Baltimore Marathon Relay - Recap

This is going to be a long recap, because it was a great experience that needs explained in detail.

Picture by Lacey


Race Details
Free goodies: woman's cut, short sleeve tech shirt. Goodies at the finish line and finisher medal
Weather: Cool conditions at start of the marathon, around 55 F, by the time I started running it was about 72 F and sunny.
What I wore: Black shorts, black tank top, compression socks and a cap. I regretted the long compression socks when I was running, because I got really warm.

The Invitation
Some time in July, I got a message from Meranda, asking if I would be interested in doing a marathon relay with her and a few other bloggers. I looked at my calendar and immediately replied YES! Please! put me down for it! I had briefly met Meranda at the Hershey 10K, but from reading her blog, I knew she would make an amazing teammate, and I was honored to be invited to run with her.  

Planning Logistics When I have races schedule on weekends back to back, I focus only on the race in the very front of me. So I didn't sit down and figure out the Relay until a week before it. During a coffee high, I sat down with the map, the elevation, and the breakdown of the exchanges, because I wanted to know what to expect on race day, the schedule of events and how to work about it, since this was my first relay ever.


The Legs

Heather took Leg 1, it started at the start line, by the Baseball stadium at 8:00 am.

Meranda took Leg 2, it started around mile 5.9, close to John Hopkins University. She had to take a shuttle.

Megan took leg 3, it started around mile 12, at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Megan walked there from our Hotel.

I took leg 4, it started at roughly mile 19, it started at Clifton Park. I had to take a shuttle there.

Lacey was running the full marathon.


The Drive to Clifton Park and the Wait


Leaving the hotel to take my shuttle, picture by Megan




I took the shuttle to Clifton Park at the Football stadium. The buses were leaving there at 8:30 am, and the bus took off at exactly 8:30 without a delay, as we were taking off two people were running to the last bus.

There were 15 buses packed full of runners, and as soon as we got there, everybody lined up for the portable toilets. It was really funny, to me!



During my planning for the race, I realized that I was going to be waiting for about 2 hours at the park. I worried about the normal things, Will I get hungry? will I get sleepy? What will I do while I'm there? I was going to pick up a small sandwich to have while I waited, but instead took a protein bar and pretzels from Megan. I also packed my book, and a giant bottle of water. Megan had agreed to take it back with her when she got to the exchange. THANK YOU MEGAN!!



After using the bathroom, I sat down and read my book by the sun. The atmosphere was chill, We all knew we were waiting for our peeps, and things didn't get exciting until the first marathon runner went by. A little while later, the first relay exchange came by. And people started to line up at the portable toilets again. I got the message that Heather and Meranda had exchanged and Meranda was on her way to Megan. I got to working on drinking my water and finishing my pretzels and lining up at the bathroom.

 
More and more relayers came in looking for their team, a few couldn't find their person for a little while. A man ran around the exchange shouting his numbers for about 5 minutes. All others waiting for their exchange were shouting the numbers around to all others waiting, that was the trend as we were waiting for our runners. The most notorious team member became Kyle. His teammate came in, and started shouting from the moment she saw the relay signs  "Kyle! Kyle!" she ran around for a few more minutes, Kyle was nowhere. I don't know how long it took to find Kyle, I just remember seeing the panicked look in her face screaming KYLE!

When I got the message that Megan was on her way, I lined up for the toilets for the last time. I fixed my socks, took off the layers, put my book away and lined up.

In the panic of my wait, I forgot what Megan was wearing, I knew it was a light color shirt, and pink shorts, and just kept looking for her face.

The Exchange and the Running

I spotted Megan as soon as she came up the slight uphill and started shouting her name and waving my arms for her to spot me. She handed me the timing bracelet and I handed her my bag and took off.

I was really excited to start running, and took off really fast. It also helped that most of the race was surrounded by spectators. Close to mile 20, we approached a large lake. As we came into the park with the lake, there was a runner on the floor, surrounded by medical staff and other runners. The runner was awake and talking to the EMTs.

About the middle of the lake, there was a table with bananas, oranges and chips. A lot of the marathoners stopped to get some food and water. Right past there, there was another runner on the floor surrounded by medical staff.

I was feeling ok, but was getting really hot. I looked at the course, to see if we were going to get some relief from the sun, but the course looked bright and crowded. At this point I started to feel like I needed to use the bathroom, but the portable toilets had a line. There was no way I was going to wait in line! So I kept running.

I stopped for water around mile 23, where there was another runner down in the floor, surrounded by other runners, who were throwing water on his face. I don't know if he was conscious, his eyes were closed and an EMT was running towards him.

Right after this, I stopped at a portable toilet that was empty and Oh My God! that was the grossest portapottie I have EVER SEEN!! I tried to not touch anything, did my business and left.

I took a walking break at a steep hill, my legs were not happy. I felt disappointed in myself, I thought my body could run the 7 miles without stopping, but the heat got me! Around this walking stop, a house was playing really loud upbeat music, (sounded like a reggae of some type) so I started dancing as I was walking. I figured there was no rush on getting back, because this was going to be a fun run.

Around mile 25, I peeled off my tank top, because it felt really heavy. I took a short walking break, because my legs felt tired and I was really hot.

I turned the corner on the inner harbor, to see the Inner Harbor and I went as fast as my legs would let me. I looked for Meranda, Heather and Lacey, but didn't see them.

I crossed the finish line and went to get water and snacks. After grabbing all the chips I could in my hands, a volunteer handed me my medal, he looked like a police officer.



Post Race
I found Heather, and Meranda and they told me that Megan was stuck on a bus in the way back. We walked around the Inner Harbor, which was crawling with runners all over the place. After We found Lacey, we went back to the hotel. I wanted to take a shower before we checked out.



After a shower and clean clothes, I felt like brand new and as if I hadn't run. Thinking back, the 7 miles that were my leg felt very short, and the whole experience just flew by me. I wasn't tired, or sore.

Because this was a relay, the only way to understand the full experience, is to read the recaps from the other legs, which are below: 
 
Heather- Leg 1

Meranda - Leg 2

Megan - Leg 3











Comments

  1. Wow, I didn't realize So many runners went down. That's scary! I wonder if Kyle was in the portable toilet when his teammate came through looking for him?...lol

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    1. I think they were marathoners, it felt quite warm by the time I started and it would have been 19 + miles for them by then.

      I hope she found Kyle!

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  2. I bet port o johns get worse the closer they are to the finish line... eek! I want to read about Kyle's relay experience hahaha. Like I said, I am glad you took walk breaks. It was good to manage your body temp! That is so scary that runners went down like that. I loved reading about everyone's experiences! I bet it was fun to do the last leg and cross the finish line.

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    1. I liked doing the last leg, and really enjoyed the whole experience. I felt a little like a cheat, when I was crossing the finish line with people finishing the marathon, and half marathon, and wish there would have been a different finish for the relay... but it fun.

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    2. and I also wish we would have had the opportunity to cross the finish line as a team, all together.

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  3. It really did get hot by your leg. I'm glad you slowed down and enjoyed the race (and music!). The relay was a really fun way to experience the marathon and still feel good after. :)

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    1. The music was fantastic! I really wish would have asked them what it was, it had a perfect dancing beat.

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  4. Heat is brutal and being in full on sun sure doesn't make it any better...sounds like you managed it perfect to me :)
    It is fun to have an experience with other bloggers!!
    I always have a hard time wearing compression socks when it is warm.
    Congratulations!!

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    1. meeting other bloggers is amazing!! Thank you Karen!

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  5. Congrats on your race! The end was pretty tough, especially in the heat. Im glad everything worked out with the exchanges!

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    1. I am amazed at those who ran the marathon and the half! it was very warm!

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  6. Yikes! It's so scary to see a runner down. Hopefully he (?) recovered quickly. Otherwise, sounds like a fun event - I love the crab medal!

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    1. I hope they did! they all had medical care, so I am hopeful they were taken care of.

      The crab medal was amazing!!

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  7. It's pretty scary seeing multiple runners down and needing help, hope they were all ok! And congrats on the race, sounds like it got pretty hot by the end.

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    1. I hope they were ok too. It was warm, but we still rocked the race. Thank you!!

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  8. Anonymous6:35 AM

    Did anyone drive to the exchange point for leg 4? The thought of waiting around 3 hours for my team does not sound fun!

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