In 1999, Lee Corrigan, president of Corrigan Sports Enterprises, had a meeting with then-Mayor Kurt Schmoke to propose holding a marathon in the city. “He said, ‘As long as it’s on a Saturday because of church leaders,’” Corrigan recalls. “But he was on his way out of office, so we had to convince the next guy.” Luckily, the O’Malley administration (especially then-City Councilwoman Catherine E. Pugh) embraced it, and the Baltimore Running Festival was born. The first event drew just 6,000 people, but this year’s festival, on October 12, will attract more than 26,000 runners (40 percent from out of state). “Years ago, it was just for the serious runner——the one who ran track in high school,” Corrigan says. “But we have something for everyone and now it has become a big party.” The festival consists of a full marathon, a half, a team relay, a 5K, and a kids fun run. Sponsors include Under Armour (though not in title this year) and new additions TransAmerica, DSW, and ShopRite. They are planning a tribute to the Boston Marathon by playing “Sweet Caroline” at the starting line. “It will be a great day,” Corrigan says. “This event is such an amazing way to sell Baltimore.”
The Baltimore Running Festival celebrates 13 years in the city.
Issue date: October, 2013