Baltimore 10 Miler Race Recap

This was my 3rd consecutive year running in the Baltimore 10 miler, and I have decided that I have a love/hate relationship with this race. I’ll probably run it every year, but I will complain about the same things every time. However, those negatives (the hills, heat, parking situation, crowded start to name a few) will always be overshadowed by the amazing atmosphere, beautiful views along (parts of) the course, awesome race premiums, and the best post-race celebration in Baltimore.


The race is pretty much an out-and-back course starting at the Maryland Zoo, heading along the streets of Baltimore, around Lake Montebello, and back to the zoo.


Typically it is really hot for this race, since it is always held in mid-June. Although it starts at 7:30am, by the time runners are finishing the sun is out in full force. We got lucky this year, as it was 68 degrees at the start with only 60% humidity.

shoes and bib

I got up at 5:15 on Saturday morning and ate a half a bagel with peanut butter and a banana while drinking some coffee. I had planned to leave at 6:15, but by the time I got ready and warmed up a little it was closer to 6:30. I wasn’t too worried since it only takes about 10 minutes to drive to the race. pre race

I knew there would be traffic around the parking area, but it was way worse than I remember. I sat in traffic from 6:40-7:05 but luckily got a decent spot that was less than at 5 minute walk to the start line. I warmed up a little more and decided to line up at 7:20. I had to make my way from all the way in the back up to the 1:20 wave. It’s kind of annoying because they have the sides blocked off so you need to push your way through the crowds to move  up. Once I got to my spot I heard them say the race wouldn’t be starting until 7:40. I was glad I had gotten to where I wanted to start, but annoyed that I had to stand there for extra time. There wasn’t much room to continue warming up.

Baltimore 10 start line

My goal was to break 1:20, but in past years I had run 1:22 and change. I really didn’t know if I had a sub 1:20 in me this year, but wanted to try. I decided to start near the 1:20 pace group but try to run off of feel even if that meant not staying with the group. When I started out I was holding about a 7:55 pace, right on target, and was a little ahead of the pace group. The first few miles are mostly downhill and I felt really good. I tried not to go out too fast, knowing I had many more miles ahead.

I ran with the pace group from about miles 3-7. It was nice to not think about pace and just focus on sticking with them. As we went around the lake (which is flat) I was still feeling good and was ahead of my goal pace.

baltimore 10 miler 2014 2

After mile 7 I knew that there was some rough uphills at the end so I wanted to make up some time before them, which meant speeding up a little and leaving the pace group. The crazy thing is, I didn’t really slow down on those last uphill miles, and according to my watch, the last mile was my fastest one.


I remember thinking around mile 9 that I felt like I could continue that pace for a few more miles. I need to start thinking about a goal half-marathon to try to beat my PR from 2 years ago.

baltimore 10 miler 2014

I finished in 1:19:12, 16th out of 432 in my age group, 76th female out of 2,358, and 352nd overall out of 4,059.

You can see my finish line video here:

After crossing the finish line I was given a cold towel, and picked up some food. I love that this race has watermelon at the finish!

photo 1 (2)

After a little stretching, I got my race premium and free beers.  I sat in the grass just taking it all in and enjoying the feeling of accomplishing a new PR.

post race beer 

All things considered, I am really happy with how this race went. I think going from training in high humidity to racing in low humidity helped a lot. I also think some of my hill repeats prepared me (physically and mentally) for this race. I had raced a 6k only 6 days before this race, and this week I am taking it easy to recover from all of those harder miles.

What are some factors that help you to run a PR?

What post-race treats are your favorite?

Any races you do every year but love/hate?

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19 responses on Baltimore 10 Miler Race Recap

  1. Congrats! Awesome job :) I think good weather is my absolute biggest hurdle to get a PR, it affects me so much more than I wish it would. I don’t have any favorite foods for right after a race, I’m never excited to eat anything right after so I force down a protein shake or something of the sort and wait a few hours and then get something I REALLY want like a burger or pizza and a beer.
    Emmeline@RunForThePizza recently posted…Austria Day 5My Profile

    1. I love pizza and burgers after a race….but like you I need to wait a little bit before I can eat a big meal. I love when races have chocolate milk at the finish because I can usually get that down. It seems like weather can really make or break a race!

  2. While reading this it sounded like you definitely surprised yourself and maybe could’ve finished in less time based on how you felt. Definitely work on a half marathon after this. For me PRs always involved cold or cool weather and and a pretty flat course so I think a PR now shows just how fit you really are. Amazing job!
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Best You’ve Ever Had Garlicky Chicken Thighs with Rosemary Thyme Sweet Potato FriesMy Profile

    1. Thanks- that’s what I am hoping! While I think I could have run in less time I am also glad that I paced the way I did and didn’t burn out. But you’re right that I probably could have pushed a little harder based on how I felt!

  3. Congrats on the PR! I also ran the Baltimore 10 miler and it was my first race in over a year. I totally went out too fast so my time was a little over 2 minutes longer than the last time I ran that race, but I still had fun! I love when they have watermelon at races too! I also liked the fact that Naked Juices and Noodles & Co were there. At other races Panera will sometimes provide bagels, which I also love.
    Kate @ The Endorphin Junkie recently posted…Feeling like a running rookie: The 2014 Baltimore 10 Miler Race RecapMy Profile

    1. I didn’t check out the vendors-was the Naked Juice free?! If so I’m disappointed I missed it!….and I love Panera bagels at finish lines, too!

    1. Thanks! Yes the cold towel felt amazing! I think runners have a way of loving to torture ourselves time and time again:)

    1. Thank you! I don’t think i have ever run a course that is mostly downhill so I’m excited for the Charles St 12. Although I’ve heard downhill courses can kill your legs in a different way, so who knows!

  4. YAY!! Congrats on that awesome PR! I am so disappointed that I missed out on this one this year, but I’ll probably do it next year. The recap was really helpful so I will know what to expect with the parking situation. :)

    Your love/hate with this race was kind of how I felt about that St. Patrick’s Day 5K. Which I will probably do again next year despite the fact that the start was the most disorganized cluster I’ve ever seen.

    My favorite post-race thing was the Italian ice they had after my 5K on Sunday. :)
    Salt recently posted…WIAW: School Lunch Edition {WBAW?}My Profile

    1. I hope you do decide to run it next year! I also realized on race morning that there was a discount code to use Uber, so that’s something to consider.
      I’ve never done the St Patricks Day 5k because it seems like such a crowded mess. I think I would get really annoyed if I was trying to run a 5k pace and had to get past walkers!
      Mmm Italian ice sounds like a perfect post-race snack!

    1. Thanks! You’re right- I don’t think I have yet to find the “perfect” race. There will likely always be something we can find to complain about:)

  5. Wow, congratulations. Seems like you are ready for a new goal indeed.
    I never tried to run a race. I probably would not be able to manage even 5K – would end up walking and being the last to the finish line. :) I stumbled upon your blog while looking around for fitness blogs. Very inspiring (and having “wine” in the name does not hurt.)

    1. Thank you, and thanks for visiting my blog! I’m sure you could run a 5k if you tried! There is absolutely no shame in walking! And no matter what place you come in, you will still be ahead of everyone else who is on their couch, right?! If you decide to try a race and would like some guidance, I am training to be a running coach this summer, and I would love to help you out:)

    1. Thanks! I’ve never had ice-cream post race but I’m sure it would be delicious!

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