Lara Mish ran the Baltimore-10 Miler for the first time last year.
She said it takes getting out of your car to truly feel the challenge of the race.
"I think it jazzes up the run a little bit, not being always flat all the time,” said Mish, executive director of Girls on the Run, which is running the race to help raise money for their non-profit.
Not always flat is putting it mildly. There are at least 18 uphill battles, with some saying it makes10 miles feel more like a half marathon.
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The race starts off with a breeze, coming out of Druid Hill Park before crossing over the JFX.
It's downhill for most of the first mile, and then the uphill climb begins onto 28th Street and Greenmount Avenue. Then runners rub elbows going downhill on 33rd Street right into Lake Montebello; a beautiful loop around the water.
Now, you'll have to keep your mind on Lake Montebello to forget about the mile climb from five to six. But the turnaround point allows you to cheer on runners behind you.
"It's another great way to distract yourself from the acutal pounding of the pavement is to watch the runners coming in the opposite direction, and that way you can say hi and look for somebody and cheer them on,” Mish said. “And it really helps you shift your focus from your aching legs and sweaty hair."
Miles six and seven start to come back downhill, and your mind and body are saying, “yes.”
But not so fast.
The two men behind the course, Lee Corrigan and Mark Ragonese, say the idea was to go from lake to lake, Druid Lake to Lake Monebello and back.
Make sure there's enough gas in your tank for mile 9. That's right; the steepest hill comes at the end. Corrigan joked he has only done that mile in a car.
"It is one of those races that when you finish you feel so good about yourself,” Mish said.