If you're unfamiliar with race day, Baltimore features a Kids Fun Run, 5K, Half Marathon, and Marathon. This means that over 20,000 runners descend upon Charm City and take to the streets of Baltimore. Race organizers highly recommend public transportation, but that's not a good option from where I live in Maryland. The good news is that there is plenty of free parking in the lots surround M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
The first mile and half was up Camden street and featured mostly uphill terrain. I had planned to run this race at my half marathon pace and kept to that plan during this part of the race. I've been training using Galloway intervals of 30:30, so it was a "choppy" 5K. After the block turnaround, the race proceeded onto Eutaw Street and it was truly "all downhill from here!" At this point, I was feeling like I had too much energy (is there such a thing??) and really felt silly running such short intervals in a 5K so I picked up the pace and ran the rest of the way in. The finish of the race takes you through the Eutaw Street gates at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and into the parking lot of M&T Bank Stadium.
One of the best aspects of the race was the tremendous support from the people of Baltimore. There were citizens literally everywhere along the course cheering us on, waving signs, and playing music in the streets. It was great to see the city come together for such a fantastic purpose. Between the well organized race, nice expo, great support, and bling for a 5K race, the Baltimore Running Festival was a fantastic way to re-enter the wonderful world of racing!