This will be my third year racing the Baltimore B3 Distance Series and I have made it a goal to try to improve on my races from last year. For those who are unfamiliar (and don’t want to click the link), the series consists of 3 races hosted by Charm City Run. The series kicks off with the St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K, and is followed in April by the Sole of the City 10K and concludes with the Charles Street 12 Miler in September). The races, although packed, are always a good time. The series started this past weekend with the 5K.
Since I was out of town during the day designated for pickup at our local Charm City Run, I had Husband pick up the packets for us. I made it a point to follow the directions entirely and sent him off with a signed permission slip to pick up the packets and my B3 registration information. He was able to get both packets without any issues. Perks of being married—having the same last name makes it easy to pick up packets!
There isn’t a medal for this run, but there is a gender-specific, Under Armour technical T-shirt. Unfortunately, it pretty much was exactly the same as last year’s shirt.
But FORTUNATELY, we received our B3 premiums as well. I absolutely love mine and probably will now go purchase the regular UA version because it is so comfortable. I think that the female premium (blue) is definitely better than the male one (orange).
The race starts at Charles Street and Mulberry Street in Baltimore. As much they tried, the race volunteers/ leaders could not avoid the massive convergence of the cross streets at the start. I wasn’t surprised though because it has happened for the past three years. I just accepted it and trudged along slowly… starting my watch just a little too early. I need to work on getting it started AS I’m going over the timing mat. Maybe next time.
Mile 1: The race starts out going down Charles Street. Charles Street will always be my favorite street in Baltimore because the Church where we got married and are current parishioners at is located on Charles! Sorry… back to the race! If you race this event, just prepared to spend the first mile (give or take) going downhill. Unfortunately, you likely won’t be able to really gain ground pacing-wise because you will be focused on dodging people and potholes. Other than the dodging, slowing, rapid lateral movements, and constant need to dodge holes, it is a great mile! Average Pace: 8:59; Average HR: 168
Mile 2: The second mile is pretty unremarkable. You just run. Little downhill here, little uphill there, mostly flat. When I say up and downhill, I am talking in feet. Not tens of feet, just feet. So … it is flat. Not scenic, but flat. And by not scenic, I mean, there is literally nothing interesting to look at. You are running towards the turnaround point and turning around towards Mile 3. So just run and enjoy the race. At this point, my heart was elevated and my breathing touch labored. However, unlike most races, I felt GOOD. Really good. It was tough, but I could keep going. Average Pace: 8:44; Average HR: 189
Mile 3: The last mile is probably the most “scenic” of the miles. During Mile 3, you’re kind of skirting the water (but not CLOSE). The mile winds into the Inner Harbor area and you pass a few shops and the aquarium. You’re past the turn around, and you’re in the inner harbor, so it mentally feels pretty good to know that you’re just moments away from the Power Plant Live! area and finish line. This last mile was pretty tough and my legs burned just a little. But like with Mile 2, I was working but feeling great. Average Pace: 8:36; Average HR: 191
Mile 3.1: The last little bit takes you past the shops and around the corner to the finish and Power Plant Live! I pushed pretty hard for this last little bit and was thrilled to see that I had a PR for the 5K distance! Average Pace: 8:45; Average HR: 194
This is what the route and my HR looked like:
Pretty thrilled about a new PR:
(See. Lack of a filter makes a HUGE difference!)
Garmin Results: 3.12 Miles, 27:20, Average Pace: 8:46, Average HR: 183
Actual Results: 3.10 Miles, 27:14, Average Pace: 8:47
Overall, it is a pretty great race and I would recommend to anyone who loves flat, fast (but maybe a little boring) 5Ks.