Charm City Run

Insider's Guide to the Sole of the City 10K

Insider's Guide to the Sole of the City 10K

So you are running the Sole of the City 10K (if not-- hurry up and register-- it will sell out before race day).  Here are a few pointers to get you to the start line on time and across the finish line to soak in the post race festival.

Get Your Race Packet

Race day is much easier when you have your packet ahead of time.  Locations and the times the packets will be there are listed here.  If you are picking up for someone else be sure to bring a printed note we can retain for proof.

Places to Run in the Baltimore Area

Have you ever wondered about the best places for a run or walk in the Baltimore area?  Or maybe you are just bored with your usual run. Here are a few places to run near each of our stores to change up the routine.

Charm City Run Annapolis (Anne Arundal County)

B&A Trail– This trail is flat and fast with water fountains every few miles.  Running Distance (Out and Back) 0-26 miles (more if you use it to connect to the BWI Trail)

Quiet Waters Park–. With its wooded trails and beautiful grounds makes it one of the favorites in the area.  A big plus is the big playground for the kids afterwards if you running buddy is a little one.  Running Distance – 6 mile loop

Kinder Park Farm — While most of the route is paved, there are several places throughout the park to duck into the woods and run along the dirt trails used by Arch Bishop Spalding’s Cross Country Team.  This park also has a couple of water fountains, bathrooms, and two playgrounds. Running Distance3-5 mile loop

USNA -–Almost half of the route is run along the water and is beautiful in all weather, so much so that it seems too special not to share with a running buddy.  Things to remember – No Headphones Allowed and You must have your ID with you. Running Distance 4mile loop

Charm City Run McHenry Row (Baltimore City)


Inner Harbor Run – Start from Charm City Run McHenry Row and head down the promenade towards the Science Center and Aquarium.  You can run the promenade and docks all the way to Canton and back for any distance from 1-15 miles.

Fort McHenry Run – Start at Charm City Run McHenry Row and run to the entrance of Fort McHenry.  It’s a mile from the store with a mile loop around the Fort.  It’s a great way to see the water and city.  Water fountains and bathrooms are at the park. Running Distance3-5 Miles

Patterson Park – A challenging loop with hills to get a great workout.  The loop makes it convenient to your car and allows you to vary the distance. Running Distance 1-6 Miles

Charm City Run Bel Air  (Harford County)

Ma & Pa Trail – The MA & PA Trail is a walking, running & bicycle trail/pathlocated on portions of the former Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad corridor in Bel Air and Forest Hill, Maryland.  The MA & PA Trail is 3.3 miles long from Edgeley Grove in Fallston to Williams St. in the Town of Bel Air. The Forest Hill segment is 1.75 miles long.

Susquehanna State Park – Susquehanna State Park contains over 15 miles of marked and maintained trails; ideal for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, equestrians and nature lovers. The terrain varies throughout the river valley. The different trails have ratings ranging from easy to difficult.

Charm City Run Columbia (Howard County)

Lake Elkhorn – Located right near our Columbia store, this 37-acre lake, in the village of Owen Brown, was built by the Columbia Association in 1974 with a watershed of about 2,500 acres.  The path around Lake Elkhorn is 2 miles.  There are also connecting trails to add on to the distance around the lake. Running Distance 2 miles and up

Patapsco Valley State Park – The park is nationally known for its trail opportunities and scenery.  They have 170 miles of trails, with 70 of those miles identified as maintained trails.  A great place to get away from it all and walk, hike or run. Park includes both technical trails and paved paths. All distances available.

Centennial Park – This park makes up 325 of Howard County's 7,000+ acre scenic park system. It features a 2.4-mile paved pathway that circles the lake as well as the 7.3-miles of interconnecting paved pathway that links to surrounding neighborhoods. These trails are great for walking, riding, or biking, and make for a perfectly serene place for some exercise. 

Charm City Run Timonium (Baltimore County)

NCR Trail -The Northern Central Railroad Trail (NCRT) extends 20 miles, stretching from Ashland Road in the Hunt Valley area to the state line. The trail is 10 feet wide with a stone dust surface. The most popular activities on the trail are hiking, jogging, bicycle riding and horseback riding. Out and back trail allows for any distance from 1 mile to 40 miles.

Loch Raven Reservoir – This weekend running spot provides paved road and off-road running north of Towson.  Park at the corner of Morgan Mill Road and Loch Raven Drive to enjoy beautiful scenery on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  You will see many runners on the road as well as on the extensive hiking trails throughout the woods. On weekends Loch Raven Drive between Morgan Mill Road and Providence Road is closed to cars to allow use by pedestrians.  Please note that it is not safe to run during the week as traffic is heavy with commuters.  You can walk/run 1-30 miles along this route.


Keys to Staying Injury Free

Roll Away Your Injuries – Anthony Inzirillo ATC & Charm City Run Manager

Let's stay injury free this weekend. Good luck to all those participating in the Baltimore Running Festival!  

Brett Clark, a Physical Therapist at LifeStrength PT, gives his best advice to staying injury free while training.

One of the most common questions I get asked while working the floor at Charm City Run is “what is the best way to stay injury free?” or “how can I get rid of the injuries that are holding me back?”.  Well, no one has the perfect answer to those questions, but there are some ways to keep the odds on your side.  Flexibility is something that every runner can work on because the running stride is such a limited range of motion.

In today’s world there are many ways of stretching whether it is static, dynamic, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.  A new type of stretch has recently hit the exercise therapy world called myofascial release, which is a technique being introduced by many healthcare professionals.  A professional usually performs myofascial release on a patient but with the use of some numerous tools (e.g. foam roller, tennis ball, golf ball, the stick) the patient can achieve myofascial release on their own.  While all of these tools are beneficial, the foam roller is the most efficient, versatile, and easy to use.  The foam roller is a great instrument to use when trying to gain muscle relaxation and extensibility.

The concept and physiology behind foam rolling (self-myofascial release), stems from acupressure.  Acupressure is a technique in which physical pressure is applied directly to acupoints that are located throughout the body.  Acupoints can commonly tense up causing the formation of a trigger point.  When irritated, the fibrous tissue forms scars decreasing the function of the fascia.

Foam rolling focuses on applying physical pressure onto myofascial tissue restrictions. The pressure gets rid of associated pain, increases circulation, and increases motion by activating the stretch reflex of the muscles and overlying fascia.   Reduction in soft tissue tension decreases pain, restores normal muscle length tension relationships and improves function.

The use of foam rollers is fast, easy and cheap.   A foam roller goes for around $25, which is much cheaper than a personal massage therapist.  The recommended use for a foam roller is one to two minutes on each muscle.  When foam rolling, it is important that the muscle is felt before hand in order to find the trigger point that is the source of pain.  While rolling the runner should stop for 10-15 seconds over the trigger point to try and achieve a muscle spindle release.

The foam roller is most commonly used for the lower extremity muscles but can be used for almost every muscle throughout the body.  A foam roller can be used either before or after an activity starts.  It is important that before foam rolling a general warm up be performed (bike, light jog, jumping jacks, etc.), as a muscle should not be stretched cold.

In this day and age runners are always looking for the competitive edge.  Flexibility and muscle function are detrimental aspects to the performance of all athletes.  The foam roller combined with a dynamic warm up can be used as a great tool to help runners to stay healthy and achieve greatness.

Race Day Ready #1

Getting ready for the Baltimore Running Festival? It's important to make sure you have the right gear to help you get through the day comfortably and efficiently. Check out some of our great in-store ideas for women and men participants!



A.  Women’s UA Fly-By Mesh Tank: A super lightweight tank top offering superior breathability & comfort; B.  Brooks Moving Comfort Rebound Racer Back Sports Bra: Super-supportive, front-adjustable bra with PowerMesh zones for increased ventilation; C.  Brooks Greenlight Capri: Super-supportive, chafe-free leggings with two pockets; D.  Mizuno Wave Runner 18: Soft & flexible sneaker with extra padding & sockliner for better rebound & resiliency; E.  The North Face Better than Naked Hat: Ultra-light, ultra-thin hat with foam insert & velcro adjustment to provide extra comfort & customization; F.  Brooks Women's Infiniti Skort: Lightweight, supportive skort with two pockets & reflective accents; G.  Nike Women’s DriFIT Epic Run Capris: DriFIT fabric leggings maintains dryness & offers comfortable range of motion; H.  Nathan Icon Bottle (24 oz.): The SpeedLock Race Cap & flow valve keep this bottle secure with controlled fluid intake; I.  Timex Sleek 50: A lightweight & durable watch with 50 Lap Memory, interval timer, & chronograph training log.



A.  Nike Dri-FIT Contour Running T-Shirt: Dri-FIT mesh fabric and crew-neck design provide a nonrestrictive, comfortable fit with superior breathability & airflow; B.  UA HeatGear® Armour Compression Shorts – Mid: Comfortable, supportive compression shorts with extra mobility, sweat resistant fabric, & anti-odor technology; C.  UA Tech™ Patterned Long Sleeve: Quick-drying, ultra-soft long sleeve with sweat resistant fabric & anti-odor technology; D.  Brooks Sherpa 7’’ 2-in-1 Shorts - Navy: Lightweight shorts with sweat resistant pockets & internal mesh boxer brief with security pocket; E.  CamelBak ARC 2: This running belt keeps 20 oz. of water at your waist for a stable, bounce-free long run; F.  UA Shadow Run Cap – Navy: Unstructured fit conforms to your head with build-in HeatGear® sweatband & mesh ventilation to keep you dry & cool; G.  New Balance 860v5: ABZORB® & ACTEVA® provide extra cushioning in midfoot & midsole for better resistance, support & comfort; H.  Timex Ironman® Sleek 50 Full-Size: A lightweight & durable watch with 50 Lap Memory, interval timer, & chronograph training log.

Shoe of the Week: Saucony Redeemer

The Saucony Redemmer is now available here at Charm City Run. While flexibility and runnability remain as headlining Saucony attributes, the Redeemer adds outstanding stability and ride support to this sneaker’s features. Plush cushioning provides the underfoot with compressing materials between the foot and the running surface to deliver more impact protection through the use of PWRGRID+. This adds 20% more cushioning as well as fluid transition maintenance from the heel to toe for a smooth ride. The Redeemer provides those looking for a shoe tailored for support and stability with a greater level of motion control as it is designed with an 8mm. offset for those with severe pronation. The sneaker also features Injection Blown Rubber, which is liquid molded rubber allowing for higher consistency and durability. Add an ISOFIT upper for a sock-like fit and the Saucony Redeemer is a great combination of comfort and support for both road and track surfaces.

Pronation Suitability: Severe pronation

Women’s Specs: Weight: 11.5 oz.; Heel Stack Height: 21mm.; Forefoot Stack Height: 21mm.

Men’s Specs: Weight: 12.9 oz.; Heel Stack Height: 29mm.; Forefoot Stack Height: 21mm.

"Why I Run" by Jeff Burger

As a Charm City Run Training coach, Charm City has asked me to contribute to their training website blog.  So, this is the first of what I hope will be many installments.  In my attempt to keep you reading, I think I have to tell you a little bit about myself.  Most of this is not an attempt to brag about my running, but it is more an illustration of what training properly can do for you and to illustrate how personal running can and has to be.  And, because I think blogging has to be somewhat personal, I will get to how running has changed my life.  I have been a long distance runner since about 2005.  I got into long distance running by accident, which is to say my wife (girlfriend at the time) invited me for a long run and, like most men, I figured it would be easy, so I went along.  A few miles in, I threw up….several times.  After several years of running sporadically, I reluctantly agreed to go for a 7-miler with a friend.  At the conclusion of this run, I experienced the “runner’s high” for the first time in my life.  Within a year of this run, I signed up for and completed my first half marathon and my first marathon.  I’ve run races ranging in distance from 5k to 50k (31 miles).  I’ve begun and finished five marathons, bettering my time by more than 35 minutes and now have a PR of 2:53:19.  Like most runners, I know all of my PR’s…but, let’s face it, marathons are sexy and most people care about marathons, so I will spare you the boredom of my other race times.