Negative splits at the Across the Bay 10K

Here I am after picking up my race shirt and bib at the Across the Bay 10K expo at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. (Veronica James photo)

On Sunday, I earned my fourth piece of the medal puzzle at the Across the Bay 10K, the annual race across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

While my race wasn’t as fast as the Mike Sterling 10K that I ran in September, I was happy to see that I ran negative splits — which makes sense, since the race is across a bridge and therefore includes an incline and decline.

On Saturday, I drove with my friend Veronica to the race expo, held at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. We picked up our race shirts, bibs and parking pass, and went back later to see if we could exchange our shirts.

Veronica was able to exchange hers for a different size, but I was hoping to see if I could get the men’s shirt, because the women’s shirt was gray and the men’s shirt was a bright orange. They were out of men’s small and medium shirts, so I stuck with the women’s medium — but I do hope next year there’s a brighter color for women.

Here I am before the start of the Across the Bay 10K. (Veronica James photo)

We stayed in Kent Island, very close to the parking lot where we had a parking pass to.


There had been a slight scare the night before with a post on the Across the Bay 10K page regarding potential rainfall and that it may affect the race, but thankfully, it wasn’t raining on Sunday morning and everything went smoothly. We boarded the bus at the Kent Narrows Center parking lot without having to wait in line and were on our way to the race start, on the western side of the Bay Bridge.

When we arrived on the western shore, we were greeted by tons of portable toilets and some fellow runners. Throughout the day, I got to see plenty of people I knew, from beforehand to on the bridge to at the post-race party. I met up with my mom, who also ran the race, and my stepdad after, along with a friend from high school who also ran. I also got to meet a friend who I hadn’t gotten to meet in person despite being Facebook friends for a while.

Here I am with my finisher medal after the race. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

At the Mike Sterling 10K, I ran the 10K in 55:55, and I wanted to see if I could run faster than that on Sunday. However, my plans were quickly derailed when I started going up the bridge.


I ran the first mile in 9:02, but my second mile was the slowest of the day, at 10:09. I tried to make up some time on the downhill, running 9:14 and then 8:54, but I couldn’t make up the minute I lost in the uphill. Otherwise, my mile times were relatively consistent.

With a final time of 57:32, it was not my slowest Across the Bay 10K. This was my fourth year participating in this race since it started in 2014 (I also ran the race when it was the Governor’s Bay Bridge Run as a teenager), and my times have ranged from 50:20 in 2014 to 57:53 in 2015.

According to my race results for this year’s race, I ran the first 5K in 29:36 and the second 5K in 27:57, which I’m happy with. It’s an average 9:15/mile pace. I feel like it’s rare that I run negative splits in a race.

Here I am with my mom after we both finished the Across the Bay 10K. (Paul Renda photo)

I had tried to bring some extra energy at the end of the race, and remembered seeing 8:10 on my watch as the current pace as I approached the finish line.


I got my medal, which connects with the previous three and will connect to a fifth, and basic post-race food and water. It wasn’t hard to find Veronica, and not long after I met up with my mom, stepdad and other friends. There was also food for sale, and my stepdad treated us to burgers. I also bought some cookies and cream popcorn, which I had never heard of before but is good.

I was disappointed that the only beer option was an unlimited beer ticket for $10. I remembered in previous years there had been an option to get one beer for $5, and I only wanted one, so I didn’t get a beer ticket (I also forgot to bring my ID, but I am 27). There’s not a beer included with the entry.

Particularly since my runs are normally flat, it was fun to see the elevation on my new Garmin Forerunner 935 (I am testing this watch for BibRave and will have a full review coming).

There also wasn’t a live band at the after-party like there has been in previous years; I’m not sure if this was because of the weather or if it was a change to the race.


After the race, we had a easy ride back to the parking area via bus. It’s such a big race and the waves are very spread out, so I didn’t get to see everyone I know who was there.

As I’ve mentioned before, I always enjoy the opportunity to travel the Bay Bridge on foot, and I’ll be back next year!

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Mile 1: 9:02

Mile 2: 10:09

Mile 3: 9:14

Mile 4: 8:54

Mile 5: 9:15

Mile 6: 9:01

Last part (watch had .24): 1:55

Total: Official time was 57:32/9:15 pace (watch had 57:33/9:14 pace)

Here are my Across the Bay 10K finisher medals from 2014-2017. (Vanessa Junkin photo)