Though it may be difficult to parse through exhaustion, dripping sweat and an internal mantra to just keep going, runners may notice some slight variations in the Baltimore Running Festival this year.
Organizers for the Baltimore Marathon, who already moved the finish line to the Inner Harbor from Camden Yards for last year’s race, have made “significant changes” to the course for the Oct. 20 race, especially around the midway point.
The first alteration comes at Key Highway, around the 11th mile. The route will now lead runners toward the Under Armour Campus in Port Covington, and will U-turn them back to the old path again.
Afterward, runners will head to the President Street circle and turn — carefully, as there will be cobblestones — to another new detour, the Central Avenue bridge and Harbor Point’s Central Plaza, roughly around mile 13. A view of the Inner Harbor will open up before them, which race executive director Lee Corrigan hopes will be a scenic treat for the athletes who, by then, will likely begin to feel the burden of having run half of 26.2 miles.
“We wanted to show off Harbor Point and give people a view of the Inner Harbor from the other side, which we’ve never been able to get that close in years’ past,” Corrigan said. “I think that’ll be an added hook that everybody likes.”
Other vistas like the Baltimore Zoo and Lake Montebello are still included in the route. A full turn-by-turn list can be found here.
The route of the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Half-Marathon is identical to that of 2017. The ShopRite 5K, which will also follow the same path, will introduce a wave start to accommodate the increased numbers that organizers anticipate. Overall, organizers project 23,000 people to partake in all events this year, an uptick of about 3,000 from 2017.