This morning I ran the Survivor Harbor 7. It’s a great course around Baltimore Harbor, and took us around Fort McHenry, around the Inner Harbor, past Fells Point and finishing in Canton. The day was perfect: sunny and about 60 degrees. I don’t have the official time yet, but by my watch I ran the seven miles in 1:05:35.
My splits show a great deal of variation in my pace. I started out a bit fast, getting carried along by the flow of the pack. The first mile was about 8:30. I slowed on each successive mile and ended up running mile 4 in 10:30. But then I knew I was closer to the end than the finish, so I gave it a little more energy and so my pace quickened progressively until the seventh and final mile, done in 9:05.
A great run, but I have a gripe. For our $35 registration fee (on top of which I added $10 for the race’s charity host) we got just the race. No finisher medallion, no t‑shirt (I bought a t‑shirt for $10… not going to run a race without taking home my trophy, even if I have to pay for it) not even a finisher ribbon, which even my running club’s weekly races can afford to hand out with a $3 race fee ($5 for non-members). Yes, we each got a bag of schwag, but come on. Everything in the bag is free from companies who want us to try their stuff. OK, this isn’t precisely true: The race bag did contain a pair of socks with the name of the event on it. But here’s the thing: I know these races take organization and raise funds for important causes, but I could have run that course yesterday for free. If I’m paying a race fee, I deserve some token trinket to prove I was there. If that race fee is over $20, there’d better be a T‑shirt, or a medallion, or something other than the new flavor of Balance Bar.
The new flavor of Balance Bar is pretty good, by the way.