Race: AirBnB Brooklyn Half Marathon
Date & Time: May 21st, 2016 | 7:30AM
Conditions: 62 and sunny!
Time & Pace: 2:09:49 | 9:55
Less than three weeks fresh out of my first marathon, I was committed to running the AirBnB Brooklyn Half for the NYRR 9+1 Program. This race is the largest half marathon in the country, and there is nothing quite like being a part of something really, truly huge.
I had sworn to myself that between the NJ Marathon on May 1, I wouldn’t run at all in May with the exception of the UAE 10k, and this half marathon. To be honest, even those runs were probably too much on my recovering body — but that’s nor here nor there, right? RIGHT? I say right, though my right hamstring says wrong.
I’ll recap this race as best as I can remember, which is actually — pretty well!
I left my apartment on the Upper West Side at 6:00, and there is truly no cooler feeling that head nodding a bib-ed up runner at the crack of dawn, until you walk into a subway car that is exclusively the Brooklyn Half express.
I arrived at Grand Army Plaza at 6:45, corrals closed at 7:20 and I wanted to find my three pals that were running also, and definitely hit-da-potty. I did one of those two things successfully.
I started off the race with my friend, Abby, totally unsure of how I was going to feel, yet somehow – totally not worried.
The race course in a snapshot is – easy-hard-hard-easy-easy-easy. You run around the park, in Prospect Park, through the park, down the highway and end up at Coney Island, which is badass. The elevation in Prospect Park is no cake walk (or run), but definitely manageable if you run with any types of hills in your training.
I was #blessed to stick with Abby all the way through 9.5 where we lost each other at a water station. I am religious about getting hydration at every stop in a race. Usually I switch between H2o-Gatorade, but this time I picked up both at each stop. Abby opted to run with a water-bottle which still fascinates me.
Below are my splits courtesy of Nike+
Mile 1 – 3.5 are through the streets surrounding Prospect Park and are full of energy and amazing signs.
Mile 3.5-7.0 are the toughest of the race. They’re inside Prospect Park and are the longest stretches of uphill running. The crowds are thick in the park, so adrenaline and momentum will carry you through the rolling hills
Mile 7.0-13.0 are down Ocean Parkway, passing through what I think is 6 Brooklyn neighborhoods. You start out running down the highway ramp that was an uphill during the Rock N Roll Brooklyn Half, which was definitely a welcome and bitter-sweet change of pace. I heard that the crowds thin out through on this long stretch but uh-uh! I felt supported and distracted the entire time.
Mile 13.0-13.1 are running up to the Coney Island Boardwalk which is so unreal. There’s a tiny uphill ramp, I mean tiny, like, 100 feet, before your feet hit the boardwalk, and then you slide right into the finish line.
The AirBnB Brooklyn Half is a fantastic race – I am so happy I did it. It’s a fast course and the crowds are electric and carry you all the way through. This wasn’t a PR for me, but it really went by faster than my fastest half marathon.