It was my privilege to lead the 5 hour pace team once again to an official finish time of 4:59:29. For the 7th year straight my co pacers and I met our goal of crossing the line +\- 1 minute of our assigned goal.
The day was prefect except for a strong wind. The first 3 to 4 miles are a uphill climb to Druid Hill Park. This was fairly easy do to the pull of the crowd fresh legs. Miles 4 to 10 were a combination of rolling and steep down hills that required us to strategically put on the breaks to keep from going too fast. We wanted to run steady miles and not burn too much energy early in the race. Miles 11 - 14 were a flat tour of the inner harbor featuring a water stop hosted by Under Armour. Miles 16- 20 were mostly a wind in your face up hill climb to Lake Montebello. This is where we started to run into packs of 1/2 marathon walkers and walking wounded marathoners which caused the rest of the race to be a 6 mile version of a Giant Slalom. Three strides forward ... Two strides left ... Shift right... Repeat 1000 times!!!
Mile 23 is a Baltimore Marathon highlight, the Gummy Bear Guy! For as long a I can remember he has handed out 100's of pounds of gummy bears to tired marathoners. Another couple in the same block plays Eye of the Tiger and greets the runner in tiger costumes.
Mile 24 is my favorite. The water stop is manned by the Sig Eps from JHU. I identify myself as a brother and their encouragement is enough to carry me through the final 2 miles. The last hill is around mile 25 the Howard Street Bridge. It is not much of a hill but feels like a mountain. After you round the state office complex you have about a mile of fast down hill into Camden Yards and the best marathon finish ever. Screaming crowds, a medal the size of a manhole cover an a reunion with a loving wife. Life gets no better.
Winning the War Against Temptation
6 years ago