About a month ago I ran the inaugural Baltimore 6 Miler, which was not on my radar until mid-July.
Image: Boston Street Running
One night I was perusing Facebook and saw a sponsored ad for the Baltimore 6 Miler. It included a picture of the below shirt:
Image: Boston Street Running
Hmmmm…how does Facebook know I like to run…just kidding! The shirt design was so cute! Of course I had to click through. It was held on the last Sunday of August and was $45. I signed up and emailed a few of my college friends, but they could not participate. A week before the race I emailed my friend Rafael if he would like to meet up for brunch after the race. Then I thought…wait you should run the 6 miler! Registration was still open the week of the race so he was able to sign up.
Packet pickup was available at Boston Street Running on Friday and Saturday before the race from 10:00AM-5:00PM. They also offered same day pickup from 6:00AM-7:25AM at the start/finish area (in front of their store in Canton). Normally I opt for the same day pickup, but since Rafael lived in Baltimore I asked if he could pick mine up when he picked up his (I emailed Boston Street Running ahead of time and they said all he had to do was bring my confirmation email).
Notice the shirts are white vs. orange? According to the Boston Street Running Facebook page, “the manufacturer had difficulty getting the full color sublimation (not screen printed) as we requested, so we decided on white. ” I thought it still looked nice.
Race Goals (“A” least probable and “C” most probable)
This race fell during Week 13 of training – which included a 16 mile long run the day before. At that time I was also getting over a cold. If this were any other weekend I would have loved to shoot for my 8K PR + some….which would have fell around 1:03ish, but I knew that would not be plausible.
- A – Average 12:00 min/mile
- B – Average 12:15 min/mile
- C – Average 12:30 min/mile
My A goal was to maintain 12:00 min/mile or what I hope to be my marathon pace.
Baltimore 6 Miler
Sunday morning I left DC around 6:15AM and arrived close to 7:00AM. I parked in front of Rafael’s apartment building (free parking for the win) and met him inside his lobby. He gave me my shirt and bib and we walked about a mile to the start.
The out and back course began in Canton and took runners on Aliceanna towards Harbor East. The turnaround was at Katyn Circle and then runners ran along the Promenade right after entering Boston Street.
The race was suppose to start at 8:00AM, but I think we began a little later. According to my Garmin data it was 72F that day, but I remember it being very humid. I immediately regretted not bringing my handheld to the race.
- Mile 1: 11:21 slow down Jennifer
- Mile 2: 11:36 Jennifer…slow down….
- Mile 3: 11:44 boy its getting real hot…can’t wait for water
My favorite part of the course was running along the Promenade – the views were spectacular.
Once we exited the Promenade I knew there would be a water stop – I needed it badly I was parched and my cough was bothering me a bit. I got to the table and the volunteer said he ran out of cups. WHAT?! There were gallons of water sitting next to him…such a tease.
- Mile 4: 12:19 no water boo…starting to feel a bit faint…start to walk
- Mile 5: 12:50 walk run…yes some water
- Mile 6: 12:30 feeling a little better…but still walk run to the finish just in case
After passing the water stop #1 I was feeling very dehydrated and a bit faint so I decided to run/walk. I didn’t want a passed out Jennifer on the streets of Baltimore. Luckily water stop #2 had cups (I only took one, but made sure he filled it up to the brim. It took a hot second…or a minute because he had to open the jug). I felt a little better, but as precautionary measure I continued my run/walk to the finish.
I finished with a time of 1:13:20 or 12:13 min/mile…definitely a tale of two halves! After crossing the finish line volunteers handed us a medal (which was a fun surprise) and I picked up a bottle of water. They had a pretty nice spread of bagels, fruit and ice pops in the finisher’s area. I grabbed a grape ice pop and found Rafael, who was enjoying a cup of free beer.
We walked towards Alma for brunch, but it was not open until 10:00AM. No biggie…we had time to stretch and take photos along the Promenade.
The money medal shot!
- This race was on the smaller end with less than 500 participants. I wonder if it will increase in size next year.
- At $45, pretty average as I usually see 10Ks priced $30-$50.
- Sweet Baltimore branding in their technical shirts and medals.
- Speaking of medals – we got medals! They were pretty nice quality.
- I believe the shirts were gender specific – they are cut on the smaller end.
- Plenty of volunteers on the course directing runners.
- Running around Katyn Circle meant we were on cobblestone for a couple of minutes. I didn’t mind since I knew they were there.
- I really enjoyed running through Harbor East and along the water. Miles 4-5 are a little boring.
- Overall the course is pretty flat with the exception of a little baby bump around mile 4.5 .
- The only area I was disappointed in was the water stops. Because this was an August race, you would think organizers would have erred on the side of caution and purchased
all the cups in Baltimoremore cups than needed. There were probably runners who took more than one cup since it was humid out – which is something volunteers could not control. As for someone who has been running awhile I also made a boo-boo, I could have controlled my own water situation by bringing my bottle. Lesson (re) Learned!
- Nice thing about a 6 mile race? You do not have that last .2 miles that always seem to go on for a 10K!
Overall this was nice opportunity to run in the Harbor East/Canton neighborhoods. I know the Baltimore Marathon course includes Canton, but most Baltimore races tend to take runners through Federal Hill and the Inner Harbor. I am sure the race organizers had several lessons learned. I expected the race to have some small hiccups because it was a newbie. I think this event has potential to improve and grow – I would like to give this race another shot next year (schedule permitting).
Have you participated in a 6 Miler before?
Have you participated in an Inaugural race?