Although it felt like at least 40,000 runners, only a record-breaking 26,482 runners finished the Brooklyn Half Marathon last Saturday, the most finishers of any Brooklyn Half in the past and any half marathon in the US this year. The best thing about the Brooklyn Half Marathon was the medal. This doesn’t mean there weren’t other good things about the race, it’s just that the last time I ran the Brooklyn Half (in 2009, when it was still part of the NYRR “Grand Prix”), they didn’t give medals at all, and now they give really nice ones that are fancier than some full marathon medals I have.
The biggest lie about the Brooklyn Half Marathon was that they would close the corrals 20 minutes before the official start time. I was in wave 1 that started at 7:00. I positioned myself at the back of the crowd because I didn’t want tons of people running past me (both annoying to me and inconsiderate to them), but I ended up getting passed by a bunch of people anyway because they never seemed to close the corral. I crossed the start at 7:20 and people were still just waltzing in from the subway. It was annoying that I was basically penalized for following NYRR’s instructions, leaving my apartment at 5:30 am and waiting around in the corral when I could have left my apartment ten minutes before 7 and still crossed the start at the same time. It was especially annoying because they should have just had those people start in the second wave. Of course, I got passed by a lot of people in the second wave, too, but that’s just because I’m such a slow runner. 😛
As you might already know, the course starts near the Brooklyn Museum, does a loop through Prospect Park, then dumps out onto Ocean Parkway and finishes on the boardwalk in Coney Island. The only hills are in the park, and they’re mild compared to the hills in Central Park. It was overcast at the start but started lightly raining around mile 5 for me, then turned into a heavy downpour for several minutes. It was the hardest rain I’ve ever encountered during a race (harder than the rain I faced in Vermont and much harder than the light drizzle in Portland) but luckily it was warm, the rain eventually stopped, and I only had to run another 8 miles instead of 21.
Overall, the race was harder than I expected, as I had both foot and knee pain especially after mile 10. And while it was my Personal Worst for a half marathon (slower even than my first half marathon ever), I finished faster than I expected at a little under 2:30, and was pretty thrilled with my time at this point.
The post-race “party” was very crowded with long lines for beer and/or hot dogs (neither of which were free, btw), and I was hungry (they only gave us an apple and bag of pretzels at the finish) and wet and cold and tired, so I left the stadium to head to the subway home. Luckily I passed a large open storefront selling corn dogs & pop ($7) which I scarfed down with delight (lots of breading on the corn dog but it was delicious), then I got a caramel apple dipped in multi-colored sprinkles to take home ($4). The ride home on the N train took most of my lifetime, but I managed to hold it together before collapsing at home and doing nothing the rest of the weekend.
Did you see a bajillion Facebook posts about the Brooklyn Half this weekend? What did you think of the Mad Men finale? Would you like to buy the world a Coke? A corn dog? Share in the comments!