Before leaving home, I ate my usual double stack of Oatmeal at 0630. I took the Light Rail with no problems or crowds. I arrived in plenty of time to check a bag of my warmer clothes. I noticed that many runners choose to discard clothing/gloves along the way. The friend I went with got clothes from the goodwill, washed them, wore them, and then discarded them at the starting corral just before we starting running. I had a banana and mini bagel with peanut butter at 915. I was on the full side; looking back I did not need that many calories. I started about 9:54am, which felt like the middle of the afternoon. It was cool and windy.
Race (or should I say run as I did not “race”)
There was a plethora of runners. We were divided into 5 corrals, which started 3 minutes apart and this really spaced out the group. From the moment we started, I was able to move and stride without having to look for others. I wish other race directors would consider this option. We started in the last corral, as my friend (who I would stay with) was planning on run/walking the race. The first part is uphill, you don’t get a chance to really warm up. By the time we got to the last part of the early hills (about 1.7 miles in) she had to walk. At mile 3 we very smoothly joined with the marathoners. Having the water stops every 1.5 miles helped assuage my thirst. Since we were on the slow side this helped more than the usual 2-mile water stops. There were lots of volunteers and, at most stops; they were on both sides of the road. This lead to less congestion getting through the water stops. However, the only stop for gels and food came at mile 7. Realizing this ahead of time, I brought my own gel flask. They could improve the race by putting in more gel stops. The crowd support was great with lots of signs. The post race food area was congested at times, and you had to search for who had your medal type, marathon, half, or double, relay, etc. I used it as a long training aerobic run/walk and had fun with a friend. It doesn’t seem like a course for PRs because of the mild hills. It is definitely not flat. It was really fun running through the streets of Baltimore unimpeded.