If you have not done the St. Pat's Parade Day 5k in downtown Baltimore, you are missing a GREAT exerience. The pre-race preparations include registering and getting your shirt and chip from the Downtown Athletic Club, then either parking there or taking your car down to the race finish near Port Discovery. I usually opt for the second option and then get a nice warm-up going back to the Washington Monument area in the Mount Vernon area of Balto. At that time of the early afternoon, street parking is relatively easy. The race starts at 1:15pm but race registration closes about 12:30, so don't wait until the last moment to register.
One of the reasons this race has almost 3000 runners is that two roundtrip tickets to Ireland or $500 are given away, but you must be present to win, so the crowds stays until that drawing.
The post-race party at Market Place and Water Streets, which includes LOTs of suds, and other fare, includes live music.
The race start just below Charles and Franklin Streets and proceeds south along the parade route on Charles to Conway Street. This first 3/4mile is ALL downhill and you will likelly set a PR for that portion (my 1st mile time was 6.43) The course then goes East on Conway to Light Street, South to Key Highway to a turn around point near Jackson Street. My 2nd mile time slowed to 7:28.
The return on Key Highway to North on Light Street was VERY windy until we got to Pratt Street to Market Place where the wind was again at our back. The race finish on Market Place between Pratt and Lombard Streets at Power Plant Live. There usually is no 3mile make, so the 1.1mile time was 8:31.