The Baltimore Running Festival returns Saturday for its 20th year, meaning a range of city streets will be closed to traffic at times as they are packed with sweaty runners and supportive spectators.
Marking a return to live races in Baltimore after more than a year of coronavirus restrictions, the festival is expected to attract 10,000 participants, according to organizers Corrigan Sports and officials with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.
Here’s what you need to know:
7:30 a.m. — The Belcara 5K starts at 7:30 a.m., after a brief kick-off ceremony featuring a rendition of the national anthem and presentation of the colors.
7:55 a.m. — The Wheelchair Marathon begins.
8 a.m. — The 20th running of the Baltimore Marathon and the Pandora 10K commence.
9:45 a.m. — The CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Half—Marathon starts.
Thursday — Beginning at 10 a.m., the left lane of Light Street will be closed from Pratt Street to Conway Street, according to the Department of Transportation.
Friday — Beginning at 9 p.m., Pratt Street will be closed from Charles Street to Light Street. The road will be closed until Saturday evening.
Saturday is when the majority of road closures take effect, some of them for hours, others for minutes. Here are the road closures listed by transportation officials:
6 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. — Camden Street will be closed from Pace Street to Howard Street.
6 to 10 a.m. — Russell Street will be closed from Lee Street to Pratt Street.
6:30 to 9 a.m. — Paca Street will be closed from Pratt Street to Lombard Street.
7 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. — Eutaw Street will be closed from Pratt Street to Camden Street.
7 to 10 a.m. — Russell Street will be closed at Hamburg Street.
7 a.m. to 12 p.m. — The Hamburg Street Bridge will be closed from Russell Street to Leadenhall Street.
7 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Pratt Street will be closed from Green Street to Eutaw Street.
8 to 11:45 a.m. — Key Highway will be closed from Cross Street to Light Street.
8 to 11 a.m. — Northbound Light Street will be closed from Henrietta Street to Key Highway.
8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. — Southbound Jones Falls Expressway exit ramp to 28th Street will be closed.
8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Southbound Light Street will be closed from Lombard Street to Key Highway.
1 p.m. — Pratt Street will be closed from Howard Street to Light Street until runners clear the area.
In addition to full on road closures, the Department of Transportation said lanes will be closed on about a dozen roads for increments ranging from 25 minutes up to two hours.
Parking restrictions (and when to move your car)
The Department of Transportation will begin enforcing parking restrictions beginning early Saturday morning in preparation for the various races. Here are the various deadlines for moving your car:
12 a.m. to 2 p.m. —
- Linwood Avenue from Eastern Avenue to Madison Street
- The north side of Eastern Avenue from Linwood Avenue to Patterson Park Avenue
2 a.m. to 3 p.m. —
- The north side of Boston Street from Aliceanna Street to Lakewood Avenue
- 33rd Street from Hillen Road to Guilford Avenue
- 28th Street from Howard Street to St. Paul Street
- St. Paul Street from 28th Street to Light Street
- Maryland Avenue, Cathedral Street, Liberty Street, Sharp Street from 29th Street to Pratt Street
- Camden Street from Eutaw Street to Paca Street
- Key Highway from Light Street to Lawrence Street
- The south side of Lee Street from Light Street to Charles Street
- The east side of Charles Street from Lee Street to Conway Street
- Central Avenue from Dock Street to Point Street
- Point Street from Central Avenue to the south side of Wills Street and from Wills Street to Caroline Street
2 a.m. to 12 p.m. —
- The south side of Baltimore Street from President Street to Patterson Park Avenue
- The south side of Fayette Street from Calvert Street to High Street
- High Street from Fayette Street to Baltimore Street
- Hillen Road from Harford Road to Mervo entrance, near 33rd Street
- Linden Avenue from Druid Park Lake Drive to 2428 Linden Avenue
- Ducatel Street from Linden Avenue to Eutaw Place
- Eutaw Place from Ducatel Street to North Avenue
Don’t forget a mask, as Baltimore still requires masks in indoor public places, regardless of one’s vaccination status.
If you’re running, you ought to bring a water bottle. Race organizers decided to do away with paper water cups this year “to reduce touch points for our volunteers and participants and to keep disposable cups out of the Baltimore community,” according to the 2021 “runner handbook.”
There will, however, be places for runners to fill their water bottles along the racecourse, the handbook says, and racers will be greeted with a Gatorade and a bottle of water at the finish line.
Forecasters are calling for gloomy Saturday with a high near 74 degrees and a 40% chance of showers, according to the National Weather Service.
The temperature will drop to 62 degrees overnight while the chance for rain remains the same.