Disclaimer: As a member of the Rock ‘n’ Blog team, I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 5 Miler. As always, all thoughts are my own and I #keepitreal.
Happy Wednesday! On Saturday I participated in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn 5 Miler race. Originally I was signed up for the half marathon, but decided to drop down to the 5 miler. I was still in recovery mode from the marathon and I didn’t want to push it. Besides, I don’t think it’s wise to run 13.1 miles after taking a week off from all workouts.
I actually ran this race back in 2015. It was the first year for the half marathon and there were many logistical issues. So much so that I said I would never run the race again. Fast forward to 2016 where many of my friends ran the race and let me know that things went MUCH smoother. Based on that, I decided to return to the race this year!
I took a half day off from work on Friday and headed down to the expo in the afternoon. Luckily the expo was at Jacob Javits Convention Center so it’s pretty easy for me to get there by train from my home in Stamford, CT. Now I did hear from a few runners that were annoyed that although the race was in Brooklyn, the expo was in Manhattan. I can definitely understand their frustration, but having the expo in Manhattan worked better for me so I definitely wasn’t complaining!
The expo was super small. This is probably one of the smaller Rock ‘n’ Roll so that may be why the expo wasn’t as large as their other expos. There were a handful of vendors so I went through everything pretty quickly. The swag bag was pretty good.
Luckily I ran into a few friends from social media so we were able to chat for a while before all going our separate ways.
The race started at 7am so that meant a super early 4am wake up alarm – ugh! Surprisingly I wasn’t that tired and it didn’t take too long to get there. While the temperature was perfect at 62 degrees, the humidity was at 500%. Can I just say that it’s mid-October and I am SO OVER THIS CRAP!
The race corrals were super packed, probably because the lines for the porta potties were going into the corrals. I don’t know why they set up the start of the race this way, but I think that people had enough time to use the porta potties and get into their corrals (hopefully). The race started a little late but I crossed the start line around 7:20am.
The race starts off at Grand Army Plaza. You run down Eastern Parkway for the first two miles and then down Washington Avenue until you get to Prospect Park. This part of the race felt like it was on a small incline and then small downhill. Within the first half mile I was drenched from the humidity and I automatically felt horrible for everyone running the half marathon. The weather was definitely not ideal.
At this point, we split off from the half marathon runners and the crowd really thinned out. By thin out, I mean I think I saw 10 people around me for the next 2 miles, lol. The half marathon was definitely the more popular race as the 5 miler had less than 1,000 finishers. This is also the part of the race with the lovely hills of Prospect Park. Man I forgot how much I hated those hills!! I powered up the best that I could for a few minutes but I finally had to take a small walk break. As soon as I did that I could feel all the soreness in my right knee and just decided to keep running. It’s weird but my knee felt worse walking vs. running. After a few more little hills the finish line was in sight!
Overall it was a pretty good run. I saw plenty of water stops, medical tents and porta potties on the course. There were some awesome small groups of spectators on the course as well, although I’m sure there were more on the half marathon course. After crossing the finish line volunteers handed out the medals and a bad full of post-race goodies. I was thrilled that all of the post-race items were already in a bag. It was so nice to not have to juggle everything!
There was a little snafu with the finisher medal. Because I was signed up for the half marathon (and they wouldn’t let me switch my bib), I was given the half marathon medal when I finished. This didn’t sit right with me since I didn’t technically earn that medal. Since I hung around for a while after I finished, I asked one of the volunteers if there were any left over 5 mile medals (since all the finishers should have come through by then). Luckily there were extra medals so I was able to switch my half marathon for the 5 miler medal.
After the race my mom and I picked up our free long sleeve tech shirts for doing both RnR Philly and RnR Brooklyn.
My mom and I then went back to cheer on the half marathon runners as they crossed the finish line. I was able to see Janelle and she looked great and super focused running toward the finish line! I was also able to cheer on my friend Shirley as she tackled her first half marathon. She totally ROCKED IT coming in 8 minutes under her goal time!
Before leaving to go back home, we stopped by the beer garden to pick up our free beers. Luckily they were ice cold which made them taste pretty darn good! We also ran into Janelle and her fiancé, Bret. We had a great conversation about the horrible weather and how we were looking forward to our running “off-season”.
If you’re thinking about doing a Rock ‘n’ Roll race, I would recommend this one. They really fixed a lot of the logistical issues from years passed and the security checkpoint was very smooth this year. If the weather cooperates, it would also be a great race for the Fall!