Shining Bright: The Baltimore Running Festival

Leah Etling, Running USA
No Source
April 19, 2018

The event showcases the best of the Charm City and now finishes in the especially charming Inner Harbor. Oh, and it brings in $40 million in annual economic impact, too


If you’ve ever had a chance to take a run along Baltimore’s picturesque Inner Harbor, you know how truly charming the Charm City can be. Historic buildings, bobbing boats, neighborhood parks and local character are everywhere. It’s a great way to get to know this city that isn’t always recognized for its positive attributes.


Last year, the team at Corrigan Sports Enterprises moved the finish line of the Baltimore Running Festival races (marathon, half-marathon, 5K, relay) into the Inner Harbor, a big shift from the pro sports stadiums where it had been previously.


“The new finish arrangement gave runners a greater sense of finishing in a major urban race, and the Inner Harbor’s tourist attractions and amazing views added to the post-race experience,” said Lee Corrigan, President of Corrigan Sports Enterprises, which owns the 18-year-old event. The move was a hit and the finish line will return to the Inner Harbor this year.


Corrigan introduced us to his marquee event, which attracts more than 23,000 runners each fall.


RUSA: Tell us about a few of the things that make the Baltimore Running Festival awesome? What do your runners rave about?


Corrigan: The Baltimore marathon course offers an amazing foot tour of Charm City, running past historic landmarks, tourist attractions as well as eclectic and diverse neighborhoods. The civic pride demonstrated on race day by residents is legendary for one of the city’s biggest events. Runners quickly understand how Charm City earned its nickname by running passed unique architecture and enthusiastic neighborhoods.


Runners rave about the unique finisher’s medal and race swag. The marathon medal features a crab shell that opens to reveal an iconic city landmark. The event is also the first to hand out a performance shirt as its race premium, furnished by Baltimore based apparel company Under Armour.


RUSA: What is the impact of the festival on the local community?


Corrigan: According to a study by RESI, an economic research and consulting firm located at Towson University, the Baltimore Running Festival generates an estimated $40 million in annual economic impact. The event has raised more than $12 million for local charities since its inception in 2001. The 18th annual running festival will attract an estimated 23,000 total runners from all 50 states and nearly three dozen countries on October 20th.


RUSA: What would you like those who have never run the event to know about it or your organization?


Corrigan: The nationally recognized Baltimore Running Festival is owned and operated by Corrigan Sports Enterprises (CSE). Having a full-time professional race management company operate the event is evident in the level of organization and communication from registration thru race day and makes the Baltimore Running Festival a “must do” race on your calendar.


RUSA: Anything else unique or interesting about this year’s event?


Corrigan: Baltimore will host the 2018 National Black Marathoners Association’s (NBMA) Annual Summit in conjunction with October’s Baltimore Running Festival. Race organizers anticipate up to 700 NBMA members will participate in the summit and/or running festival. Baltimore’s rich African American running history includes NBMA Running Hall of Fame inductee, Marilyn Bevans. Bevans, a Charm City resident, was the first African American woman to run a marathon and won the 1977 and 1979 Maryland Marathons.



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