I ran this race a week ago, but I hadn't had time to get a blog post up until now. Busy, busy, busy!
So, on March 13, I ran the Kelly St. Patrick's Day 5K for the 6th time. This is a great race through the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore. It starts at the base of the Washington Monument, goes straight down Charles Street (about a 3/4 mile downhill to start the race), then around past the Science Center and Visionary Art Museum. The course then turns around, and goes back around the Inner Harbor and down Pratt Street to end at Power Plant Live. Once you've gone downhill, the course is almost entirely flat. It also happens to run the parade route for the St. Patrick's Day parade just before the parade starts, so there are plenty of spectators around. They're really waiting for the parade, but they're a ton more spectators than you'd ever expect at any other 5K. This also means that the race starts at a very late 1:15pm, so there's absolutely no getting up early!
Work is going a little crazy right now, so for the four days before the race (including Saturday), I worked a 12-13 hour day. So, I was pretty worn out by the time Sunday came. I thought about not running the race, but since I didn't have to get up early and I would need to run anyway, I figured that I may as well run the race I'd paid for. Plus, it was a gorgeous day - sunny and warm!
I brought my awesome husband downtown with me. We always tend to run into people we know (even those who aren't runners). This time was no different, we ran into a couple of friends! Plus, some runner friends! We reached the starting line about 15 minutes before the race started and chatted it up with everyone. The whole area was a sea of green shirts.
I didn't get as close to the starting line as I would have liked, but I didn't think I was too far away. I know from past experience that this is a REALLY difficult race if you aren't closer to the front. Once we started and I crested the hill and looked down, though - it was runners as far as I could see. How could that many people have gotten in front of me??? Amazing.
I just could NOT get around people. I was either wasting energy weaving or feeling frustrated being behind someone I didn't want to be behind. I had made the decision that I was not going to worry about a PR at any race this year except my marathon, but I still sort of wanted a PR. I've set a PR at this race three years straight, so one more would have been nice.
I never saw Mile Marker 1, the course was too crowded. We headed around Key Highway and turned around, and the course was STILL crowded. I think maybe more people who signed up actually showed up because the weather was so nice? It certainly didn't seem so crowded in 2009, for example, when it was 40 degrees and raining. I passed Mile Marker 2, did the math, and decided I probably wasn't going to make it in for a PR. I can't remember what my split was though... LOL
Once we headed back past the Science Center, the course opened up. I ran along Pratt Street thinking the same thing that I think at this point in a 5K... I hate 5Ks. Too fast. I ended up crossing the finish line at 33:21, about a minute above my PR, but still a respectable time.
Usually, I would stay downtown and have some free beer, but Todd and I were feeling exhausted and ended up just grabbing a bite to eat at an Asian Restaurant downtown and then heading home.
So, it was a good race. I don't think I'm going to do this one next year, though. It's not that I don't like the race, I do, it's just that I've done it 6 times, it's time to move on to another race.
I wish I had taken some photos!! Alas, I did not. :(