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To the Harbor

Posted Apr 09 2012 7:00am

Last Friday I discussed the fact that my long runs are now long enough that, starting from my house, I can plan out runs that allow me to see new and awesome sights .  On Saturday I took advantage of this and ran to Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Knowing I would be passing both of Baltimore's sports stadiums along my route, I got dressed for the run by wearing a nice mismatch of purple (Ravens) and orange (Orioles).  I was hard to miss!

Saturday's weather was absolutely perfect for a long run: bright, sunny, and cool.  The world was quiet when I started my run before 9am; it was waking up and getting busy when I finished my run around 11.  I started my run by running past several cemeteries.  I've talked about running past cemeteries before and the fact that for some odd reason I find them very life-affirming ; running past two of them as I started off on my LSD made me feel lucky to be alive to take advantage of a beautiful morning while I have the opportunity.
Sunny and quiet
Baltimore National Cemetery...
  and Loudon Park are both along the route to the Inner Harbor

A series of rowhomes in downtown Baltimore
About five miles into the run I began to approach the heart of downtown.  As I came around the corner on Ostend Street I was greeted with this sight:
Ravens Stadium!
It was almost eerie being at the stadium with no one else around

The skyline began to come into clear view and I cleared Ravens Stadium and headed toward Orioles Park at Camden Yards (home of the 3-0, AL East-leading Baltimore Orioles!).
Inner Harbor, here I come!
The Warehouse

This is Birdland!

The Baltimore skyline, up close
I finally turned down Camden Street and headed to the waterfront.  It was cool to stand at the water's edge with very few people around, watching the tourist boats getting ready for a day's worth of activity.
Calm water

Sea Dog speedboat tours of the Harbor look like fun!

The Sports Museum adjacent to OPACY

You can practically walk right up to the field on Eutaw Street!

Pickles Pub, across from OPACY, is a monument in and of itself
The new monument for one of baseball's all-time greats!
Leaving the Inner Harbor and the stadiums, I started to realize that I was thirsty! I didn't want to carry water on me, so instead I stuffed a $5 bill in my pocket pre-run and chose to use the local convenience store along my route, Royal Farms, as my water stop.  I ducked into the store and grabbed a Gatorade; I could tell that I was in the city by the fact that the lady who rang me up didn't seem phased at all by having some sweaty, stinky guy in a goofy running outfit standing in front of her!
The Farm Store, a Baltimore icon
The view as I chugged my Gatorade
I made the final push for home by passing up the Gwynn's Falls Trail and back to the roads I am more familiar with.  The trail can be rough in spots (by rough I mean the area, not the trail itself), but there are a few parts where I can't help but think they're kind of cool!
All you need is love, shadow puppet style
The Carrollton train viaduct, still operational I believe!
The tunnel leads toward home
Running Baltimore and seeing the sights on a Saturday morning makes the ever-increasing length of my long runs worth it!  I'm already looking forward to planning out next weeks 15-miler even before I finish writing about last weeks run!
Where did you run this weekend? Have any great adventures? Let me know, send me a link!
Saturday's route
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