Monday, June 26, 2017

Baltimore 10 Miler

The Baltimore 10 Mile is the second event in my King Crab Challenge series for 2017.  The event takes place in early June which is right on the cusp of when you might be able to expect a very hot and humid day, or a cooler more mild day.  Thankfully, this year, we had the latter.  It was warm, but not unbearable.  Certainly not what I experienced back in 2015.

The event is well run and managed.  The location makes getting to the event fairly easy with clear directions and parking information provided in the race guides.  The race starts in Druid Hill Park right near the Baltimore Zoo.  In fact, depending on where you park you may be able to walk by the Rawlings Conservatory which is very beautiful.

Rawlings Conservatory

The starting line is on East Drive which heads East out of the park past Druid Lake and over Route 83.  The first mile is basically down hill, so it is easy to get started out of the gate too quick.  After you cross Route 83 it is a half mile uphill climb on Wyman Park Drive.   As you pass through the South West corner of Johns Hopkins University you turn right onto North Howard Street which is a great downhill sprint before turning left onto 28th Street.

Starting Line

The course remains fairly flat for the next several miles as you work your way down 28th Street and then turn left onto Greenmount Ave.  Around mile 2.6 you make a right onto East 33rd Street which contains a few up and downs before heading slightly downhill as you make your way counter clockwise around Lake Montebello.  The trip around the lake is flat, great to watch go by and takes just under a 1.5 mile.  While there are water stops about every 2 miles on the course, the one I tend to look forward to the most is on the far side of the lake.  During the Baltimore Half/Full Marathon in October they usually have chips or other salty snacks which taste amazing at that point on the Full Marathon course, but alas for the 10 Miler they only have Gu.

Baltimore 10 Miler Strava Map

The course is largely an out and back, but there are a few differences on the return trip.  On of those is a quick detour on 542 as you come back East on East 33rd Street.  After this the return is the same until you get back into the park.  There is a good 1 mile climb that starts around mile 8.7.  Be sure to save something is reserve to maintain your pace.  Overall the total elevation gain according to Strava is about 505 feet.

Baltimore 10 Miler Strava Elevation Map

Just as you think you are almost back to the start/finish line you have to make one final detour to the right on Red Rd.  This will take you counter clockwise around St. Paul's Cemetery and then finally back around to the finish line.

Baltimore 10 Miler Finishers Medal

One of the most refreshing after run snacks they provide here as a tradition is sliced watermelon.  That along with the cool towel they hand you is a very quick way to get cooled back down.  There is plenty of Gatorade, snack bars, chips and water at the finish line.  The runners village is full of great vendors, massage tents, beer, food, live music, VIP areas and this year, for the first time, the King Crab Challenge tent.

The King Crab Tent was a private place for all King Crab runners (denoted by our bib numbers) to hang out after the race with our own stash of bananas, snack bars, chips, water and beer.  This was a nice place to relax while I waited for my wife to finish her run.

When I returned to the finish line to watch my wife cross the line, I was disappointed to see that they had started to run out of many of the post race snacks.  The only thing left when she finished was a few oranges, watermelon and snack bars.  The chips and bananas as well as the cold towels were all gone.

This event has a very liberal finishing time requirement which makes it an amazing event for runners trying out a new distance.  It is unfortunate that this effort can't be celebrated with the same variety of snacks and perks as I had when I finished the race.   Hopefully they noticed this and will attempt to correct it for next years event.

This race isn't as large or as "loud" as the Baltimore Running festival in October, but it is a great event.  It is a well run event (except for the one comment above).  It is well staffed with amazing volunteers and there was plenty of support on the course with water stops and spectators.  For a town as large as Baltimore, this event has a nice small town feel.

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