Saturday, August 3, 2013

Back On My Feet (BoMF) Baltimore

Back On My Feet (BoMF)
     In May 2007 Anne Mahlum was doing what she did all the time as a disciplined runner.  She put on her kicks laced them up and went running early in the morning.  It was on these early morning runs, passing by the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission at 13th & Vine Streets in Philadelphia, that Anne first met the original Back on My Feet Members.  After waves, greetings and jokes, she developed a friendly rapport with the men from the mission. Anne realized that if running could help her through her own personal challenges, there was no reason it couldn’t help these men through their struggles.  This vision she had to help has grown .  By Jan 2008 it had become an official 501(c)3 nonprofit.  (



      This is a great organization and I got to run in their Baltimore event on August 2nd.  It was the AT&T BoMF Baltimore Sneaks Come out at Night 15K, 3X5K Relay and Corporate Challenge.  It is held in Druid Park just off of 83 south in Baltimore.  




     I did not realize the event I signed up for had such an impact on the community.  When I first got into Baltimore I felt like I was riding through an episode of the HBO series The Wire.  


     The last time I had been in Baltimore was many years ago and things have changed a lot.  I hung out in Druid Park for about three hours just checking it out.  It is an awesome park with the Maryland Zoo nestled in it.  


     When I got to the packet pick up it was the usual hustle and bustle of pre-race activity.  This was at the lakeside pavilion.  Charm City Run was setting up the course and the start finish area.  Volunteers were busy handing out packets and answering all the runners’ questions.  This is when I started to realize the enormity of this event.   I read a sign that said BoMF.  So I started asking questions which when answered I flashed back a year or two to the Runners World article on this organization.  


     As the start grew near the DJ was mixing music well.  The sound was muted and the organizers told the runners it was circle time.  What is this I said?  All the runners headed to the backside of the pavilion and got in a big circle.  In the center the organizer had a bull horn telling everyone about the event.  Then a warm up leader got out there and we all followed him in clapping it up first 1 then 2 then 3.  Over and over pumping everyone up.  We did some stretches clapped again.  Then the organizer came back out and everyone held hands high and recited the serenity prayer.  I was amazed to see this and be a part of it.  


     The race consisted of three laps through the park with a few switch backs.  There were 89 relay teams in this event so the pace stayed pretty constant throughout.  128 runners did the entire 15k along with the relay teams .  When I first got down there I did not think I would ever do this race again.  After running it and meeting some good runners, I most likely will be back next august to try my luck again

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