2014 NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon Race Recap

May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014

10 days ago I ran my 15th half marathon (I realized I’ve been miscounting my half total the entire year – oops) and 10th race of the year.

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The Brooklyn Half Marathon is a New York Road Runners (NYRR) event – the same organization that runs the New York City Marathon.  While this was not my fastest half, it was certainly memorable! 

Packet Pickup/Expo

The Brooklyn Half Pre-Party was open to runner’s the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before the half.  Located at Pier 2 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, runner’s could pickup their race packet and shirt (there were also food trucks and shirt graffiti-ing).  Because I was arriving Friday night, my friend Laurel was able to pickup my gear (she needed a copy of my confirmation card and ID). 

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I liked the little race booklet we were given (race info, course map etc).  It was small enough to tuck into your jacket pocket.

Traveling

This was a total nightmare.  Although I signed up for the Brooklyn Half months ago, I was unable to book my travel until the last minute because of my project schedule.  By the time I could make arrangements, it was  less expensive to fly into New York vs. take the train Friday evening (I took a bus home to offset the cost). 

About two hours before my flight I received a voicemail “your flight has been canceled.” WHAT?!?! I played back the recording and it turns out that American Airlines canceled my flight and rebooked it to a US Airways flight (makes sense with their merger).  I left work and arrived at Reagan National Airport 45 minutes before my flight (I know it was cutting it close, but I had a carry-on and pre-check). 

Because I was rebooked to a US Airways flight, I could not use the boarding pass I already had.  I waited in line for 30 minutes (luckily my flight was delayed) and was told I had to get in another line! I was not a happy camper.  I went to the second line (with a much nicer airline rep) and she re-issued my boarding pass.  The flight was delayed about an hour and I arrived in New York at 9:00pm. I waited for a taxi for about an hour and finally arrived at my friend’s apartment at 10:30pm.  Our wake up call for the next day was 5ish!

Race Goals (“A” least probable and “C” most probable)

After working 84 hours (with little sleep) + arriving at my final destination at 10:30pm, I did not want to make my race goals overly ambitious. I knew a PR was not in store for me this race weekend. 

  • A – Negative split the second half
  • B – Break 2:40 (about 30 seconds slower per mile than my PR)
  • C – Finish the Brooklyn Half Marathon 

I  decided not to capture my splits (I knew that would stress me out) and use the interval settings in case I switched to a run/walk.

NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

Image: NYRR

Despite all the rain the night before (remember those two days in which it rained 24/7?), it was a beautiful race morning!  Perfect running temperature – 50 to 60 degrees.  Because I was staying in Manhattan, we had to get up a little earlier to catch the train the start in the Prospect Park area of Brooklyn.  As you can see from the course map below, the route took us around Prospect Park for the first 7 miles and then a straightaway to Coney Island for the finish. 

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Image: NYRR

This was a large race – with 25,000 runners! It was broken up into two Waves – with Wave 1 starting at 7:00am and Wave 2 starting at 7:45am.  Within each Wave there were several corrals.  I could tell this was a field of speedy runners – I was seeded for a 2:30 finish, but I was still in the second to last corral.  Getting to the start was pretty easy and organized (we arrived early to get through security and drop off our gear).

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On the way to gear drop off we passed the Brooklyn Public Library – isn’t the gold detail beautiful?

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Look at all the runners! I am not going to lie…. I definitely fell asleep standing up a couple of times!

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And then the start! It was right outside the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.  I wish I had the chance to visit it – maybe next time. 

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Passing Prospect Park. So jealous of all the runners already in the park.

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My favorite part of the course! Finally in the park!  There were some hills between miles 5 and 6.  I ran the entire incline – I was so proud of myself!

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Pretty views!

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After 7 miles we headed to the Expressway for the long 6 miles to Coney Island.  This was not my favorite part – a bit boring, but very spacious.  This is where I started my run/walk.

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Finally the end in sight!

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Runners and spectators lined the boardwalk and you passed the iconic Nathan’s hotdog stand.

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The finish was along the boardwalk on Coney Island- probably one of my favorite finish lines ever.

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My official finish was 2:40:20 – which was about 7 minutes slower than my PR at Love Run Philly.  Although I did not best my “A” or “B” goals, I was happy to finish given how mentally and physically tired I was that week. 

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Final Thoughts

  • This was my first NYRR event and I cannot wait to run more! Especially the NYCM! 
  • Excellent crowd support and volunteers!! There was plenty of water throughout the race. I believe there was an aid station every 1.5 miles.
  • Beautiful run through Prospect Park + the Coney Island finish > the boring 6 mile straightaway.
  • Easy access to public transport – I was staying in the UWS, so it took a little bit longer. 
  • When I participate in races in DC I love Saturday races because I can pickup my bib earlier in the week and I still have the entire weekend left.  Saturday races can be a little tricky if you are coming from out of town (and unfortunately for me I could not take off Friday). 
  • The course was a little crowded in the beginning but it thinned out as it went on.  Unfortunately for my friend Laurel, someone stepped on her foot and she ended up hurting her knee!
  • There is so much to do/see/eat before and after the race.  Some local businesses also gave runner discounts (listed in the nifty race brooklet).
  • I forget how close DC is to NY – I need to visit more often. 
  • While not entirely flat – this can be a fast course.

Overall I thought this race was well organized. I would love to run this half again when I am in better form.  I think I may be adding this to my 2015 list! I will leave you with a few snapshots of my post-race weekend in NY.

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Have you run Brooklyn or any NYRR organized event?

Are they on your race bucket list?

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