>To Rash Field, Fort McHenry, and Natty Boh

>As I write this, I am sitting in a sweet loft in downtown Toledo. Toledo? Why Toledo? Well, it just so happens that my good friend Dani’s sister lives out here. I consider the Garcia girls to be my own sisters, and Alicia has lived out here for a year and a half now and I haven’t come out to visit. When I realized a couple months ago that I was long overdue for a real vacation – with no racing, no activities, no nothing planned – this seemed like a good option. Of course, it’s no Barbados or Costa Rica, but it will be sweet because everything I do ends up awesome.
Anyway, after eight hours in this city I wanted to write this post to give Baltimore some props. In the short day I’ve been here, the only thing I have noticed as a common thread between the people I’ve talked to is that they apologize for their city. No one can believe we came out here for a vacation. They say things like “I don’t really know what you’ll find for fun” or “I’m sure where you’re from is much more exciting.”

Now, if they hadn’t said anything, it’s not like I would have thought Toledo was my next life destination, but I certainly wouldn’t have thought that there was “nothing to do.” Which brings me to my realization that Baltimore is awesome. Sure, the traffic blows downtown and operation orange cone is quite possibly the worst idea ever. But, we’re damn proud of our horrible traffic patterns and our homeless people. We’re indescribably loyal to a beer that isn’t even brewed in our city anymore. We know that the dolphin show really is sweet enough to warrant the $50 per ticket it costs to see it. In fact, we believe it so much we write that Baltimore is the greatest city in America on benches all over the town.

So to everyone in Baltimore, keep believing in your city. Because, after all, it could be worse….you could live in Toledo.

Published by Alyssa Godesky

Alyssa is a professional triathlete who has logged over 8,000 miles in competition of swimming, biking and running across five continents. She came to triathlon from an ultrarunning background and over the last few years has found success back on the trails: in 2018 she set the female supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) on Vermont's 273 mile Long Trail in 5 days, 2 hours and 37 minutes. In 2020 she set the women's supported FKT for climbing the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks in 3 days, 16 hours and 16 minutes. She is a triathlon and running coach, and also enjoys spending time guiding hikers out on the trails. Alyssa is based in Charlottesville, VA with her dog Ramona.

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