Happy Wednesday! On Saturday I ran the Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon and I cannot wait to tell you all about it! Today I’m linking up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Michelle at Fruition Fitness and Nicole from Nicole from FitFul Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday! For my recap from 2015, click here.
Before I get started, I just wanted to share some fun facts about the race:
* The race sold out in ONE hour (how crazy is that?!)
* It is the largest half marathon in the country.
* This year there were 27,410 finishers
* The finish line is on the boardwalk in Coney Island
The morning of the race I was greeted by my alarm at 4:00 am. Let me tell you, this was painful! We needed to leave Connecticut by 5:00 am so I wanted to give myself enough time to eat and get ready. I had been dealing a weird stomach bug all week so I was a little nervous about how I would feel but I woke up feeling pretty good that morning (thankfully)! Also the weather could not have been better – low 60s, no rain, little wind and a little overcast. Luckily we didn’t hit too much traffic on the drive down to Brooklyn and we arrived with plenty of time to spare, around 6:15 am.
The race had two different start times. Runners in Wave 1 would start at 7:00 am and runners in Wave 2 would start at 7:45 am. I was in Wave 2 so I had plenty of time to sit and try to stretch a little before having to get in my corral. On the way to the corrals, we passed security. It literally took all of 5 seconds – no lines and everything was super organized (hint, hint Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn). We were told earlier in the week that our corrals would be closed by 7:20 am so my friend and I tried to enter around 7:00 am…..and it was complete chaos. For some reason the port-a-potty lines extended into the corrals. As you can imagine, this made the corrals super-duper crowded. In addition, no one really knew where to stand to get in line for the port-a-potties. It was very strange and I’m not sure why they did the set up that way. That’s one thing they could look into changing for next year.
After chatting with some super nice people for about an hour, I finally crossed the start line around 8:15. I hot the start button on my watch and started my Brooklyn playlist and then it was time to get moving!
Click here for a cool interactive map that outlines the course.
This part of the course is mainly flat. There is a great out and back part near the Grand Army Plaza. It’s nice because you can give out some high fives and cheers to the runners on the other side of the out and back! I saw this awesome sign during the first mile that said ‘Punch Trump’ and there was a little inflatable head that people could punch. I wish I could have crossed over from the left side of the road to the right side so I could have punched it!
This part of the race takes place in Prospect Park. A few inclines, but I would only say maybe one significant hill. Running in the park is great because you have shade from the trees and you also get cheers from other runners in the park that are not running the race.
A nice downhill and then you’re out of the park and on your way to Ocean Parkway! This would be the best part of the course to pick up the pace if you want a PR because it’s nice and flat. That WAS my game plan for the race until my hips started really bothering me around mile 8. I had to stop every mile after that to stretch and I lost a lot of time. I was dissappointed but hey, sometimes those things just happen.
I think this is the funniest part of the course. I saw so many awesome signs and little kids giving out high fives. It gave me a lot of energy when I was feeling down during those last few miles.
You’re in the home stretch! You can see Coney Island in the distance and you can hear music playing. Keep running and then go up a small ramp until you hit the Boardwalk. Then run the last few meters to the finish line!!
Pros and Cons
* FREE race photos! This was a total shock and I didn’t find out about it until after the race was over. This is such an awesome perk for a race of this size!
* Hydration – There were water and Gatorade available every mile. I really appreciate this because I was able to re-fill my handheld multiple times.
* Race Shirt – Great material and fit.
* Medical Tents – Again, plenty of medical tents on the course. I felt good knowing that there were so many available.
* Crowd Support – So many awesome spectators giving out high fives and holding really funny signs. I always appreciate a good laugh while I’m running!
* Finisher Medals – As always, the medals are AMAZING! The ribbon was realy nice and had the name of the race and the date and the actual medal is pretty heavy duty!
* Corrals – As I mentioned before, it was a little bit chaotic because of the port-a-potty situation. It just felt extremely crowded and not very organized.
*Post-race food – While I appreciated having all the goodies in one bag, what was inside the bag could have been better. We got bottles of Gatorade and water, an apple, a small bag of pretzels and a Powerbar. The flavor for my Powerbar was absolutely disgusting (lemon poppy seed pound cake) and I cannot eat an apple without washing it off (I just worry about dirt and germs). I’m always surprised when half marathons don’t have bagels, or some other carb, at the finish line.
…and now for some fun stuff!
If you want the interactive experience, check out this video from Eric (DirtyOldSneaker)
In addition, NYRR also posted some pretty amazing Infographics about the race that I wanted to share:
* If all the runners from the race stood hand in hand, it would be enough to line the Coney Island Boardwalk 11.5 times!
* How many times could the average runner listen to “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys while running the race? 30 times!
* Running a half-marathon burns 1,700 calories, which is about 6 Coney Island hot dogs!
* There were 18.409 first time runners of the race.
* The race runs through eight neighborhoods.
* You would need to ride the Brooklyn Cyclone 26 times to cover the distance of the race.
Overall it was another great race! I am planning on running it again next year to complete my three-peat for the race! I highly recommend this race because the course is just so cool and the energy from the crowd is amazing. You’ll probably smile during the entire run! 🙂