The hot, humid, hilly Baltimore 10 Miler

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Veronica, right, and I pose for a photo in our Eastern Shore Running Club shirts before starting the Baltimore 10 Miler on June 4.

Hills, heat and humidity combined for a tough Baltimore 10 Miler t0day, June 4.

This was my first time doing the race, which my friend Veronica and I signed up for at least in part because of the nice premium the race is known for.

It’s a pricey race ($75 plus the online registration fee when I signed up in February), but it does seem to be well-organized, by Corrigan Sports, and the premium is nice. Plus, I think it’s cool to run through Baltimore when the roads are closed.

The course starts near the Maryland Zoo and goes toward, then around, Lake Montebello. Most of the course is an out-and-back, with a couple added sections, including a loop right at the end. Some roads were familiar from the Baltimore Marathon, which I ran for the first time in October.

I wore my Eastern Shore Running Club shirt to represent the Shore, and Veronica had brought and decided to wear hers, too.

I started out fast. It didn’t feel that bad at first, and much of the beginning was downhill. My first mile clocked in at 8:37, according to my watch, but I wouldn’t get back to that pace for the rest of the race.

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Here I am after finishing, back at the hotel, with my medal. It has running penguins on it! (Vanessa Junkin photo)

It started feeling hot and humid very soon, and there were so many hills to climb up. Here on the Eastern Shore, there are few hills, and they can easily be avoided unless you want to do a hill workout. My watch logged 478 feet of elevation on today’s run.

I walked a decent amount, using a good amount of the hills as walk breaks to deal with the heat. I tried to make up for speed on the downhills, which I looked forward to.

I stopped at every water stop, and after the first one I started getting two cups of water at each one, pouring one on myself and drinking one, doing that at most of the remaining stops.

A race email I received from Mettle Timing after the race said when the race began, it was 73 degrees and there was 84 percent humidity. It said there was a 6 mph wind, but there was only one slight moment when I felt a small breeze.

It was overcast; it could have even been worse if the sun was shining. Plus, it started at 7:30 a.m., and it was already very hot!

I could tell I wasn’t the only one suffering. There were times I was sighing just because of the heat, and it seemed like others could relate. I felt like all the runners were going through similar feelings (except maybe the extremely fast people at the front).

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It did get sunny later in the day, so I was glad I was offered these free sunglasses from a guy at a Pepsi booth. I also bought the shirt today. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I ended up with a time of 1:37:38, an average pace of 9:46 per mile, which is actually my slowest 10-mile race but still a time I am happy with, given the conditions and tough course. I actually felt I performed better than I did at the Redneck Romp, which was my previous slowest 10-miler at 1:36:48. That race was flat and didn’t have poor weather conditions.

My second half was slower than my first half, but surprisingly, I moved up in the rankings, which I guess meant I was able to stay pretty strong through the second half.

The Mettle Timing email I mentioned said at the 5-mile mark, I was at a 9:38 average pace — 1,646th overall and 715th among women. But despite the slower pace, I was 1,337th overall and 570th among women when just looking at the second half. (Overall, I was 1,512th out of 4,245, according to the email, and 633rd of 2,450 women, according to the online results. The overall place is slightly different than what’s online, but I’m not sweating it — literally or figuratively.)

My splits were very uneven, according to my watch. My first mile was the fastest, at 8:37, but my slowest mile, Mile 9, was 10:37. My last mile was the second-fastest, at 8:56. I’m sure this was because I would walk when I needed to; given my past heat-related experiences, getting a faster time wouldn’t be worth passing out or dealing with any kind of heat-related illness. I was going as fast as I could.

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Here’s a collage of the foods we tried at the Taste of 3 Cities. I wish I had more room to try even more! (Vanessa Junkin photos)

I had hydrated a lot before the race, but I quickly drank another bottle of water after getting to the finish. I also had half a banana, an apple, a granola bar and most of a beer. I wanted another water bottle, but the volunteers were saving them for the people who were still finishing. Luckily, I had water bottles in the car — I needed it on this hot day, and I hope everyone was able to get enough water.

Thankfully, I did not have to stop for a bathroom on the course; I made sure to take care of that beforehand. After picking up our race bibs Friday night and getting dinner at the Cheesecake Factory at the Inner Harbor, Veronica and I stayed at a hotel a little outside of the city and got to the race with plenty of time to spare, which was great.

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This may be selfie overload, but once I got home in Salisbury, I tried on the race premium, and I love it! (Vanessa Junkin photo)

After getting to take showers back at the hotel, Veronica and I headed to the Taste of 3 Cities in Patterson Park, which was a cool food truck festival. We had mac and cheese, fried cheese curds and cookie-ice cream sandwiches. There were so many options and it would have been nice to try a little from every truck, but that would have been impossible because the trucks were for the most part serving full-size portions.

Overall, it was a fun weekend, and it certainly felt nice to reach that finish line!

Splits (My watch logged 10.03 miles)

Mile 1: 8:37

Mile 2: 9:30

Mile 3: 9:49

Mile 4: 10:06

Mile 5: 9:46

Mile 6: 10:18

Mile 7: 9:24

Mile 8: 10:22

Mile 9: 10:37

Mile 10: 8:56

Extra part on watch: :13

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