I woke up yesterday with a slight hangover or feeling a bit out of it. Not sure why as I only was out until 2am on Friday and did mostly dancing and talking.
So when I woke up at 5:45am I really just wanted to press snooze. Something called FOR THE LOVE OF THE SPORT, got me out of bed, though, and so I made three cups of instant coffee with fake/powdered creamer and downed a snickers bar and said, lets go.
I was then off to pick up newbie Matt Herzog. I nabbed him and we started out on our trek to Baltimore to run the Celtic Solstice 5miler. Lucky for us, Matt has some kind of phone that also provides mapping capability. Since we were venturing into uncharted territory, such a device was bound to and did come in handy. As we drove the Baltimore, Matt diligently reviewed our directions throughout to make sure we were heading the right way.
Even with such technology, we barely made the race start in time and had to blaze down to the packet pickup tent to get our stuff and get to the starting line. Once we got there however, we had to wait a little bit for guys in Celtic quilts playing bagpipes and drinking beer to mozey on over to the start line and give the official salute to get the race going. While waiting we met up with another member of the team, Laura Ramos, a runner who has started coming to the Wednesday group runs in the eve.
As I waited at the line, I noticed some of the usual regulars like running legends Dave Berardi, Chris Chattin and Bob Marino. Back in the day, Marino would battle Jim Hage and Darrell General for all of the local racing titles. All of these guys are local Baltimore area running regulars who have been winning/running well for years.
Since we only had three of our own team members, I had to borrow a few guys from Falls River Running Co. Ryan McGrath, one of their leaders was kind enough to give us two runners to make it a team of five. However, he was not kind enough to give us any thoroughbreds as he saved those for his squad:)
BANG----- the gun went off and we started. Not knowing what I could do, I ran the first mile in 5:50 and gradually got into the race so that by mile 4 I was passing guys left and right and settled for a 27:24 time. I am happy considering I did no prep for this race. Matt Herzog Prd in 30 and some change and Laura came in # 3 for the women. However, our team finished # 3 overall.
In all it was a very positive experience. I have never run in Baltimore before and enjoyed the change of scene.
After the race, there was good food and cheer as the Baltimore running community put on a first class show.
I highly recommend these races in places an hr or so away as they provide glimpses into other communities and areas that are fun to run in.
________A day in the life of a runner