I first participated in the Baltimore Running Festival in 2005 as a member of the four-person marathon relay. After a few years away, I returned for another relay in 2010, and ran the full marathon last year.
While I’m a big fan of this event, I didn’t completely love the full marathon last year. The merge with the half marathon walkers was so discouraging, and the second half of the race was so rough …
Still, I couldn’t stay away. I just stuck to that latter half of the course this year, taking on the half marathon.
Going into this race, I had run the full marathon and the 3rd and 4th legs of the full marathon, so I was quite familiar with the back half of this course.
The first three miles are exclusive to the half marathon course, but after that it follows the full marathon to the end.
I didn’t really have a time goal for the race. Considering the hills, I figured I’d be happy with a 2:05-2:10 half marathon. When we started, it was pretty congested which certainly kept me from going out too fast. At times I kind of wanted to speed up, but also didn’t want to overdo it. This technically should have been a marathon training run rather than a race!
I was fully enjoying myself, hills and all. I tried to just keep running comfortably, and take advantage of the downhills!
The miles were flying by, and once we got to mile 10 (and the end of the hills), I really took off. While I wasn’t trying for it, I thought I might actually be able to finish under two hours.
But alas …
Actually, I think it’s pretty awesome that I finished in exactly two hours. And on that course, I’m quite happy with that time!
I really should have been closer to my initial 2:05-2:10 guess based on my splits. I wasn’t running fast enough until the end … now that’s a strong finish!
I had a great time!
I haven’t figured out next year’s race schedule yet, but I’ll most likely be back. The thought did cross my mind to give the full marathon another chance … but we’ll see