Survivor Harbor 7


I ran the Survivor Harbor 7 race around the Baltimore Inner Harbor on June 12th, 2011. This race was sponsored by the Active Survivor Network (ASN) and it featured runners and wheelchair racers who have survived serious, life threatening medical ailments.

I signed up for this race just a week prior to the start. I had already planned on doing a 7 mile run this day as part of my ramp-up for the Baltimore Ten Miler next week. I signed up for the 7 miler with the intention of running it as a training run, but with water stations, lots of other runners, and a nifty pair of socks instead of a race t shirt. My training and level of conditioning were in pretty bad shape due to a two month layoff for my knee injury. I set a personal goal of 11 minute miles for a race pace. A secondary goal was to not aggravate my knee problem.

The race started and finished at the Can Company complex in the Canton section of Baltimore. The weather was warm and humid at the start, and it became hot and humid by the end. The wheelchair racers started before the runners. The leaders of that group were finishing as the runners lined up along the same road, so there was a lot of yelling and hand waving as the course marshals made sure the wheelchair athletes had a clear pathway to the finish line.

The runners' starting gun fired at 7:30 AM. The first half mile or so was very crowded since we were still squeezed into one road lane, with cars parked on one side and the wheelchair finish lane on the other side. The useable roadway opened up once the course turned onto Boston Street and the crowding eased.

As usual, I ran the first mile a little faster than I wanted- 10:18. I felt pretty good at this point, so I decided to see if I could stay around 10:30 for the first half of the race, or farther. Mile 2 was a little slower at 10:34, but still within my modified goal. As the race progressed, I started to get hot and miserable. The course opened up into the Inner Harbor area just past mile 2, and there was very little shade to cool things off. The cobblestone traffic circle also made for uneasy footing near the mile 2 marker.

The third mile included the area around the World Trade Center, the Gallery, and around the corner on Key Highway. There was almost no shade at all on this part of the course, so it was definitely hot. I knew I should have worn my hat. My time for mile 3 was 10:57. The heat was slowing me down, so I gave up on my adjusted goal of 10:30 miles and settled back on my original 11 minute mile plan.

The course turned around at the Rusty Scupper restaurant. It looped back toward downtown along the promenade parallel to the water and Key Highway. Again, there was no shade at all in this area. I ran the fourth mile in 11:06. There was an ambulance on the course a little before the mile 5 marker. The paramedics were treating a man who had some sort of medical problem. The water station near mile 5 had cool water and ice cold wet washcloths. That cold washrag felt so good. I ran the fifth mile in 11:18.

Miles 6 and 7 followed the path back to Canton and the Can Company. I was struggling to maintain my 11 minute pace. I ran the sixth mile in 11:05, and I picked up the pace to run the last mile in a blazing 11:04. Woo hoo, one second faster! The sweat was pouring into my eyes, making them sting and burn. I need to remember to wear a hat and bring a sweat rag to future summer races.

My official finishing time was 1:16:37. This was 23 seconds under my 11 minute per mile pace, so I met my time goal. My knee was sore, and I had to limp around for a while, but overall my knee was not any worse off than before the race. I therefore met my secondary goal.