- 6 miles/10K
- Road Race
This was my fifth year running the Across the Bay 10K, which takes runners across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The bridge is closed to pedestrian traffic aside from this race, so it's definitely a unique opportunity to run across the bridge and get a different perspective.
I'm giving T-shirts/swag a "2" this year because there was a spelling error on the shirt. The font is small, but it says "Queen Ann's" County instead of "Queen Anne's." As someone who really cares about spelling and grammar, I think it's crazy that this was misspelled on thousands of shirts and that nobody caught it. The medals are nice, and it's cool that they interlock, but runners were told that we would be completing a five-year medal puzzle this year, but the medal had an extra notch. This seems disingenuous and leads me to believe that the race organizers are trying to get people to run another year (even if they weren't planning to return) to keep their puzzles going.
This is a cupless race, which makes sense because you don't want people throwing cups off the bridge, or have cups fall into the Chesapeake Bay. So, I carried a water bottle during the race and didn't use the aid stations.
The expo is held the two days before the race at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Runners have to either attend the expo to pick up their shirts and bibs, or pay to have their bibs mailed to their homes — there is no race-day bib pickup. It was easy to park and get bibs and shirts when my friend and I attended Saturday, but there was nothing special about it that stood out to me.
I give this race a "2" for elevation difficulty. I live in a very flat area, and there is a gradual incline to reach the top of the bridge. It's not extremely hilly, but for me, it was noticeable. It is nice to have the downhill after reaching the top.
Parking was easy, but I'm giving it a "3" because we are charged to park in the parking lots to take the required shuttles. I paid $20 for a parking pass for the Kent Narrows Center. I think that's excessive when I already paid $60 to run the race. At least my friend and I drove together so we didn't both need to buy a parking pass.
Race management I'm giving a "4." This race does seem to be very well organized and run smoothly — particularly for such a large race — but I was left feeling disappointed by some things, like not getting the completed medal puzzle that we were led to believe we would receive, and the spelling error. There were also no space blankets at the end, and it would be nice to get one free beer.
Despite the costs, I would recommend doing this race at least once, just to experience what it's like to run across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It is a fun experience!
Read my blog post here: https://sherunsbytheseashore.com/2018/11/09/across-the-bay-10k-i-beatthebridge-again/