A Simple Running Log

October 9, 2014

Training for 10/9/14

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:18 pm

Last night, I got an email from the organizers of the Baltimore Running Festival, as I’m registered to run as part of a marathon relay team. Thanks to the Orioles’ successful run to the American League Championship Series, which starts tomorrow and could take until next Saturday evening in Baltimore to decide — the same day as the running festival — the organizers made the call now to move up all of the race start times by an hour. The marathon and relay will start at 7 a.m. now.

Right now, race start times are the only changes necessary, but if the O’s and Royals need the sixth and seventh games next Friday and Saturday, the end of the course will have to be rerouted from its current state — right through the ballpark — and the finish line will be shut down after six hours, at 1 p.m.

It’s obvious why the race organizers picked October when they started the Baltimore Running Festival in 2001. Fall is generally the best running weather, with cooler temps and lower humidity after a hot and muggy summer of training. And I totally understand why they sent the course through an MLB ballpark in October, in spite of the postseason. I mean, this wasn’t just any MLB park they were running through, it was Camden Yards, home of the Orioles.

See, when this running festival was founded, the O’s were in a streak of losing seasons that started in 1998 and would last all the way until 2011. They hadn’t won a World Series since 1983, and they hadn’t made it to the ALCS — the series they’re about to start tomorrow — since 1997. To put it bluntly, they sucked. When the organizers decided to place their finish line between Camden Yards and the Ravens’ NFL stadium, where regular season games are generally held on Sundays, it probably seemed like a pretty safe bet to hold the running festival on Saturday in mid-October, when there would never be a conflict with a baseball game.

A couple of years ago, the O’s started to show a little sign of life, earning a wild card berth. They didn’t go any further though, and last year, while they finished with a winning record, they did not make it to the postseason. The running festival continued uncontested.

Then this year happened. I’m no baseball fan — I just Googled all that O’s history — but I am married to one, and I’ve been to live games in L.A., Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Clark always watches postseason baseball, no matter which teams are playing, and he’s obviously pretty psyched about the O’s being a part of it this year (he’s bummed the Dodgers are out though.) I’ve been watching it too. It’s impossible not to feel a little hometown pride for the local team, and some of these postseason games have actually been a teensy bit, well, exciting, which is something I have never said about a baseball game before!

So Sunday, while the rest of Maryland (and Maryland natives who defected a quarter-mile into Delaware because taxes) were celebrating the O’s moving on to the ALCS for the first time in nearly 20 years, the Baltimore Running Festival organizers probably swallowed hard and muttered “Oh, shit.”

It’s one thing to make the decision to move up a race’s start time by an hour because of a baseball game that may or may not even be played. It’s another thing to break that news to the runners, a week before the race.

Personally, I don’t mind at all. It just means I’ll be done running an hour earlier.

So the race organizers bravely posted the news to their Facebook page last night. As of this morning, there were nearly 300 comments on it. Most of it was just people tagging other people to make sure they saw it. The first few actual comments were mostly positive:

First they were happy

They even heard from a surprise supporter:

Nice Sox fan one

Nice Sox fan

Nice twist, Andy!

Then the people who clearly just skimmed over the announcement started showing up. They kept asking about the expo where we pick up our race packets, scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The announcement made it very clear the hours and location will be the same; the only thing that might be affected is parking, if there are a bunch of baseball fans in town Friday for a game. They suggested coming to the expo Thursday if possible, to avoid potential parking problems. Seemed reasonable.



Then the people who just like to complain about stuff started to pop up.

8 a.m. is too early already

Literally no one thinks 8 a.m. is an early start for a freaking marathon, Matthew. And who are the two morons who ‘liked’ that asinine complaint?


Is there really that big a difference between getting into town for a 7:20 a.m. 5K vs. an 8:20 a.m. 5K? Apparently, yes! It will be virtually impossible. Impossible, I tell you!


This is as much of a dramatic flounce as you can make when there’s a zero-refund policy haha. “Ugh, I’ll see you next year!” What if the O’s make the playoffs again, Victor?

Mike Geisler is an ass part two

You know what, Mike, you have a point about smaller races being better than “huge cattle call” ones. I couldn’t agree more. It’s why I don’t try to run races like Marine Corps, New York City or Chicago, and I have serious doubts I’d even want to do Boston, should I ever manage to shave off the five minutes from my marathon PR I would need to qualify. Which is funny, because though you claim you’re going to stick to smaller, better races… a quick check of the race registration shows you’re signed up for the freaking Baltimore Marathon. And then you shit your pants over something like having to wake up an hour earlier and “warm up in the pitch dark.” You’re an ass.

Mike Geisler is an ass

Oh, now you’re really an ass.

These are two of my favorite questions:


“I can’t run unless the on-course entertainment is in place and ready to rock my face off for the brief few seconds I will actually be able to hear them!”

Beer truck

Sarah’s got a very valid point.

I don’t know who exactly was put in charge of monitoring the Facebook page on behalf of the race organizers, but they really tried at first. Complete sentences, reasonable and understanding responses:

helpful reply

Eventually, this poor soul reached their limit.

so need a beer

Where’s that beer truck?



  1. OMG this is too funny! I too am running in Baltimore (the half). I live in north DE so I had decided long ago to get a hotel room. All the negativity has me hoping it doesn’t translate on race day. I am relatively new to half marathons and this is my first travel trip.

    I totally feel for the poor sap who had to respond to all the posts.

    Comment by Sue — October 10, 2014 @ 10:38 am | Reply

    • Don’t worry about race day! Even if the series goes all the way to the end and they have to go to ‘plan B’ for the race, that city is going to be so freaking excited about the O’s that it’s just going to be that much more charged up. Internet comment sections are a breeding ground for negativity anyway!

      Good luck in your race!

      Comment by aschmid3 — October 10, 2014 @ 10:42 am | Reply

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