Race Review: Charles 12

Hey friends! Hope everyone had a nice, relaxing Labor Day weekend! Why can’t every weekend be 3 days?! I definitely needed the extra day to rejuvenate and recover because this past Saturday, I ran the Charles 12 in Baltimore!

This is my third time doing this race and I absolutely love it. Thinking about doing it next year? Here are the details:

Course:

The race starts at The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson and ends at the Under Armour headquarters in Locust Point in Baltimore City (12 miles. Hence the 12 lol).  In previous years, the course ended at Power Plant Live.  So you had to run about a mile past Power Plant Live into Federal Hill and turn back around to run back to Power Plant Live.  Talk about torture! I much prefer the finish at Under Armour because it’s a straight point-to-point course and finishing at Under Armour makes you feel a little badass.

Miles 1 through 4 are pretty hilly, but after that?  Smooth sailing all the way down hill! Makes for a pretty fast time. I mean look at this elevation chart!

Race Logistics:

Charm City Run (the race host) offers a shuttle (additional $5 at time of registration) from the finish line to the start line. Ideally you’d park at finish area and then catch the shuttle to the start. While this is a great idea and works for many people, it doesn’t work for those who live in Towson or west of Towson. I would have to drive past the start, get to the finish area early to catch the shuttle, and then schlep back to the start on the bus. My running partner and I opted to drive to the start, park our car next to the shops, and then catch an Uber back to the car from the finish. So was this a better solution? Not really. The Uber wind up costing us $45 and to wait for it to arrive took forever! Next time we will just wake up 2 minutes earlier.

The weather forecast for race day was pouring down rain. Luckily, the race offered bag check so you can check warm and dry clothes to have at the finish.  What a lifesaver!  By the time I finished, I was soaking wet and after a few minutes, got VERY cold.

My runner partner and I in our best trash bags 🙂

Premium:

The race always hands out a nice premium by Under Armour and is worth the cost of the race entry alone.  This year, we received a very nice and thick Cold Gear hoodie.

Food:

This year the race had a selection of food trucks at the finish area and a meal ticket was on your race bib to redeem at any truck you choose.  While I really like this idea, it was poorly executed. There were 4 food trucks and they all seemed to serve the same breakfast sandwich? Maybe I’m wrong but that’s all I saw posted on each truck and that’s what everyone was munching on. Plus the lines were incredibly long. So I didn’t eat anything because the wait was crazy and we were ready to go.

Other things to note:

  • The National Anthem was sung by an incredibly talented young girl. Like, she could sing at a pro-football game good.
  • The police support was on point! Thank you police officers for keeping us safe!

Bottom Line:

This ranks up there as one of my favorite races.  Army Ten Miler holds the #1 spot for me but Charles 12 is in the top 5. Definitely sign up!

Me, all smiles, with my race medal!

So tell me, what’s on your fall race schedule?

Sole of the City 10k Race Recap

Hey friends! How was your weekend? On Saturday I ran the Sole of the City 10k in Baltimore!

 

My goal race is actually the Parkway Classic on April 23rd, but this race happened to work with my training schedule.  Plus, a bunch of my friends do this race and they told me I absolutely HAD to register. Okay, twist my arm 😛

Packet pick-up was earlier last week and I got to pick up this sweet premium from Under Armour.

Do not be deceived.  This hoodie is VERY thin. Basically I would only wear this walking around in 65 degree weather. Yeah, so not really a hoodie LOL. The packet pickup itself was at Charm City Run was pretty well organized per usual.

Race morning came and it was a freezing 35 degrees out!  Brr!!  But then the high for the day was 60 degrees. Even though we lucked out with sunshine, this weather is hard to dress for. In order to be warm, I wore a crappy goodwill hoodie to the start area, which was located at McHenry Row. When I woke up that morning, I really had no desire to “race.” I thought I would just enjoy the run.  But then of course, my friends egged me on! They wanted me to win. Well, I guess it didn’t take much to get me all fired up because I easily agreed and felt the fire in my belly!

After hanging out at McHenry Row and chatting/shivering, around 8:45 a.m. we made our way to the start line.  It was a short walk and not overly congested.  I said goodbye to my friends and headed to the front of the starting line.  After a BEAUTIFUL rendition of the National Anthem (seriously that girl had some pipes!), we were off!

Mile 1 ran through Federal Hill and to the Inner Harbor.  I was feeling good and was trying to gauge the competition around me.  I did have a guy run next to me panting like a dog.  There was no way I was going to let him beat me! So off to mile 2 I went!

Mile 2 was around the Inner Harbor and running toward Harbor East and Fells Point.  I noticed there was not much of a crowd, which was a bummer.  The cold air probably didn’t help. I still felt pretty good at this point as captured by this race photo. I mean look at that stride!

Mile 3 was pretty much the turnaround point at the edge of Fells Point and took us back to the harbor.  At this point in the race it started to warm up I was feeling a bit warm.

Mile 4 was when I really started to feel the heat! We just left Harbor East and was entering the Inner Harbor. Mile 4 basically got you from Hard Rock Cafe to the Science Center. Which honestly, was a little awkward because you were running on the harbor amid the crowd. Like, the bystanders literally had no clue they were in the middle of a race haha. So many confused looks…

At mile 5, I was hot.  Like, nearing overheating.  But with one mile left I was determined not to slow down.  I wanted to place dang it! Mile 5 was back through Federal Hill and the finish line was back at McHenry Row, where we started. Here is a shot of me crossing the finish.

No, I normally don’t look that good 😛 I was WIPED! I gave that race everything I had! Note how the gloves came off. Literally and figuratively, ha!

After the race I waited for my friends to gather again.  I grabbed a free beer but frankly I do not want beer after a race.  I pretty much take three sips and give it to a friend.  Unfortunately the food after the race was seriously lacking. We got chicken salad, but really it was an onion salad.  You can just smell the stench through the box. It didn’t appear anyone wanted an onion salad after a race because most people didn’t eat it lol.

We waited around to see if I placed, but no dice! I was disappointed initially.  Then I got an email with my results.

BOOM! Like 25% percent of the field was female 30-39. Lots of competition!  But considering that, I feel pretty darn good about my race.

So would I do it again? Meh, the jury is still out. I didn’t think the course was anything special. I am leaning toward “yes” but only because I would like to get on the podium next year. Let’s see what I can turn out at the Parkway Classic!