ROC Race Jumpstarts Summer Season

Marylanders of yore marked Memorial Day as summer’s start, with the opening of community pools and annual migration to the shore.  Bikini frolics in the Preakness infield moved the season up a bit, and Sunday’s ROC Run pushed the envelope even further.ROC_group

Imagine an obstacle course at a water park, with the squeal factor of Chuck E. Cheese, and you can grasp the concept of the ROC Run. Reality TV with game-show hosts narrating each contestant.  And once again, the perfect place for staging a production-driven event — Camden Yards.

Enormous inflatable structures (which withstand both weight and water) were stationed at various locations on the 85 acre complex.  Twelve “challenges” over a 5k course ended with a glorious water slide under the 395 overpass.

(Like the Dew Tour of long ago, this had to be an eyeful for unsuspecting Light Rail and car passengers.)

While not as messy as some of the mud run options available to intrepid runners, ROC Run still had plenty of water hazards.  Toughest appeared to be the tandem wrecking balls that send most contestants into the drink with a bop on the posterior.

Fortunately, the weather cooperated.  Temps climbed to nearly 70 degrees after the day began with cool breezes.  The thousands who left Camden Yards, soaked and sloppy, would agree that summer must really be underway.

It’s also saying something about the popularity of Camden Yards as a venue when you get on the Light Rail with a trio of tutus and the operator says “some kind of race goin’ on at the park?”

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Next up:  the Electric Run July 19, where we’re certain to see fluorescent tutus glowing in the dark.

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