A summer evening run in Ocean City – with a little scare

Here’s a view from the Ocean City Inlet. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

When I decided to run in Ocean City, I thought it would be hot. I thought it would be sweaty. I didn’t think it would be scary.

The drawbridge started going up soon after I made it to this side. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I parked in the free parking lot in West Ocean City and decided to run over the Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge, commonly known as the Route 50 Bridge. There’s a pedestrian walkway, and I’ve done this before.

I was making my way over the bridge when I started hearing a chime. This is a drawbridge, and I knew the chime meant the drawbridge was about to go up. But I had already passed the arm that comes down to block people from entering this section — it had been up as if nothing was about to happen. Without time to think whether going forward or going backward would be faster, I sprinted as fast as I could to the other arm, which by this time I had to duck under.

I made it before the bridge started going up, but it seemed to be a close call. On the other side of the safety arm, I recovered and walked a little bit before continuing on my run. I ran by the Inlet area and hopped on the Boardwalk at the Inlet end.

This totem pole is by the Inlet in Ocean City. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Aside from the one sprint, I had a leisurely run to the end of the Boardwalk, which is about 2.25 miles from the Inlet end. My phone was just about dead —it died on the run — and my watch was also dead, so I was running without using anything to track my distance. Although it’s nice to have something, it felt nice running without it, too.

Upon reaching the end of the Boardwalk, I hit the yellow spot on a sign and then turned around, this time not going to the end of the Inlet and turning back toward the bridge. This time, I crossed the bridge without issue.

On the Boardwalk, I did have to dodge people at times, as it was pretty crowded, but it wasn’t a problem. I wasn’t trying to go fast and walked a decent amount and made a couple stops.

The distance ended up being a little more than a 10K, according to MapMyRun. Although the temperature was quite hot, it really didn’t feel bad on my run, probably because of the breeze in addition to my slower speed. I did run with a bottle of water, too.

I had been in Ocean City for work on Monday, and of course one of my first thoughts was that I was going to do a run while there. I had been wanting to run on the Boardwalk, and I hadn’t done that for a while. After I was finished with work, I did a little shopping before changing into my running clothes and setting off.

The Boardwalk is a fun place to run, and it’s even marked with mile markers every 1/4 mile. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

After the run, I ate at culture / authentic eatery in West Ocean City. I had been wanting to check out this place since my former colleague Jon Bleiweis wrote about it, and I’d seen some positive posts on Facebook from friends about it since. It was great!

The staff was extremely friendly even though I was somewhat of a stinky mess after my run. I enjoyed some tacos, squash pudding, rice and beans and a strawberry-hibiscus craft soda.

Despite my drawbridge scare, I still enjoyed my run in Ocean City. I’ll be on the lookout for nearby boats next time so I can beat the chimes.

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