Casey Cares 5K a fun way to experience Camden Yards

In an orange tank top and my Maryland flag shorts, I was ready to represent Maryland and the O’s — as many other runners were — at the Casey Cares 5K this past Saturday, Aug. 1.

Here I am after running the Casey Cares 5K on Aug. 1. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
Here I am after running the Casey Cares 5K on Aug. 1. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The race started right outside Camden Yards — where the Baltimore Orioles play, for any non-locals — and ended on the field, which was cool. We didn’t get to run around the bases, but given that there were more than 1,000 participants, that probably wouldn’t have been ideal with a game that evening.

It was fun to do my first race in Baltimore City. Although I lived in Carroll County for the majority of my life until going to college, I was thinking about it and realizing that while I’ve run in Baltimore, I’ve never done a race in the city itself, so that was a fun experience.

The race went into the Federal Hill area. There weren’t too many hills on the course — only one short one and a bridge near the end that I can recall — which was probably a good thing, as I haven’t really been running too many hills recently. (But I did the following day — more on that in the next post.) I did walk a little bit when I got some water at the water stop and a little bit up the bridge during the last mile, but for the most part, I ran.

There was also one section that was cobblestone, which was a little weird to run on, but that section wasn’t too long.

My chip time was 26:29, an 8:33 pace, according to the results. I was pleased to see in the results that I placed 15th out of 142 women ages 20-29. While it wasn’t my fastest 5K, it was faster than my other 5K this year, at 3rd Wave Brewing Company.

The only real complaint I have about the race was having to walk what felt like a decent amount to be able to get to the water. With so many runners and the stadium setup, I’m sure it was a logistical issue, but I really wanted my water after that hot race.

It was such a big race that I knew someone who was running it and didn’t even see him. I’m used to the smaller races on the Eastern Shore, where sometimes I know and see many people.

It was great to be able to support the Casey Cares Foundation in the event, which aims to make the lives of critically ill children better through different initiatives. I actually have written about the Casey Cares Foundation at least once; I remember writing a newspaper article as a freelancer (or maybe intern) in the past.

I went back to my old house, about 45 minutes away, to take a shower and relax before heading back to Baltimore to enjoy the game that evening with a couple friends, along with my first crab mac and cheese hot dog. It was fun, and the Orioles won the game. Go O’s!

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