“My car pretty much knows its way from Charleston to Fredrick,” said Sid Busch, who has participated in about 10 Frederick Running Festivals. The 2017 event is May 6 and 7, with a Kids’ Fun Run and 5K race on Saturday, followed by half marathon and team relay events on Sunday. There’s also the Health and Fitness Expo and Celebration Village, with interactive games, live music, food, and beer.
“This is a big-time race in a small town,” said Chris Tomlinson, of Corrigan Sports, the race organizer. “It’s a great experience running through the historic district and Frederick is so easy to get to. We make it even more convenient with off-site packet pickup locations in both the Washington and Baltimore areas.”
With four different runs, the Frederick event is attractive to runners at every level and families, too. About 7,000 runners from 35 states participate in the weekend events.
“The Frederick Running Festival contributes significantly to the local economy both on the weekend it occurs and for a long time after the event has ended,” noted John Fieseler, who promotes the county. “Runners and watchers alike spend time along the race route, viewing many of Frederick’s best features. The festival often inspires visitors to return for a more leisurely trip in the future.”
Runners praise the course and the support. Busch, a retired submariner who races in events on the East Coast in honor of slain members of the military, said, “Frederick is a beautiful area to run in and the support is really good. The medals and shirts are really nice, too.”
A 2016 participant who blogs as Running to Travel, and is trying to run a half marathon in all 50 states, posted, “People in the neighborhoods through which we ran were fantastic supporters. The volunteers on the course were plentiful and actually seemed to know what they were doing.”
This will mark the 15th year for the event, which was a full marathon for the first seven years.
Runners get a virtual event bag by email that includes digital gifts such as coupons and games, as well as race advice.
There are a number of challenges that runners can accept for additional medals and bragging rights. Runners who participate in both the Frederick event and the Baltimore Running Festival in October conquer the Maryland Double challenge and receive an extra medal and registration discount. More than 7,000 runners have qualified since 2007.
The Nut Job Challenge requires runners to participate in both the half marathon and the 5K events during the Frederick Running Festival and yields a special medal and race bib.
The King Crab Challenge requires runners to participate in the Frederick half marathon, the Baltimore 10-Miler on June 3, and the Baltimore full or half marathon on Oct. 21. Those who complete all three win a number of prizes, an extra medal, and are invited to a special King Crab dinner.
“Corrigan is one of the best organizations that puts on races,” said Busch. “I’ll definitely be there in May.”
For more information:
Frederick Running Festival: frederickrunfest.com