Race #10 of 2013 is in the books! Bright and early yesterday morning my friend, Jeremy, and I toed the starting line of the first ever Charles Street 12.
For a first time event, I thought that this race ran seemingly great! I guess that fact that Charm City Run was hosting it and that they are essentially race day pros didn’t hurt at all either!!
Here’s my review and breakdown of the event:
Race day packets were available for pickup starting on Tuesday and went through the morning of the race at varying locations. All Charm City Run stores had a different day where pickup was available at their location, with race day pickup being at the start area. Jeremy and I picked our packets up on Friday afternoon and were in and out of the Timonium Charm City Run in no time at all. We grabbed our bibs and packets from one area of the store then headed to the back for our race day swag – Under Armour Charles Street 12 hooded sweatshirts – score!
The Start Area
With the race kicking off next to the Shops at Kenilworth, the lower parking lots at the shops was a great pre-race gathering area. Charm City Run was set up in the lot for pre-race registration pickup and race information and water was available for the runners. Porta Potties were available in the back corner of the lot; however, lines were long even with the start of the race only minutes away. At the last minute I ditched the idea of a pre-run bathroom break and left Jeremy in line, only to make it to the start line of the race with about a minute to spare before we set off!
Transportation & Parking
Since the race was a point-to-point course, transportation shuttles were provided from parking at the finish area in downtown Baltimore to the start of the race in Towson. The shuttle cost was $5 and could be included in your registration fee if you wished to utilize the transportation. Jeremy and I were dropped off by Brian and her fiance, Shane, so I can’t speak for how smoothly the shuttle process ran, although from the looks of those being dropped off at the start area, there seemed to be no issues. Included in the race packets was a parking coupon for the Pier V garage ($10 parking) which was located near the finish line at Power Plant Live.
The Course & Course Support
The race kicked off at the Shops at Kenilworth in Towson and traveled across the Towson bypass to Towsontown Boulevard and onto Osler Street. Once on Osler, the course took us past Towson University and two prominent hospitals in the greater Baltimore area – St. Joseph Medical Center and GBMC. Next up was a run through the Rodgers Forge neighborhood before reaching Charles Street and making our way down the scenic byway.
Along the way down Charles Street, the course passed several area universities (Johns Hopkins, Loyola University and Notre Dame of Maryland University), and religious and historical institutions such as The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen and the Washington Monument.
At the bottom of Charles Street, the race brought runners through Federal Hill and along the promenade at the Inner Harbor with a finish at Power Plant Live.
The first few miles had some pretty serious hills involved but once you made it to about mile 5, things were pretty much a downhill cruise to the finish. A few small inclines popped up here and there but they were actually a welcomed relief for my screaming knees from all of the downhill running that was taking place!
The course was well marked with police officers lining it the entire way. Water stops were abundant with both gatorade and water available and volunteers were lively and on-the-ball. Areas of the race that were through neighborhoods were full of spectators as well as others out for their morning runs or the morning walk with their dogs. Everyone was cheerful and supportive which really made the miles fly by.
The Finish Area
The finish of the race was at Power Plant Live, which isn’t a stranger to playing host for these sorts of events. Multiple other races that I have participated in have ended in the same location with plenty of room for runners to mingle post run while enjoying post run meals and beverages.
Each runner was given a boxed lunch at the finish along with free beer and water.
I ended up offering my lunch up as the wrap, chips and orange weren’t what my body was looking for at the time but the convenient location of 7-11 in Power Plant allowed for me to grab a container of watermelon and a bag of pretzels to hold me over until I was ready for a decent post race meal.
I absolutely loved this race and am already looking forward to participating next year and am trying to convince the husband to run it as well. The weather ended up being perfect running weather with the Baltimore humidity finally breaking and the heat holding off through a slightly overcast morning. Since I didn’t get to the actual start line until the last minute, my first few miles of the race were crowded and involved a lot of dodging slower runners that had started at the back of the group but once I broke free, the course was very open and allowed everyone ample running room.
With that being said, I was looking at this race more as a training run than an actual race since long runs are on the docket for pretty much every weekend from now until the Richmond Marathon in November, so I had no expectations for my finish time. However, the 8:28 average per mile pace that I crossed the finish with left me feeling really good about the rest of my marathon training yet to come. I felt great through the entire race and am almost positive I was running negative splits (especially after the clustered start). Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared for race morning and didn’t have a charged Garmin so I have no idea what my actual splits were – womp womp!
- Finish Time: 1:41:31
- Overall Place: 266 of 1585
- Age Group Finish: 29 of 243