very friendly. I would have to vote this the overall friendliest race I have run.
Goodies: The goodies were similar to last year. You get the always fabulous Matzohball shirt, a coupon for free Matzohball soup from The Suburban House Deli in Pikesville, a coupon for a Rita’s Italian Ice, and free raffle tickets to the Howard County Wellness Day (located in the same park).
I still love this race. I would still give it 5 stars. I think I need to give a “two thumbs up” to the people at Charm City Run that have put this race on. Everything involved in the race has been seemless the last 2 years. Nice work. I wish every race had your dedicated and friendly staff. Thanks for a great experience. I’ll be back.
For more information: www.matzohballrun.com/