THE NATIONAL BLACK MARATHONERS ASSOCIATION’S WEBSITE INFORMS VISITORS that “40% of its members have NEVER completed a marathon and many are walkers.” Why join a marathoners’ club if you don’t run races of this distance? The NBMA says it’s mission is to “encourage Black Americans and others to pursue a healthy life-style through long distance running and walking.” It also provides “scholarships to deserving high school boy and girl distance runners”; reportedly more that $24,000.
Why will Baltimore, Maryland be important to these marathoners and less-than marathon-distance runners and walkers in 2018? The Charm City’s October running festival has been selected as THE SINGLE EVENT for the organization’s annual meet-up and summit, the place where “Black American distance runners across the nation” will gather ‘en masse’ at a single marathon.
In October 2016, the annual event was held in Columbus Ohio, and in April 2017, in St Louis Missouri. This year that national meet-up will again take place in the Fall, at the Baltimore Marathon Festival, October 18-21, 2018.
The Baltimore festival is perfect for such a gathering of running and walking talent. There’s a marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, and a 5K. A local radio station is hosting a charity .05K!
Several race series challenges can be run as well. The BaltiMORON-athon requires participants to finish the 5K + Half Marathon on the same day. However, the Maryland Double requires participants to finish races in the Frederick (MD) Running Festival held May 6, 2018 and the Baltimore Running Festival in October. The King Crab Challenge is more complicated, involving finishes at 3 races: Frederick (May), Baltimore (October) and the Baltimore 10-Miler in June, all in 2018. Best to check out the race website for accurate details.
If you’re not yet convinced to join others for this special event consider that an African American marathoner, Catherine Pugh, the current mayor of Baltimore, is said to have founded the 1981-1989 Baltimore City Marathon (re-named from the Maryland Marathon of 1973-1980). The Baltimore Running Festival brought the marathon back to the city in 2001.
You have plenty of time to find a training plan for an October race in Baltimore, but probably would be cutting it too close to run a May 6 Half Marathon in Frederick. On March 1, both Festival’s websites issued a news release about a free 30-day trial of a personalized app plan offered by Mbition.com. It looks as if each week’s schedule is provided as you go, such that after the free trial period the cost is charged to you monthly or annually. In other words, it's not completely free.
Earned Runs urges runners and walkers to plan activities as far out as a year in advance, if needed. The earlier you start the process the more likely you are NOT to be shut out of registering for fun and important motivating experiences. Also, every competition requires training. The longer the race distance, the longer the preparation, and the better the protection against injury. Participation in the Baltimore event may require advance effort.
There are free training plans offered by various online sites (the Earned Runs RESOURCES page lists a few), so you don't need to spend extra dollars. Usually these free downloads are simple printable calendar schedules, not personalized interactive phone apps.
If interested in the Baltimore Marathon Festival this Fall, summer activities may need to be adjusted to accommodate the training plan for your specific distance race. It is possible that a spring and early summer season of lighter, 'recovery' racing or challenge activities will be the best preparation for an autumn that will focus on finishing a long race.
Baltimore is a lovely running city in the fall. I watched my daughter finish the Baltimore Running Festival half marathon years ago. She inspired me to commit to train for my first half marathon. Then we both registered for the Maryland Double. Injury sidelined me, but she and a friend finished both races with personal bests.
There's a lot to see, do, and eat in Baltimore after the running and walking have been accomplished.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...