Latest reviews by Andrew Anderson
Excellent experience and an even cooler medal. The "Crack the Crab" medal has apparently been a thing since 2016, I believe, and the medal features a diecast crab that opens to reveal an iconic landmark in the city. I'll be honest, I had the flu the weekend before the marathon and was very concerned as the course is definitely more challenging than the courses I have run before in Cleveland, LA, and Columbus. The hills are no joke, and the mile 15-20 stretch heading up to the loop around the lake is a fairly consistent uphill climb. I was able to persevere thanks to the amazing pace group I ran with from the start until mile 22 when I needed to drop back and regroup a bit (it was a little warm at 72 degrees and there was little shade for a few miles). I finished about 7 minutes behind them, but they kept my pace honest.
Race expo was not fantastic, and not easy to take at your own pace. Instead of a free range expo with an open floor plan, the organizers had you snake through the expo hall and through all the booths, not my favorite lay out. The swag was VERY minimal, and I actually considered that to be a bit of a plus as I'm not someone who loves taking home a ton of marketing material, I'm more of a "get what I need and get out" person.
The race itself was clearly something the city is excited about, WELL organized, VERY secure, and full of friendly people directing, volunteering, and keeping the course safe. There was no shortage of water stops for the Marathon distance, enough volunteers that if anyone had any issues with health or finishing they were immediately tended to, and the pacers were absolutely TOP NOTCH and friendly.
Parking was tricky, as downtown Baltimore is absolutely shut down for the race. I drove in from Columbus and parked on Friday afternoon, and we never took our car back out of the garage, but if you were trying to do anything the day of the race, you would have had extremely limited options. Race directions specified parking locations, but it would have been a challenge to be sure.
Overall, I would recommend this race to anyone who really wants to see the inner harbor (and would enjoy strolling around that area after the race), and give themselves a bit of a challenge (but not something completely overwhelming) and would absolutely consider doing this one again.