For the last two years I have walked the Baltimore Marathon route alone. This year I decided to make it a hike through the Mountain Club of Maryland
and see if anybody wanted to take on this project with me. Although a few people called to find out about the hike, they seemed to back away from the 7AM start time and enthusiastic pace that I expected. Two people showed up, Howard and Mike.
We met at Rallo's for a hearty breakfast and strategized about our plan. The two men agreed to my West Side, East Side and South side loop idea. We would walk the marathon but in a different order than the actual race. Since both men were accomplished runners and hikers, we were able to start out our day at a brisk 5 miles per hour. The morning proved peaceful in the city and we were able to knock out the West Side by 10AM. We then headed over to the East Side where we noticed that the outdoors was quickly getting populated with, well, everyone. The temperature reached an unusual high today of nearly 70 degrees, people were acting like a groundhog to see their shadow and dress in their summer atire.
Things were going well until we (me) failed to make a turn onto Linwood Street taking us about a mile out of our way. Mike and Howard were not pleased, but since they had both lost their maps that I had supplied to them so graciously I did not acknowledge their smart-aleck remarks. I (we) decided that since we had gone more than a little out of our way we would eliminate the extra mile on Hillen Street near Lake Montebello. In the midst of our heated discussion on the matter a nice lady stopped us and asked us if we were lost since we were looking so intently at the (my) map. She implied that she was concerned about our paler complexions as being a little different than the darker complexioned inhabitants of the areas. She said, "You do understand you are right in the middle of THE HOOD!" We thanked her for concern and explained about our quandry and that we were not lost at all.
Howard had mentioned beforehand that he only wanted to do about half the hike but he valiantly kept up with mine and Mike's rather fast pace. We ate lunch at the Charles Village Pub and took some painkillers for the walk home. Both Mike and I started to experience blisters all over our feet and were enjoying the sensation of having them pop and soak our socks with bodily fluids.
We (me) decided to head through the harbor on our way back to South Baltimore over Howard's objections. Hindsight being 20/20, Howard had a point. It was around 2PM and everyone in the tri-state area had descended on the Inner Harbor to enjoy the lovely weather. We made our way through the crowds with Howard scowling.
We got back to Rallo's to drop Howard off at his car, he had walked an unexpected 23 miles. Mike and I headed east to ambulate the Fort McHenry loop. The wind near the water provided a comforting breeze. I arrived home at 3:40PM, we had started at 7:40 AM and took an hour for lunch, so we walked the route(marathon routes are 26.2 miles) in 7 hours, rendering our average speed at 3.74 mph.
For more information on The Baltimore Marathon, go here.