State Senator Catherine Pugh is running one of the most watched races of 2016: the Baltimore mayoral race. Tuesday, the citys residents will head to the polls and decide whether Pugh will succeed Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.The Democratic nominee is serving her third term in the Maryland state senate representing District 40 in Baltimore, but Pugh is no stranger to tough races. In addition to being a competitive runner and athlete, Pugh founded the Baltimore Marathon 16 years ago, and it has grown into the Baltimore Running Festival with more than 25,000 participants.Sen. Pugh spoke with espnW about her love for running, Baltimore and how she manages her time.Running BaltimoreThe idea of the marathon was my idea, but the business of running Baltimore is about being an inclusive city, becoming more diverse and realizing that the area has such great things happening. At the same time, we, like many urban cities, suffer from issues that are decades old. Yet, we have great universities and hospitals in ones like John Hopkins and the University of Maryland Medical System, so we are a city of opportunities -- one that is just spurting and starting to grow. So its a very exciting time and envisioning the future is easy, because I have so many assets to work with. At the same time, its how I pull it all together, so I think itll make it a difference in the future of our city.Marathons in MarylandI was actually at an event with former Mayor Martin OMalley and Katie OMalley, his wife, who is a runner. ?Im also a runner, so I asked her at that event what she was training for, and she said she was training for a D.C. Marathon. I said, How upsetting is it that the city doesnt have its own marathon? We used to have what we called the Maryland Marathon, which was really great, so I said, The city needs its own marathon. I then walked over to her husband, who was mayor at the time, and said, The city needs its own marathon, and he said, OK.That was an OK, but there was no money. I remember working for [former Maryland Gov.] William Donald Schaefer, who said, When you see a problem, bring me a solution. When he said OK, that meant I had to come up with the way to get it done. So I went to the citys law department and said the city doesnt have any money. It was my thought that we would create a big proposal, advertising for bidders who created a Baltimore Marathon that would be inclusive of half marathons, team marathons and a 5K that would occur on a Saturday. People said, Why Saturday? and I said, Because it would increase participation. It would get people coming to our city earlier, participating in our running festival prior to the marathon and staying in our city that Thursday night, Friday night, run the marathon Saturday and Sunday stay and enjoy our city. And thats in fact what has occurred. We started out with 6,600 runners and are now at 25,000 runners.Timing is everythingI am such an individual runner. Have you ever seen anyone who likes to play golf and really likes to play by themselves? That would be me. Running is not only relaxing, but it gives me time to think and gives me time to spend with myself. Its not just a sport and an exercise for me. Its a moment of peace and tranquility.Now, I have run with running groups and trained with other people. Marathon training requires a certain concentration and certain dedication, and sometimes it really is helpful to be in a group because it helps you stick to your agenda. I know when I was running marathons, we ran 80 miles a week and the person that I trained with was very meticulous about what you had to do every day. One of the things he taught me, which is why in my first marathon I ran a 3:19, was that you didnt run for distance -- you ran for time. He said that I had to build my body up to the point that I could take a three-hour run, once a week, for 11 straight weeks, and I would feel the impact of that for when I finally got to the marathon, and he was absolutely right. I am certain that at some point during the marathon training, I got close to 26.2 because people will tell you that you crash at the 18th mile, but I did not and I never had that experience of crashing. Ive always been able to run through. In fact, I think Im more competitive in the end then I am in the beginning. In the beginning of the marathon, Im just trying to stay on pace.Weekly races[I ran] 48 races in one year -- placed in almost every single race. What was really funny is that there was a race in Annapolis where they only award the top 10 women, no age groups or anything. I came in 11th and I was sitting on the side dismayed, and someone walked up to me and said, Whats up with you? Why are you looking all sad? Youre the first black girl in? I said, S---, aint no awards for first black girls. Its about the top 10. I missed it.Running for a purposeWe want people to be healthy. Whether its running, walking, skipping, hopping or jumping, you just have to move your body. We are trying to create more bike trails in the city for people to be able to ride safely.Baltimore is different than most big cities and the streets are not that wide. Our marathons have five different starts because of that, but were getting better at addressing it. I always tell people when they are running through the city, I like running on the street -- on the tar of the street -- because it gives more. The curbs are made of cement, which creates problems for us as we get older with our knees because of the constant pounding. You want shock resistant shoes. You also want a comfortable setting and the tar is more comfortable then the cement. It is important for runners to A: Run against the traffic, and B: Be conscious of your surroundings. 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We are steadily building the team and recruiting more people and our rate of development is high. We saw this during the Silverstone test when we trialled some new aero and suspension parts that we hope will bring some added performance to the car.Our focus, however, remains our mid and long-term goals and we continue to put a lot of effort into this. Thats not to say that 2016 isnt important as a significant amount of resources are still going into racing this year. The results are not necessarily impressive, but we are learning lessons all the time that will serve us well in the future.We look forward to Budapest, but kknow that the challenge will be big.dddddddddddd Slow, twisty circuits dont necessarily suit us well, but - as I said before - every lesson learnt, however harsh, gives us information for the future.Team principal Fred Vasseur said the teams focus is shifting to the new set of regulations that will be introduced next year, but it has not given up on 2016.We have updates still to come for this season but its true that much of our development focus is on 2017, Vasseur said. We had plenty of parts to bring performance to this years car at the Silverstone test and if it wasnt for the weather we would have been running a lot more evaluations there. This year is all about developing the team, maintaining focus and getting all the details in place to be able to deliver once we have achieved the stronger performance that were all working towards.We are still fighting for every position on track at every race we attend. The positive thing is that even though the results are not coming at the moment, the team is still positive. Everyone is working hard and wanting to get to where we can deliver results. It is a team of racers both at Enstone and Viry. We will get where we need to be. ' ' '