These tips are also available in an interactive version with an accompanying map at data.baltimoresun.com/marathon-map/2015.


  • MILE 0: Stay warm, help charity: To keep warm waiting for the starting gun, wear extra layers you're OK leaving — articles left on the side of the course are collected for charity. No extra clothes? With rain threatening one year, I brought a trash bag poncho! (Source: Lauren Seserko, Breathe Deeply and Smile blog)

  • MILE 1: What's the rush?: By the first mile marker you will be climbing a steady hill that feels less daunting than it is thanks to the excitement of the start. As the adrenaline wears off, don't get distracted by those continuing to surge — they well may be relay runners who are going one-quarter as far as you. (Source: Jeremy Lyons, November Project Baltimore)

  • MILE 4: Through the zoo: Your reward for the challenging opening climb? A trip to the zoo. You've certainly earned a peek at the penguins — the course goes right by the park's newest exhibit. If you'd rather focus on your time, well, just watch for those watching the animals to avoid any collisions. (Source: Steve Earley, The Baltimore Sun)

  • MILE 6: Don't refuel purely on feel: Take cues from the weather and your body, but replenishing fluid, carbs and electrolytes should be thought about ahead of time. If you drink and eat only when you feel like you need it, it will probably be too late. (Source: Steve Earley, Baltimore Sun)

  • MILE 7: Downhill to downtown: You’ve made it up the first hills and are now headed back downtown. With a new group of relay participants settling into their legs, you may find your pace quickening to match theirs, but don’t let it get out of control. If you haven’t eaten anything yet, now's a good time. (Source: Ryan McGrath, Federal Hill Runners/Falls Road Racing)

  • MILE 9: Flat and fun: This is the fun part: All-flat, downtown, through the crowd. Go ahead. High-five a stranger! Source: Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun)

  • MILE 15: An unquiet mind: At the turn onto Boston Street, things get pretty quiet compared to where you just came from (Inner Harbor) and where you're going (Patterson Park). Even though it's a flat stretch, focus on your pace and breathing. Staying engaged will help you be ready for the hills in the marathon's second half. (Source: Jeremy Lyons, November Project Baltimore)

  • MILE 16: Water bottleneck: With half-marathoners joining the course, the water station here gets crowded. Plan on skipping this stop unless you really need it — the next one is about a mile and a half up on Washington Street — and keep to the outside to avoid getting caught in a traffic jam. (Source: Lauren Seserko, Breathe Deeply and Smile blog)

  • MILE 19: You've made it up Washington Street, one of the race's toughest stretches. You ran hard, now run smart by angling through the turnaround on Sinclair Lane (like a race car would, aka "running the tangents") and avoiding congestion at the relay exchange by keeping left through Clifton Park. (Source: Steve Earley, The Baltimore Sun)

  • MILE 20: In and out of the loop: At the Lake Montebello loop, it's a tease to see where you'll be in a mile-plus. They look so close, but those runners leaving the lake while you're arriving are almost 12 minutes ahead of you if you're running 8-minute miles. Instead of worrying about them, look forward to the food-and-water station coming up soon. (Source: Jeremy Lyons, November Project Baltimore)

  • MILE 22: Low? How 'bout a high five?: 33rd Street rolls up and down, and by now, your legs might be screaming at you to stop. Don’t listen to them! Shake your arms out. Take in some fluids. If you’re feeling down, give a spectator a high five! (Source: Ryan McGrath, Federal Hill Runners/Falls Road Racing)

  • MILE 24: Guess what? You're finishing!: Once you've surmounted the Howard Street bridge, it's smooth sailing to the finish. It doesn't matter how much you hurt at this point — finishing is the only option! If your quads feel wobbly, focus on your foot strike and make sure you're not slapping the ground. (Sources: Deirdre Weadock, Charm City Run;Ryan McGrath, Federal Hill Runners/Falls Road Racing)

  • MILE 26: Almost there!: When you get to the stadium, you know you're close, but the finish is still about a quarter mile away. Don’t sprint until you’ve exited the park and are on Ravens Walk. At the end, watch out for concrete pillars. (Sources: Ryan McGrath, Federal Hill Runners/Falls Road Racing; Baltimore Running Festival)

  • MILE 26.2: Finished doesn't mean done: Often overlooked is post-race recovery. You’re exhausted, and just want to chill out, but it’s important to get into dry, warm clothes and to start getting calories back in you. If you have friends or family coming to watch, have them greet you with clothes and something to eat. (Source: Ryan McGrath, Federal Hill Runners/Falls Road Racing)


  • MILE 1: Start elsewhere: The starting line will be bonkers! Don't bother competing for a spot there. Head up Paca Street for a better view. (Source: Deirdre Weadock, Charm City Run)

  • MILE 3: Stay with the animals: Rather than detouring around lingering road closures, you might want to make a day of it and stay in the city 'til the coast is completely clear. The zoo, which marathoners will go through, is as good a place as any to set up camp. Its big penguin exhibit just turned a year old, and, after the race, it's hosting its popular OktoBEARfest beer festival. (Source: Steve Earley, The Baltimore Sun)

  • MILE 8: Gettin' down (hill): Just before runners reach the Inner Harbor, they will be cruising down St. Paul Street. Catch your friends looking fast and confident as the decline and your cheers push them into high gear. (Source: Jeremy Lyons, November Project Baltimore)

  • MILE 10: The Key to good photos: Key Highway is a great photo-taking stretch. It takes runners past twice as they go out to Under Armour HQ and back, has open sightlines, and is dotted with capivating backdrops like Federal Hill Park, the skyline behind Rash Field, the American Visionary Art Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Industry's shipyard crane. (Sources: Luke Broadwater and Steve Earley, The Baltimore Sun)

  • MILE 13: Bodies movin': Around Light and Conway streets is great for spectating. Without hardly moving a muscle yourself, you can see hundreds of muscles move as the marathoners pass by twice and half-marathoners start their race. Though, if you get antsy between packs, some jumping jacks might help you stay in the spirit of things. Source: Lauren Seserko, Breathe Deeply and Smile blog)

  • MILE 14: Have a gameplan, too: If you're cheering for a specific runner, make sure you can get where you'll say you'll be by the time they get there. Study the course map and transporation options, know the runner's targeted pace, then designate a landmark or specific distance. Race day can get chaotic quickly. Even for fans, winging it is not a good strategy. (Source: Lauren Seserko, Breathe Deeply and Smile blog)

  • MILE 16: Meet at the park: If you're following friends in both the marathon and half-marathon, or just want to see lots of action, consider coming to the corner of Linwood and Eastern avenues at Patterson Park, where the two races meet. (Source: Reddit user elliottp)

  • MILE 19: No navigating: Runners love getting encouragement from spectators. Keep it positive and avoid giving distance information such as "X miles to go!" or "Almost there!" If it's wrong, it can be confusing or frustrating for athletes. (Source: Lauren Seserko, Breathe Deeply and Smile blog)

  • MILE 21: Two-fer: You're not the one running today, so why chase your friend or family member who is? See them twice — before they go around the lake and after — for the price of one by stationing yourself by the entrance to Lake Montebello. (Source: Reddit user elliottp)

  • MILE 22: Don't drive yourself crazy: Motorists can avoid race-related closures by staying north of 33rd Street. If that isn't an option, don't expect to easily snake through anywhere in the center part of Baltimore. If you live in the ctiy, marathon day is a wonderful excuse to explore its neighborhoods on bike or foot. (Source: Jeremy Lyons, November Project Baltimore)

  • MILE 23: DJs and tigers and gummy bears!: If the marathon has a party block, Guilford Avenue in Charles Village is it. Look for a DJ spinning music, a man in a tiger suit urging on runners from the top of a car, and another man passing out gummy bears to participants.(Sources: Reddit users BaltimoreC and One_Percenter;Twitter user @bmorecatlover)