The Baltimore Marathon – A Bystander’s Recap
Have I mentioned how much I miss running… like training for a race running? I miss it. A lot. And I worry all the time that I’ll never be able to run long-ish distances again.
This year, Jeremy ran the Baltimore 1/2 marathon. This is his second time doing it and it is the first time he actually trained for it. Yes, my husband is that obnoxiously fit person that can just pick up and run a half marathon without any training (like he did last year). He’ll argue that he sort of trained for it but was sidelined due to injury (ITBS). Still – I think he had maybe 2 training runs last year before the half and still managed to run it under 2 hours… a time that I know I will never achieve because I am a SLOW POKE. And I’m okay with that.
Anywho – this year, Jeremy trained for the half marathon with a few friends. He had a goal of finishing under 1 hr 45 minutes. He cut his running down to 3 times a week and I think it really helped to keep him injury free.
For anyone that lives in Baltimore, they know that when the marathon comes to town – traffic gets seriously fucked up around the city. It is such a cluster fuck that I don’t bother driving anywhere until that evening.
While Jeremy left the house around 8:45am (a time that I knew was WAY too late for him to try to drive and park near the race but he SWORE the streets weren’t closed yet), I putzed around until about 9:30am. I called my friend who was also planning to support her significant other as he ran his first half marathon (Jeremy trained with him).
So – despite Jeremy saying that he didn’t want me walking to my friend’s house (she lives about a mile away) because he thinks I wouldn’t be able to ward off an attacker… I still walked because it was ridiculous to drive a mile.
From my friend’s house, we walked to the stadium where the race finished. She mapped it out and said it was about a 3 mile walk (if we took a somewhat direct route). However, I wanted to stop and get some fresh juice from this amazing Vegan place in Fells Point so I made her walk the long way.
What I failed to remember was that the marathon course ran through the street where the juice place was so it was closed. But it was entertaining to watch the marathoners.
I don’t know if you’ve ever watched a marathon but there are people of all shapes, sizes, ages and kookiness that run. We saw people decked out in costumes (I can’t even imagine the chafing), in severe pain, having the time of their lives and some old enough to be our grannies running. It made me want to run a marathon.
We also encountered a few “cheering zones”. One zone was a group of small kids that had some cute chant and pom-poms. Adorable! We also saw some funny signs (all of which have completely escaped me… I can’t remember shit these days).
We eventually made it down to the stadium in time to watch Jeremy cross the finish line (with a new PR of 1 hr 41 minutes!). I warned my friend that last year I had witnessed a slew of people crossing the finish line and then promptly vomiting. We didn’t see any of that this year. Sadly – I was a little disappointed. My friend caught Mario and Luigi finishing the race together though.
And here is my complaint about the Baltimore marathon. I think it sucks that they have the marathon and the half marathon finish at the same place. While a half marathon isn’t a small feat, a fucking marathon deserves its own finish. I can imagine that after running a hilly (seriously, Baltimore is crazy hilly) 26.2 miles and wanting to die… the last thing I want to see is someone who has more pep in their step crossing the finish line because they covered half the distance. Although let’s be honest – my marathon time means that most of the half marathoners would probably be finished unless they were walking.
When I got a close-up view of Jeremy, I asked what the fuck was all over his face. I’m not sure if you can see it in this very unflattering picture, but he has white lines all over his face. It is salt. And I saw this on a TON of runners. I didn’t see this at all last year and found it bizarre. I’m not sure what combination forced so much salt to appear on everyone’s faces and shirts.
So after walking 4.5 miles-ish and standing forever, I was quite dismayed to learn that Jeremy wasn’t able to drive to a point near the race. I realize I didn’t have much room to complain (my husband had just run 13.1 miles afterall) but fuck, I’m pregnant, my feet are swollen and I wasn’t mentally prepared to walk the 3 miles back to his car.
I had told my friend about Jeremy’s time and she suggesting checking to see if he qualified for the NY marathon. I checked and he didn’t qualify (he needed a time under 1 hr 25 minutes). And while he has NO desire to ever run a full marathon, this new time goal is apparently quite enticing. I think he might be shooting for that next year. And annoyingly, he’ll probably hit it! Man, I wish I was fast.
Btw – after Jeremy made it through the runner’s finish to pick up water and some other post-run snacks, he was sweet enough to grab me a granola bar because he knew I’d be hungry. Aw! Did you just vomit a little?