Home-field Advantage is a travel series that highlights where locals love to eat, train and play. To kick off this series, we asked four people preparing for the Baltimore Running Festival to show us the city through their eyes.
Josh Levinson is making the city of Baltimore a better place, one runner at a time. In fact, helping people see the city the way he sees it is what makes his local run shop, Charm City Run, so meaningful. Even the slogan for his business talks about the community he’s helped to build: “The Sole of the City.”
Josh Levinson, Founder of Charm City Run outfits runners all across the city.
“The reason why people love running here is the same reason they love living here. There’s so much variety. It’s history, it’s struggle, it’s pride, it’s success! All the same things you experience on a run. “
Charm City Run now has five locations and is a staple not only for the running community but also for Baltimore. As Josh prepares for the Baltimore Running Festival, he shares his favorite spots with us:
Best Running Route: Promenade and NCR Trail
Josh breaks it down by noise. When he wants lots of ambient noise so he doesn’t have to think, he loves running along the Promenade. The sounds of the city and the water take his mind off everything. When he wants some quiet and a moment to think, he hits the NCR trail—30 miles of awesome running and reflection.
Charles Village is one of Josh’s favorites along the Baltimore Marathon route.
Best Section of the Baltimore Marathon Route: Charles Village
“The community comes out and really cheers all the runners on. It’s quite the sight. And, if you’re from Baltimore, you know you’re about to head south to the homestretch and that’s an inspiring moment on your run.”
Pre-marathon Meal: Oatmeal
Eating something bland and nutritious an hour before you run is best. Josh’s go-to is simple oatmeal and lots of water—the key is to avoid irritating your stomach.
Post Marathon Recovery: Ice Bath
It’s terrible in the moment, but Josh swears by a good ol’ ice bath to flush out the toxins, reduce swelling, and combat micro-tears from your run. If you can’t stand the cold, simple ice packs on your joints will also help.
Best Restaurants for a Rest Day: Café Hon and Woodberry Kitchen
For the family, Café Hon brings the best of Baltimore culture with quirky style and classic dishes like crab, shrimp and chicken. For date night, try Woodberry Kitchen for a rustic-chic take on refined American fare.
Last Word on Baltimore:
“So many people take pride in making this city the best place to live, and I’m so glad I’m part of it. We’re running strong, we’re running fast, we’re running proud, and we want you to come be a part of it.”
Miss the other stories? Read Part 1 of this series, “The Up-and-Comer.”