Near the 13 mile mark, spectator numbers are a bit thinner than at the giant chute on Light Street, where pedestrian bridges make cheering convenient.
The people here are mostly waiting for relay teams. One of those people is Mark Middlebuscher, who's here to run a relay leg in support of his Laurel church.
The church has had a presence in the relay for all 10 years of the festival, Middlebuscher says, and while they ran as a lark the first time, "it's been a big deal since then."
The congregation sometimes has runners in other events as well.
They've had as many as "one full marathoner, one relay team of men and a family of four in the 5K -- It's ebbed and flowed," Middlebuscher said, interspersing his description with cheers for the elite runners as they passed the area. "But we always try to do at least one marathon team to keep the streak alive."
As handoffs for the third relay leg continue, participants closer to the exchange zone are bouncing up and down on Key Highway, waiting to see whether their teams' second-leg runners will come through or leave them disappointed.
"Good luck, man," a rail-thin guy says to the Howard County Striders competitor, who's hopping just in front of the handoff point.
By the time I look up again, he's gone, getting ready to bolt around the corner onto Light Street.