The Baltimore Running Festival – 10 years and going strong!
Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Baltimore Running Festival this year; enjoy the Marathon, Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay, 5K, or Kids’ Fun Run on Saturday, October 16, 2010!
Posted Wednesday, 22 September, 2010
The race organizers of the Baltimore Running Festival like to tell the story of how they were told it was a bad idea, it would never work and it would never last. But here we are 10 years later and the Baltimore Running Festival is not only going strong, it continues to grow and has perfected a formula that is being used to create other successful events around the USA.
The five races that make up the running festival are all flourishing. The anchor event is the now famous and classic Under Armour Baltimore Marathon. The marathon is expected to sell out at 5,000 runners. The popular CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Half-Marathon will be capped at 10,000 participants. The Legg Mason Team Relay is expected to add another 4,000 happy runners, and the United Way 5K will have 3,500 and the Kids’ Fun Run will bring the total to close to 25,000 participants in this well-supported rockin’ 10th anniversary party.
As with most major city events, registration for his year’s Baltimore Running Festival is trending up – so you had better sign up soon and not miss out on all the 10th anniversary fun!
Sticking with a formula that works!
What’s new with the 10th anniversary of the Baltimore Running Festival? You can be sure they won’t be changing the race formula that has made this event so successful and popular over the years. What there will be are special prizes and giveaways to commemorate the 10th running of this classic. There will be more entertainment on the course and there will be an expanded ‘Celebration Village’ at the finish line, (which is code for ‘Big Party’)!
There will be a special 10th anniversary edition medal. Those runners who have run all 10 events – and there are around 50 of them expected – will be recognized as well. The city will be sponsoring a free 10th anniversary concert at the Inner Harbor on Friday night to help kick off the Running Festival.
The formula that works is a combination of world-class race support, an excellent venue, and an organization that knows what it is doing. This is an organization that has listened to participants over the years and worked to refine the event to make it continuously more runner-friendly and convenient. Yes, they work to make it right. They clear all the obstacles and create an event where you, the runner, can enjoy an unforgettable time.
“I would like to say thanks to the City of Baltimore. I've been running since 1985, and I've been running these big races since 1987. The Baltimore Marathon was great, and yes, I'll do it again.” J. D. from Lindenhurst, New York
Each race is capped at a designated number of entrants. The field limits on all races are designed to balance the field and prevent crowding. You will find ample support and Gatorade/Water Stations on the course. The organizers know that you need fluids and fuel, especially on warmer days, and they have you covered. There is also fruit and various snacks on the course. If you need someone to match your strides there are pace groups to help you reach your goals.
The inspirational finish in Camden Yards (home of the MLB Baltimore Orioles) is one of the perennial favorites of participants. The marshalling and pre-race at M&T Bank Stadium is a winner too.
The marathon is a Boston qualifying race. Boston officials have set October 18th as the open date for Boston Marathon applications – so a BQ at Baltimore will count this year no matter what.
“There was great police, fire department and volunteer support along the way too. Spent the weekend in Baltimore with the family and we really enjoyed our visit to what we found to be a very friendly city. We'll do this again next year.” P. C. from Media, Pennsylvania.
The city of Baltimore is a wonderful host city for this event. It is small enough to get around in but has all the amenities of a larger city. Baltimore is full of history and the Inner Harbor is scenic a tourist venue. There is easy access from multiple major airports, Interstate 95 and the east coast Amtrak service.
There will be FREE on-site Expo & Race Day parking close to the start and finish lines. M&T Bank Stadium will be open with plenty of bathrooms and shelter before the race. The start and finish are centrally located to make it easy to find everything. Runners will appreciate a convenient gear check service too.
In the 10-year history the race organization has learned, matured and grown each year. Even with their tremendous growth and success, the focus on the participant has not wavered. By continuing to focus on the participant and their positive experience, the race has grown and flourished.
The course starts out from the Camden Yards complex northwest of the city for 7 or so miles with some elevation gain and fall before returning to the Inner Harbor. After a first tour of the Inner Harbor runners pass by Fort McHenry (which is still being refurbished). The race course passes back through the city center and by the harbor for the half marathon mark. The course hugs the harbor to the east, continues out to the famous Fells Point area, and then heads north again.
The races navigate through many of the neighborhoods of Baltimore, giving you a guided tour of the city.
The marathon course has some climbs as it heads out to the northeast of the city around Lake Montebello Park. You can see where the old Memorial Stadium stood around mile 23. Finally the race comes down hill into the city for a fast and inspirational finish into Camden Yards.
The half-marathon is set up with a delayed start so that all runners finish on the same course concurrently. The half-marathoners join the marathoners later in the race and pull them along to an exciting finish.
“The course introduced us out-of-towners to many very cool things about Baltimore. I'll return as a tourist and a marathoner...” E. G. from Marylan
It is also a great course for spectators. Given the loops through the common center, spectators will have multiple opportunities to cheer on their loved ones. Speaking from experience, cheering loved ones can make a difference! After all, your marathon performance is highly dependent on your mental state and friendly faces help.
Continuing success for a city and a race into the second decade!
This race has become a metaphor for growth and success. First there is the continued sponsorship of local company Under Armour. Under Armour has grown just as the race has grown, from a local startup to a major athletic apparel player. Each year they provide support, enthusiastic participants and volunteers and the extremely popular Under Armour race shirt.
The past decade has seen the rebirth of Baltimore the city as well. The arrival of the Baltimore Ravens NFL team and - later the Super Bowl champions- coincides with this resurgence. Everything has worked and continues to work favorably for the Baltimore Running Festival. The city has grown to love and embrace the event as its “Preakness of the Fall” – a celebration of Baltimore.
Over the years runners have grown with the race too. Organizers can see in the results people who move up from the 5K or the relay to run the half or full marathon. Come out and see for yourself what makes Baltimore the place to be in October.
“I completed 16 marathons prior to this in Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles, DC, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando, Olympia and other cities……. I rate this as one of the best organized of the marathons I've run; others should take lessons. The city was well informed and supportive. The volunteers and police were phenomenal.” S. L. from Richmond, California.
Now 10 years and building for the future!
Don’t miss out on the special 10th anniversary edition of the Baltimore Running Festival. You’ll get the same runner-friendly, convenient attention to detail that you have come to enjoy over the years plus the addition of a 10th anniversary celebration! Come to Baltimore on October 16th and see why the Baltimore Running Festival has become one of the most popular events on the East Coast.