Name of the race: AirBnB Brooklyn Half Marathon
Where: From Prospect Park to Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY
Date: May 21, 2016
Time: 7:00 am
Distance: 13.1 miles
Terrain: Slight net decline
Entry fee: $60 for NYRR members (slightly more for non-members)
Swag: Tech t-shirt, finishers medal, free race photos
Post-race Food: Bottle of water, Gatorade, bag of pretzels, apple, and protein bar
Performance: Overall: 9128/27,410; Gender: 2884/14,717: Age (35-39) 374/2,272
Weather: 59 degrees, 59% humidity, overcast
If you live in New York City and in the running community, there are a few races that all runners talk about – New York City Marathon, NYC Half Marathon, and Brooklyn Half. So when the registration opened for the Brooklyn Half, it was difficult not to sign up despite the pricey $60 race fee. I’ve done this race twice before, but this would be the first time running through the streets as a Brooklynite. The thought of racing on the familiar streets, through my beloved Prospect Park where I know every curve, bend, incline, and decline excited me. So we registered.
We live about a mile away from the start line, so for the first time ever, I had a leisurely morning. In prior years, I had to wake up super early and ride the subway for about an hour in order to get to the start line. We walked over. It was warm and humid morning.
Ben and I separated to go into our corrals. I found a bunch of other PPTC members in my corral and decided to run with them for as long as it made sense for me to do so. Karla was working at the start line. Before I crossed the start line, I yelled her name and Karla announced my name. It pays to know celebrities. I didn’t have big plans for this race as I had race Run for the Red Poconos the week before. I had kinda hoped to do 1:50, but my legs were still beat. I ran with my teammates for a few miles and then I slowed down and ran my own race.
It was really humid and I began dumping water on myself early. I appreciated the cheers from the PPTC teammates who set up cheering stations around the park. Just after Mile 7, we were dumped out to Ocean Parkway to start the long run to Coney Island. Several runners complain about this section because it’s straight and “boring,” but it’s a stretch that I like. I can totally zone out and focus on running a good pace.
As we got closer to the beach, the temperature dropped and so did the humidity. I appreciated the cooler temperature. The last 1/2 mile is always a lot of fun because there are huge roaring crowds and music. I picked up my pace and looked forward to the end.
As much as I love the Brooklyn Half, I’m starting to hate what a hassle the end is. I understand crowd control is needed when you have over 25,000 runners, but they funnel us a long way around to the stadium in order to appease the sponsors where they’re waiting with ads and other stuff. I just wanted to get to the beach to find Ben and PPTC teammates.
Finally I made my way out and found Ben and our friends. We didn’t stay long because it was really cold at the beach. We said hello to people and then went home. I had a decent race on tired legs, but it’s all good for marathon training.