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

Sunday, April 10, 2016

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.

Tuesday, April 12th from 9AM-1PM
Charm City Run – Annapolis
Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole
1910 Towne Centre Blvd. Suite 120
Annapolis, MD 21401

Tuesday, April 12th from 3-7PM
Charm City Run – Columbia
7090 Deepage Drive
Columbia, MD 21045

Wednesday, April 13th from 2-7PM
Charm City Run Bel Air
126 South Main Street
Bel Air, MD 21014

Thursday, April 14th from 2-7PM
Charm City Run – Timonium
2045 York Road
Timonium, MD 21093

Friday, April 15th from 12PM-7PM
Charm City Run – McHenry Row (Baltimore)
1713 Whetstone Way
Baltimore, MD 21230

Saturday, April 16th (race day)

Starting at 7AM (Charm City Run Baltimore – McHenry Row)

Park Like a Pro

We have 4500 runners in this race.  McHenry Row, while it does offer free parking for its patrons, has around 200 extra spots right on site.  Since that math does not work it leads to a traffic jam in the shopping center (don’t try- you cannot magically squeeze in there.) So we have these alternatives for you:

  • Under Armour Campus: 1020 Hull St.  Take Key Highway to the extension (a right after the BP Station if you are coming from I-95 or Hanover St, and left just before the BP station if you are coming from points North and East. Follow the extension through the campus and make a right onto Hull St. The lot is immediately on the left side. Volunteers will be on hand to direct your less-than-10 minute walk to the start/finish areas.
  • Domino Sugar Gravel Lot: Same directions as above and you’ll see the lot on the right just across from the factory and before you drive through Under Armour HQ. It’s a smaller lot so it’s likely to fill up before the UA lots.  Walk left on Key Highway Ext and then a left onto Woodall St up to McHenry Row and the start/finish area.
  • Circulate from the Inner Harbor.  The Charm City Circulator will be running every 10 minutes starting at 7AM.  Park in any garage near the Inner Harbor attractions and make your way over.  McHenry Row can be found on stops #408 and #413 on the Banner Route. Be sure to plan to arrive on site by 8:30 since Fort Avenue will close a little before 9AM to allow runners to line up at the start.
  • The Old Phillips Building next to McHenry Row: 1215 E. Fort Avenue.  This will be easiest to access if you arrive early.  From I-95/Hanover St- follow Key Highway to a left on Lawrence St (after the Royal Farms), left on Fort Avenue, pass McHenry Row and 1215 E. Fort Avenue is on your right.  Volunteers should be on hand to direct you to the parking that is not reserved for employees of the office building. From North and East- make a right on Lawrence St from Key Highway, left on Fort Ave. and then parking is on your right.
  • If you live downtown, walk, circulate, or bike over (there are bike racks at McHenry Row). If you opt to park in the neighborhood please be respectful and obey all parking and traffic signs.

Pre-Race Jitters

  • McHenry Row will be bustling before the race starts– most businesses will be open and our store will be as well.  
  • Port-a-potties will be located behind the PNC Bank at the drive through, and behind World of Beer.  The line is always shorter behind World of Beer so head that way.  You can also seek the limited facilities at: Harris Teeter, either of the bars, Dunkin Donuts, and Jimmy John’s.
  • Hopefully you picked up your packet ahead of time, but if not- Charm City Run is located in the shopping center and you can head there to grab it last minute (this is NOT recommended- get to a store for pick up before race day).
  • World of Beer, Dunkin Donuts, and The Greene Turtle are all open for business before the race if you need some caffeine or other liquid courage.

Race Start

  • Line up on Fort Avenue at the Whetstone/Woodall intersection.  The race heads West on Fort so head to the right if entering Fort Ave from the shopping center and line up facing the American Flag.
  • If this is your first race, you plan to walk, or you are pushing a stroller we suggest you line up closer to the back of the pack.
  • Enjoy the pre-race remarks from the coordinators, sponsors and MC and try not to be nervous.
  • You have a chip on your bib so don’t worry if you don’t cross the start line right away– the chip will assure your actual start line to finish line time is what counts.

Race Time!

  • You can find a map of the entire course here. It starts headed West on Fort Ave followed shortly by a right turn with a nice downhill to Key Highway. From there it’s a fast and flat cruise around the Inner Harbor via Key Hwy, Light St, and Pratt St.  Remember that early descent since that will come into play later.
  • From there you will follow Pratt St to head into the heart of Fells Point.  Your first water stop will be near mile 2 on this stretch.
  • Then you’ll make a few right turns to head back towards the harbor.  So far you will have seen police at every intersection- say hello and offer a “Thanks!” if you’re feeling friendly.
  • Follow the course and hop onto the Promenade.  Look around!  THIS is the most scenic part of the course.  The promenade is not closed to the public so be wary of passers-by.  Look for cones with arrows if you are unsure but it’s a follow-the-water route. Your second and final water stop will be along the Promenade.
  • As you wind past the water you’ll come up towards the Science Center and prepare to exit the Promenade via the driveway before Rash Field.  COBBLESTONE ALERT- watch your step. If you stay to the right you’ll notice the grooves are less groovy.
  • You’ll be on Key Highway briefly before a right onto Covington St.  Here is the deceptive climbing– it’s a long stretch with a gentle but persistent incline.  You have just around a mile remaining- don’t slow down now.
  • Left onto Fort Ave with another gentle climb– once this one peaks it’s smooth sailing.
  • Follow the smooth descent towards the finish- hang a right on Whetstone Way and put on your best winning smile- you are there!

Party Time

  • Head towards the left after you finish to grab some water.
  • Keep walking towards the music and you’ll find the food tables.
  • FREE BEER is available just past the food tables near the circle where the band is playing. And then there is another free beer station located next to the water tower (near Piaza) if standing next to the band isn’t your idea of fun.
  • Head to The Greene Turtle or World of Beer for other food and drink options.
  • Check out the offerings from all of the event sponsors right in the middle of main street (near Rev Cycle Studio) and shop for additional Sole of the City gear at Charm City Run.
  • Results will be posted at a kiosk set up to the right of the entrance of Charm City Run.
  • If you want to swap shirt sizes for your premium- stop in CCR after the race to meet other runners hoping to do the same.
  • Congratulate your fellow runners, take lots of celebratory pictures (use #charmcityrun #soleofthecity and #sotc2016 if you’re into hashtags and want to see the race from other runners’ perspectives) and generally be merry and proud you ran a 6.2 miles.

Get home responsibly and/or stay and enjoy another fabulous day in our great Charm City.

About the Author: Deirdre Weadock

Deirdre is the manager of Charm City Run McHenry Row and one of the founders of the Under Armour Sole of the City 10K presented by KELLY.  She is a well-known face at local events. She loves the downtown fitness community and you can often find her checking out any new local studio or gym, but her favorite spot will always be a run along the Inner Harbor Promenade. 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

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