At the forefront of the Baltimore running scene is Charm City Run, otherwise known around here by my completely unbiased opinion as the best damn running store in all the world. Not only do they consistently put on some of the best events in Maryland, but they also offer training groups for a variety of distances, summer track nights which I’m sure you’ve seen me talk about once or twice, fun runs, in-store fitness events…the list goes on and on and on.
Oh and shoes. They sell me lots of shoes.
Recently Charm City partnered with Saucony to host the Find Your Strong contest. Local runners were asked to submit their inspirational running stories; how Charm City Run, the Baltimore running community, or running in general has changed their lives for the better. The best of the best would be chosen for a number of fantastic prizes such as Orioles tickets, wine tasting at one of Maryland’s best local wineries, and the top grand prizes: two all expenses paid trips to the Nantucket Half Marathon which is just…wow.
Obviously they were flooded with entries and I wish I could have read them all myself. Running has done so much for me personally and I love hearing how it has changed other peoples’ lives for the better too.
The contest came to a conclusion last night with a fun little celebration at Charm City Run’s McHenry Row location downtown. The festivities would kick off with a 3-4 mile fun run followed by a party at the store with food, drinks, and awards. I didn’t have Betty this weekend and I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to get in a foot tour around the Inner Harbor. It’s one of my favorite places to run and unfortunately I never usually get the chance to get down there.
I picked the 4 mile route and obviously needed to snap a few pics on the way.
You may be pretty disgusting sometimes, Baltimore, but I still love you!
The promenade was swarming with people out enjoying the sunny, slightly-uncomfortably-warm-for-running weather and it was so much fun to be out there in the middle of it. I know whenever I’m down there for any reason and I see other people running, I always feel a little jealous of them.
By the time I got back to the store I was completely drenched and almost bought a new shirt just so that I would be a little less gross. Instead I bought this:
WHY DID IT TAKE ME SO LONG TO GET ONE OF THESE THINGS?? I’ve been running with an SPI Belt pretty much forever and there’s just not enough room in it for all my crap, especially now that my phone is even more giant than before. I had my phone, car key and ID in the Flipbelt with lots of room to spare and I was able to listen to music with no problem. AND it didn’t bounce around or ride up as I was running.
I’m sorry I ever misjudged you, Flipbelt. Plus you’re purple just in time for football season.
Anyway, after my miniature shopping spree, we enjoyed some refreshments—glass of pinot grigio for me…my friend Ashley joked that she got it because she knew I was coming—and the representative from Saucony gave a nice little speech and announced the contest winners.
Most of them were unfortunately not present, but one of the Nantucket Half winners, who submitted a video entry, was and she received loads of applause and hugs, many of which were likely from complete strangers. The support and love that the people in this awesome running community have for each other is truly as inspiring as the stories that everyone shared for the contest.
Hopefully this will be something that Charm City Run and Saucony will team up again for. Fun runs and parties are great by themselves because as I’m sure you all know I love me a good party, but this event was so much more than that. I left the store feeling so happy that I was able to be a part of it.
How has running changed YOUR life? Have you ever been to an event like this?
I had a fantastic weekend and I hope you all did too!