You may have heard that Baltimore has been getting bad press lately. I’m here to tell you that is NOT what Baltimore is all about. Granted, I have not lived here long. I live closer to DC and Annapolis than I do Baltimore. I don’t know a lot of the history of Baltimore, other than the namesake was a former Lord, and I actually know WHY it is called Charm City! As a runner, the Baltimore Running Festival stands out as one of the best events I have participated in.
The Baltimore Running Festival happens each October, and hosts 5 events: a full marathon, a marathon relay, a half marathon, a 5K and a kids fun run. Corrigan Sports Enterprises (CSE) puts the event on, as well as many other events across the country. Their staff is second to none in organizing large events like this.
My very first half marathon was the 2012 Baltimore Half. I had NO IDEA how many hills this city has! Baltimore is nothing but rolling hills. The hills may drive us runners crazy, but it’s the people of Baltimore that make running this event worth it. People line the streets where they live to cheer the runners on. Some of the people are quite famous in their own right. The Eye Of The Tiger couple are out every single year singing and cheering everyone on.
Somewhere around mile 10 of the half marathon there is a water stop set up by residents but instead of water, they hand out small dixie cups of beer! There are folks that are out every year playing Good Morning Baltimore from the play Hairspray, and handing out candy corns and pretzels.
This year’s marathon was headlined by Senior Chief (Ret) Sid Busch and his 200th marathon. Sid runs marathons for our fallen service members. He has captured the hearts of so many, and inspired so many runners across the country. I have had the honor of meeting him here in Baltimore a few times, and the ultimate time of meeting him on course during the 2015 Disney Half Marathon! Very blurry….but it’s us.
Having him make # 200 in Baltimore was a special treat. Corrigan Sports rolled the red carpet out for Sid all weekend. CSE even arranged pace support for Sid through other runners that were doing the full. Today, Sid ran for Cpl. Bradley Arms and TSGT Brian Theobald. The Baltimore Police Department escorted Sid to the finish line on motorcycles, then got off of the bikes and stood at attention as he crossed the finish line.
The city of Baltimore rallied behind Sid today. Baltimore if full of great people. The city opened its doors to Sid. The city and people of Baltimore got Sid to the finish. Baltimore has something for everyone. The Baltimore Running Festival has something for everyone! Runners or spectators – a visit to Charm City should be on your to-do list!