The vernal equinox brings more than migrating Birds to Camden Yards. While our 85 acre urban complex is best known as a professional sports venue, its size and location make it the perfect site for other spectator and participatory activities.
As the temperatures (finally!) rise, so do the number of Camden Yards visitors for something other than baseball. This spring marks the return of one instant crowd favorite and the inaugural appearance of another.
The Color Run (April 19th) and ROC Race (May 18th) are more about having fun than competition. While finishing a predetermined course is an element of the Color Run, time doesn’t seem to be a factor. Particularly if you pause to dance with The Color Run mascot, a rainbow-colored unicorn, or roll in various piles of pastel paint along the route. Although stopping to do these things will slow you down, these are the memories and events that make TCR different.
While the concept may seem goofy, the numbers certainly aren’t – four races, on two dates in 2013, sold out in advance. There was colored cornstarch from Turn Ten to the Purple Patio. The first run in the 2014 edition is close to sold out, so sign up soon if you want to be part of the spectrum.
The ROC Race in May is new to Baltimore, but has already achieved legendary status in cyberspace for its resemblance to TV game shows. ROC stands for Ridiculous Obstacle Course. It features such challenges as the infamous Wrecking Ball and the world’s largest inflatable water slide. The 5K ROC Race encourages team participation and each must be at least 13 years old.
Yet another new interpretative racing experience comes with the Electric Run later in the season. Like the ROC and TCR, this event has already achieved a following, having taken place in various locales around the country. But unlike the other fun runs, the 5K Electric Run takes place at night in a wonderland of light and sound that promises to transport the mind, body and soul into a new world. Participants are urged to bring glow sticks, iridescent body paint, black lights, or battery-operated LED devices so they can be part of the show.
You might wonder how and why the Maryland Stadium Authority got into this particular brand of sports. The answer is two-fold.
The first and most important, is that Camden Yards Sports Complex- was built by and for the people of Maryland – those who live or enjoy visiting here. The facilities are not just for those who can afford to attend professional baseball or football games. As a transit center, historic attraction and business/retail operation, Camden Yards Sports Complex (CYSC) is in use 365 days a year. With onsite parking, onsite public transportation and interstate access, CYSC are an attractive location for staging events that serve the community as well as entertain thousands of people with other interests. That means festivals, fund-raisers, proms, and weddings, too.
The second reason is revenue and not just for the Complex. The thousands whom attend these events- as well as the much more serious Running Festival- spend a lot more than just time in Baltimore. Our neighbors in the hospitality industry are greatly appreciative of the visitors CYSC hosts’, as events here have a big impact on their bottom lines, too. So while fun runs may stretch the definition of sports competitions a bit, they are a welcome addition to the mission of MSA in providing enjoyment, enrichment, and business opportunities in our state.
Stay tuned for more advisories about upcoming activities at Camden Yards.