Our day at the Baltimore Marathon


Our traditional shot pre-race in front of the Johnny Unitas statue at Ravens stadium.

Eventually all great streaks must come to an end, right? This year it was time for the Run4Chocolate ladies to see our top three streak end at the Baltimore Marathon relay. We still pulled out fourth and fifth out of the hundreds of all-female teams, but it was a bummer not to be podium finishers for the first time. It wasn’t without a good effort on all of our parts, however.

As planned, my friend Becky and I turned the relay into a 20-mile run. The way it went down was pretty entertaining, actually. She was leg one on my team and I was leg two. The plan was for me to run up the course easy to the exchange point, run my leg hard, then wait for her at exchange three to finish out our miles. So I left the start line at about 7:40, 20 minutes ahead of the 8 a.m. start.

I had the entire course to myself for those 5.7 miles. It was rather embarrassing, really. I had police stopping traffic at intersections, people cheering me on, photographers taking pictures–I really could have used a sandwich board saying I was a relay runner! As I got closer to the exchange point, I started calculating how much longer before the elites caught me. I didn’t want to be in their way, that was for sure. The wheelchair athletes did come flying by and I pulled off to the side for them, but I made it to the exchange point just before the elites (whew!).

Now I have to say–I am fairly good about keeping my pace in check at the beginning of races, but in all my years of doing relays, I find this is really hard to do.  (anyone else?) You’ve got the adrenaline of the hand-off and you want to do well for your team. Plus this year, I had a bit of a head start on our other team and I knew the machine that is my friend Dorothy would eventually catch me during my leg, so I took off.

I actually wore my Garmin for the race (I know–don’t say it) and was able to see that I was going too fast, so I pulled myself in before I crashed and burned. Dorothy caught and passed me about half-way into our 7.1-mile leg. She is on an amazing roll this year, running incredibly strong. And here’s the part I love–she just turned 53! Gotta love it.

I finished off my leg pretty satisfied with my splits overall, and then waited for Becky to catch up so that we could continue our long run. We ran up to the 16-mile point, turned around and made our way back to the start, getting in all 20 miles.

I can’t imagine not being a part of the Baltimore Marathon in some capacity every year. It’s so much fun to be involved in a big local event where you bump into someone you know at every turn. We had a perfect weather day for it this year and I heard lots of tales of PRs. I’m sure the chocolate ladies will be back next year and hopefully, we’ll get ourselves back into the top three!

Who else raced this weekend? 



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  1. says

    No racing this weekend…just ran on Saturday!!

    You ladies did an amazing job!! Was 3rd place way out of your reach? Sometimes I find that it’s easier to lose by A LOT rather than just a few seconds…it kills me when it’s that close!
    I love that everyone was cheering for you while ran out before the marathon started! Guess that’s what it feels like to be an elite =)
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Mizuno Shoe Giveaway!My Profile

  2. says

    Well done! Relays are always exciting and I think the bulk of the runners, including me, start out way too fast. You just missed that podium…next year I’m sure. I had a hard but very good 15km mountain race. Will post a report tonight or tomorrow. Have a great week!
    Johann recently posted..Harrismith 15km Mountain Race PreviewMy Profile

  3. says

    You gave your best, that’s the best and most one can do, so congratulations.

    My only hope for having police stop traffic for me in a race is if I’m so far behind everyone else they’ve actually closed the course and are simply trying to keep me from getting killed.

    I raced myself yesterday. I retraced a route I ran in a race last Saturday, stretched it out a mile longer, and felt better until the last little bit.
    Jonathan Aluzas recently posted..Fitness Confidential: Recollections of a Rock ‘n RunMy Profile

  4. says

    One of the girls’ I train in Omaha, is from Baltimore and ran the half since it’s fall break at Creighton Univ.. Said there are a ton of costumes on the course–did you see many? I can COMPLETELY relate to inspired relay running! Something about being on a team that lights a fire for me! See you soon!
    Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..Total Body Tabata Home WorkoutMy Profile

  5. says

    Since I am huge garmin lover I won’t say anything :-)
    Glad that you still had great finishes. It sounds like your teams are a lot of fun and full of impressive runners.
    That is kind of funny that people were cheering and taking your photos–I would have been emabarrassed. Haha.

    PS- My guest post is up today :-)
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..My guest postMy Profile

  6. says

    That sounded like so much fun. Especially at the start when people thought you were winning the race out front all by yourself! I’m sure your teams will be back on the podium next year, you all are just too good not to be! Now to the important stuff…how was the chocolate dinner after?
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..Another 4am Wake Up CallMy Profile

  7. says

    Hum….I may have to make this a bucket list marathon! I just wish airfare to the East wasn’t so expensive…there are so many races I’d love to do in your neck of the woods, but it’s a fraction of the price to fly to California or Arizona, etc. Glad you had a blast and congrats on a great placement! :)
    Jill recently posted..ChicagoMy Profile

  8. says

    I bet it was kind of fun to have them parting the seas for you on the streets! I have never been so far in the lead that I have the cops and everyone there with me! I have been in the back where the cops are hurrying me along though! It sounds like fun! Sorry you didn’t place but you still did really well!
    Travel Spot recently posted..Swann Dives InMy Profile