Baltimoreans can expect road closures and parking restrictions Saturday as thousands of runners will fill the city’s streets for the 21st Baltimore Running Festival.
About 11,000 participants are expected to participate across the events, which include a marathon, a half-marathon, a 10K and a 5K. They will come from all 50 states and 15 countries.
About 500 volunteers also will come out to help, as the event returns to normal after two years of pandemic-related restrictions, according to a news release from Corrigan Sports Enterprises, which organizes the event. No live races were held in 2020. They returned in 2021, but with some restrictions, according to Lee Corrigan, event director and Corrigan president. A few hundred people are expected to participate in the event virtually, Corrigan said.
“It’s truly a great day for the city,” said Corrigan, who added that the event is expected to have an estimated $25 million economic impact on the city, and raise about $500,000 for local charities.
The first road closures started Thursday morning, with the closure of the left lane of southbound Light Street from Pratt to Conway streets, according to a statement from the Baltimore City Department of Transportation. Pratt Street will also be fully closed on Friday from Charles Street to Light Street starting at 9 a.m.
In addition, many city streets will be closed or significantly affected on Saturday, including: Camden Street between Paca and Howard streets from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m; Key Highway between Light Street and Key Highway extension from 6:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.; Druid Park Lake Drive between McCulloh Street and Lakeview Avenue from 7:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.; and President Street southbound between Pratt and Lancaster streets from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., among many others. A full list of road closures and parking restrictions can be found in the city Department of Transportation statement.
Corrigan also advises residents to avoid Maryland Avenue and 33rd Street until after around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Roads will reopen Saturday after runners pass through areas of the course, Department of Transportation spokesperson Marly Cardona-Moz said. Residents can see runners’ progress on the course on an interactive street closure map on the Baltimore Running Festival’s website.
Residents are also advised to take routes that aren’t in the race’s footprint, including roads “north of 33rd Street, south of McComas Street, west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and east of Highland Avenue.”
It also encourages residents to use public transportation during the event, although it advises the Charm City Circulator will not run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday during the race.
The 5K will begin at 7:30 a.m. at McKeldin Square, while the marathon and 10K will begin at Camden Yards Gate A at 8 a.m. The half-marathon will kick off last, as runners start from McKeldin Square at 9:45 a.m.
Some of the best spots for residents to support their friends and family along the race course are along the Inner Harbor adjacent to Light Street, at the finish line at Pratt and Light streets, at West Shore Park, or by Harbor Point, Corrigan said.