Tag Archive | brooklyn

Brooklyn Half Course Elevation, Details and Tips

I know you all have been asking me for a post like the one I did for the NYC Half/Marathon, but I don’t think we need something that long for this race, but still, here you go… Not sure I am an expert on this one (I don’t go to Brooklyn enough!) but this will be my NINTH Brooklyn Half in a row, and all my GPS data matches, and I do have 7 years of race reports I can check back on (which helps a lot to write this!).

First, get excited, here’s a few of my pictures, more on the links below.

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With this cheating sheet you won’t be surprised or  have any reason to fade off in the second half. This  course is easy to take on, quite similar to the NYC Half actually, but faster (there’s less hills, no wind in the second part, and a faster last mile -NO TUNNEL!)

  • Green is DOWNHILL (fast!!!)
  • RED is UPHILL (careful!)
  • and YELLOW is FLAT (you got this!)

nyrr airbnb brooklyn half course elevation profile

This is what the elevation profile looks like:

Brooklyn Half Elevation

If you want to click on the course elevation and get more details (so you know exactly where everything is on the map) that’s all here. I compared the last two years and I got the same (160.65 ft elevation vs 162.03 ft, but pretty similar).

HOW to run this race?

Part 1:

Race starts (awesome sight of the Brooklyn Museum) downhill, for a half mile, then up for another half mile while you run towards the Grand Army Plaza (which you’ll run around), then up and down again.  Something to look forward to on the second mile is the rest of the runners in front or behind you. I love turnarounds, heeeey heeeeey everyone!

These red parts are not big HILLS ok? Nothing to worry about, check up the elevation on the chart above, and you’ll see. Very very manageable and sweet.

Course is very scenic and pretty quiet until you get to the Prospect Park Hill (there’s only one) (does it even have another name???) a bit after Mile 4.5. It’s looong and you can’t see where it ends but it’s also not super bad. Check the elevation above again (almost comparable to Harlem Hill). You have a nice down after the hill another tiny bump in the course and then you’re in the clear. All downhill or flat from here. Seriously, the bumps (can’t call them anything else, they’re NOT hills!) are done before Mile 6!!!

Part 2:

Part 2 is when you crank up the heat (STFU!). The race is flat or downhill past mile 6 so you have a lot of room to play with. I’d run the first part very carefully (aka slowish) so you can spread your wings in the second part. You could start part 2 right after the hill in Prospect Park, right before Mile 6. I like to start when I exit the park because, mentally, it’s an easier break. Park: slow. Not Park: FIRE!!!

Once you exit the park (Mile 7), you will be in Ocean Parkway all the way until the last mile of the race. There’s a steep downhill into the parkway, be ready for it! Just past that, it’s OPEN, it’s wide, there’s tons of space and people to chase down. This is the best part, because you can really go crazy here. Some people will tell you it’s boring and there is nothing to look at, etc. It’s a highway, it might be… There’s less spectators than in the park, it’s quiet and it’s just a STRAIGHT LONG road to the finish. But it is, to me, an amazing opportunity to zone out, drive hard and bring it in. Choose a runner ahead (not the one right there, the other one!) and focus. Or count down the avenues (they’re lettered!). Once you make the right turn, you’ll have about half a mile, you make a left at some point, go up a ramp, and a right into the boardwalk to run about 200 meters (in the boardwalk!) straight to the finish line!

Other tips and things you should know:

  • Pre-Race Party is a blast. Bring your friends. Come with time to enjoy BK (pics here and here from 2016), there’s food vendors, drinkies, and cool Brooklyn gear to buy (start saving now!)
  • On race day, take your time to get to the start. Weekend trains can be more sporadic so plan for it, ok? If you don’t want to plan: leave early and follow ANY runner. We are all going to the same place. No Race Before The Race!
  • Every year they’ve had portapotties inside the corrals. Lifesaver.
  • Last year they had these big water dispensers at the start. Bring your own bottle!
  • Course is really fun. you’ll see a lot of locals and teams cheering. Holla back!! Have your own party on the road.
  • It can be crowded in the first few miles. Please be careful and try to not use headphones. It  really really spreads out in the second part and you might miss the coziness of the park.
  • Bring sunglasses, or a hat/visor: the 2nd part doesn’t have a lot of shade.
  • Boardwalk running can be tricky so please watch your step and pick your feet up a bit more than usual, ok?
  • Don’t trust your cell phone to find people after the race. Make specific plans on where to meet people as cell service might be spotty out there in old Coney (worst for some than others based on your provider).
  • Also bring swim-wear, a beach picnic is a must after you pick up your medal and some funnel cake (or  hot dog from Nathan’s Original store if you will!)


It’s tricky. Either it’s great to race in (40s, 50s) or great to have a picnic at the beach after (60s and over). Either way, it’s a win win!!

Historical data for reference:

  • 2016: 58 degrees, humidity 60%, wind 5 mph
  • 2015: 62 degrees, humidity 76%, wind S 5 mph
  • 2014: 58 degrees, 67% humidity, wind NW 10 mph.
  • 2013: 59 degrees, 72% humidity, wind SE 3 mph
  • 2012: 58 degrees, 56% humidity, wind calm.
  • 2011: 55 Deg., 96% Hum., Wind 5mph
  • 2010: 58 Deg. 86% Hum. Wind 6mph

If you go to the corresponding race report (below) you’ll see what I wore each year (and if it was a “racing or beach” year!)

Pacing bracelet

It’s here. Adjusted for the course, though you can adjust it as you like.

More and more here:

Questions? Comment know below and I’ll answer!

Am I missing something? also lmk below!

Can I ask you for something? After the race, would you come back and let me know how it went, or what went right/wrong, or what you’d add to these tips?

Oooops, I did it again: PPTC Al Goldstein Speed Series 5K

Because apparently I have a substance abuse problem (besides sushi) and I can’t stop. You know, I am not really really racing, but I do treat my weekly racing as the best workout I can do all week. When do you ever go as hard in a workout? If you’re in a race.. then, you do! I believe 100% in racing yourself into race shape! Plus, you do learn a lot about pacing, and nutrition, and gear, etc. Then, there’s the other things, that you can’t figure out… how I do so well when I haven’t slept, or felt like crap, or have a stooopid race when it should have been great or conditions were perfect. Still trying to figure that out, any tips?

So the Prospect Park Track Club puts these awesomely fun 5Ks every other Wednesdays in Brooklyn, at 7 pm, and it’s a great chance for me to get out of Central Park for a bit and do a tough 3 miles all out. That means, having just done a 5K on Saturday, that I had to skip my beloved Tuesday Speed workout… oh well. Sunday I did 5 miles easy with 2x800s in there, Monday was an easy 6, and then just rested Tuesday and Wednesday. Which, you know, not really rested, but didn’t run…

The fun part about these night races is all the stress about what do I eat? when do I eat it? I do all day. For future reference, I OF COURSE, had sushi at 12 (chirashi, though I skipped the salad), then lots of water and tea and coffee by 4 pm. Then more water. (you watch, next time I won’t remember, won’t reread this, and do something stoopid).

Flor, Tessa and I were having a fun time. Turns out there’s this whole new restaurant there at the start in the park, with a big rink and a burger place. So cool.

Prospect Park Track Club Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K Brooklyn New York race report results pictures (2)

By the way, this race, 3 years ago is my 5K PR, 21:09 from 2012. I went back to check my mile splits, so I’d knew during the race how far off I was. 1: 7:23, 2: 6:30, 3: 7:03. Good to have something to pace off!

The race start is a 5 minutes walk down from there. About 6:50 we headed there and then we waited and waited… eventually we got going, I see about 20 women ahead of me, but it could have been 40 or 10, who knows… the first 3 or 4 minutes everyone is just trying to figure out their pacing. Tessa was going to run with me because she swore she hadn’t done any speed since Brooklyn Half and didn’t want to race. AH. I told her, if she felt bored with my pace, or just wanted to, to go. She left me after about a minute!!!! hahaha, so happy to see her go chase her speed! There’s one hill in Prospect Park, and I knew it was on mile 1. I have no idea when I went up the hill: I didn’t even notice it!!!!! ha, when does that happen? Mile 1: 7:24. Well, close to my previous race in 2012!!! OKAY. Mile 2 I passed about 5 women, then, there was just this one girl in the green shirt and I know I chased her down for a LOOOOONG time, but I have no clue if I caught her!!! Mile 2: 6:44.  I was really trying. Then I was just running with these two guys and I tried my best to keep it steady and hold it. Mile 3: 6:45. Meh. Not happening. I felt really really flat. I guess having run a very hard and hot 5K 4 days before is something I don’t recover from that fast. I’ll take it though. I felt ok, just had no kick. I ALWAYS have a KICK!!!!!

Finish time: 21:33 officially. Exactly 3 seconds off last Saturday’s 5K but… weather last night was amazing compared to Saturday… oh well. Still happy with it!!!

2015-06-18 16.43.31 2015-06-18 16.43.41

I love that NYC Runs sends you an email as soon as all the results are final with all of it. LOVE this technology!!!

Prospect Park Track Club Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K Brooklyn New York race report results pictures (1)

and turns out, there were only 7 women ahead of my.. ALL YOUNGER!!!


Tessa was 4th overall and first in her AG. SO happy she left me. Sometimes, the races you don’t even worry about are the funnest!!!!!
Prospect Park Track Club Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K Brooklyn New York race report results pictures (9)

Then they called the grannies, ME!!! I had also won my AG, holy crap, because there’s lots of fast women in PPTC! two medals in 5 days!!!!!!!!!!

Prospect Park Track Club Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K Brooklyn New York race report results pictures (11)

Showing the hardware….

Prospect Park Track Club Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K Brooklyn New York race report results pictures (16) Prospect Park Track Club Al Goldstein Summer Speed Series 5K Brooklyn New York race report results pictures (17)

So, I have lost now about 9 pounds since I got sick 2 weeks ago but I’ve been racing a lot better… there’s something to this weight thing. I wish I had tried this before… 9 pounds is a lot for me. I used to be around 112 pounds to 116 for the last months/years (and anything up to 120 at some points, like vacations and Thanksgiving) but I assumed that if I lost weight I would be too weak to run… excuses!!!! so now I am trying to see if 109 can be the home and go up and down a few pounds (today I woke up with 106). I remember the 1st time I run Boston (2010), I was around 100 to 102, and it was fine… Apparently, I had some weight to lose and now I got to it by luck. We’ll see if I can keep this up and not overeat…

Race Report: 2014 NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

As I had declared last week, I am done with running for now, I needed a mental break after 10 years and I wasn’t going to run anymore. But… I was signed up for the Brooklyn Half and the Mini 10K (in 3 weeks)… what to do? Well, I’m gonna pick the bib and tshirt and decide later. Maybe I would feel like running by Saturday…?

Pre-Race Party/ Bib Pick Up  Bib Pick Up is more like a party, hence the renaming… It’s a nice place, by the water, with a GREAT view of the city, many food and drink options, a lot of space to hang out and see your friends, and the truth is we were running into people we knew every inch we walked. It was bit crowded, there was music, things to shop for, fun atmosphere. Too bad the weather didn’t help much but we got there, got our bibs, took some pictures, looked at the new balance stuff (nice!), went outside, got some food (there was a truck with melted cheese deliciousnesses) and stayed on the “lawn” to hear the band, then it started raining so we left soon. The trek from the Upper East Side where we live took about 1 hour each way, mostly because the 4/5 leaves you like almost a mile away. It’s a super nice walk though, and that street Lululemon or something off the Borough Hall stop is so super super nice!! I am planning to go back to the area.. on a nicer day. It’s a really nice park and you can’t top the views (says the Manhattan girl: if there is no view of the city, there’s no reason to leave the city!!!).  Now, if you want to get in and out fast like this was midtown, won’t happen! I liked this place, though I liked the place they had last year too

Walking to the expo on the Promenade or whatever that's called

Walking to the expo on the Promenade or whatever that’s called

We have been bibbed!

We have been bibbed!

Something I like about leaving the city, the perspective when you look at the city...

Something I like about leaving the city, the perspective when you look at the city…

Friday: D (decision) day  So, come Friday I hadn’t made a decision yet (Title should be more like INdecision day). Should I eat some carbs? Should I prep running clothes or should I just find something to do? If this was just a race in Central Park, it’d be easy to decide to skip it. But… the Brooklyn Half is more like an event… or a trip out of town with hot dogs and beach… AY, I couldn’t make up my mind, and by 4 pm I was stressing a bit. Juan was going to race it, so I’d be up at 3:30 am no matter what. If I could stay and sleep it’d be a different thing. BUT, if I had to get up and get out anyway (I am not just not going to not go cheer or meet him at the finish, can’t just stay home, what type of wife would Ii be??) then I might as well put some running clothes on…? So, staying in bed and sleep through it was not an option. I determined I’d go, try to run and enjoy it and if I didn’t, I’d just take the train… I had two exit strategies, my friend Tessa at mile 1.5 and my friend Flor at the 5 mile water stop. I’d just go with them to the finish and whatever! Flor even had a shirt for me. Then… I had the idea to wear the tutu to amuse myself: tutu power ON! You know my tutu, right? The BIG ONE!!!!


Then… I had the idea to ask on Facebook… because it seemed everyone I knew would be running Brooklyn to see if anyone would want company at my slow chatty pace! I wanted to make sure I had fun, and I was not going to do it alone for sure! I was looking for someone to chat through 13.1 in around 1:50 to 2 hours… I got offers to pace people but, pacing wouldn’t work, the other person would be working hard and who was I was going to have fun with?? Still a few people offered and we planned to meet in the corral! If all else failed and I got bored, I had my metrocard with me and would hop on the train to the finish! I had no issues giving up fast if I am not having fun. No guilt!

RACE MORNING!!! It was cruel how early we got up, and we went to sleep late because we got sucked into watching the Barbara Walters special…beeeeep beeeeep beeeeep 3:40 am alarm!!!! We figured we’d leave by 4:20 to get to the start by 5:40. It’s a long way from the Upper East side and I didn’t want to stress being late. I was going to be miserably sleepy and tired anyway! Luckily, it had just stopped raining, wohooo. We got ready, bundled up and got on the 4 to switch to the 2 in Fulton with another 10 thousand other runners. It was quite simple but I am always scared some train might not be running, we got there quite early. And sleepy. As it would turn out, we were quite right to get there early…

Look AWAKE!!

Look AWAKE!!

Bagagge and Start As soon as we got out of the 2 in Franklin Avenue, wow,  there were high fences all over the place and only one way to go. Note: always check the NYRR website and use the train exit they tell you to use (if you go with the one you think is closest you might end up walking miles because of the fences!). That way then security and metal detectors then security again and IN! We then walked towards the corrals (starting from the back), where we saw the portapotties inside!! Wohooo, we rushed into those, as they were all empty, took care of business, then kept walking to drop our bags and back to the corrals. It must have been like a half mile walk, we got to the trucks and deadline was 6:20 am, we had 10 minutes! We had to rush and change as they were NOT waiting one second!!!! We dropped our stuff quickly (it seemed like a liiiitle bit chaotic) and headed back to the corral. Yey, portapotties in the corral again!! For a change, the first wave started late, this is never the case in NYRR races. I was a 4 corrals back so I am not sure what was going on in the front, but the first runners were 7 or 8 minutes late to start. Wave 2 seems to have started on time.

Race Atmosphere This race was huge, you could tell right away. I wasn’t sure how many people would be there… 20,000? 30,000? It seemed super ultra mega organized: like they were expecting Obama… there was a LOT of people, but still I never felt more crowded than usual. I saw so many people… many from out of town (sometimes you can tell by their t-shirts!). It really felt like something big was about to happen. By the afternoon, it’d be confirmed that this was to be the biggest half marathon in the US with over 25K finishers… craziness.

Weather. It was coldish waiting at the start, glad I had brought an old turtleneck I wanted to get rid of. It was 58 at the start, but with the little clothes and wind, we were freezing! Of course as soon as it started, it was perfect (and I was wearing as little as I could!) but then the sun hits you on Ocean Parkway, and oh uh, hottish! It was totally fine though.

The Corrals I was corral 3, Juan was 4, so we had told everyone to meet us at 4. We got there early and met up with Patricia, a lot of my team mates, Elyssa, Lara, and so many more people. Apparently Blaise was right there too and I missed him. It gets crowded quickly so if you’re going to meet someone in the corral, always pick a corner!

nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half PreRace (1) Elyssa, from this Bridges Runner blog, orange shirt, had volunteered the day before to run with me. I shyly asked “I like to talk when I run, is that ok? do you like to chat when you run?” I know some people hate it but as I said, I needed to have fun, and I needed help! But also, I don’t want to ruin anyone’s day! She said YES. I was so happy. Now let’s see if we’re both comfortable and happy at the same speed…! The Course is…GREAT! There are a couple of little hills in the first 10K, and then flat or downhill past mile 6. You REALLY have to negative split here or you did something wrong. Good course to PR in, though for some reason, I never seemed to PR here… There is the one hill in prospect park, which is not that steep but seems to last foreeeever (elevation profile is here) because it bends so much you have no idea where it ends. There can be way too much sun after you leave the park, but luckily there’s a few trees. MY RACE Well, I really I had no idea what to expect. Having felt so slow and tired lately and with my crappy attitude… we started slow, we chatted… we cheered, we screamed, we talked about how we both didn’t feel like running but we were still running because, by talking, it didn’t feel like running. We stayed on the side and made sure we didn’t bother anyone, mostly in the first couple of minutes when it seemed like all 20 corrals were passing us. Soon, everybody’s speed matched our non-speed and we were seriously cheering people around us. I am sure we bothered some people, as the people who talk sometimes bother ME when I am racing hard and unable to focus, sorry. We tried to not be obnoxious but most people were happy to have us cheer for them. We checked on each other and made sure we were going slow enough to not push ourselves, to make sure we were relaxed and having fun. We somehow managed to have a lot of fun the whole way!

Picture by Ben Ko- thanks BEN!! Still had my start turtleneck as a scarf on the first half mile, just because even if it doesn't match, i need to make a fashion statement!!!!!

Picture by Ben Ko – thanks BEN!!
Still had my start turtleneck as a scarf on the first half mile, just because even if it doesn’t match, I need to make a fashion statement!!!!!

I got hot soon, even though I wasn’t racing and I was wearing less clothes than EVERYONE around me. The tutu was great though… it got SO many cheers and shoutouts that all I was doing sometimes was say thank-yous nonstop!! I love my tutu! The park was bit more crowded than the rest of the race but it really wasn’t so bad. We were having fluids every 2 miles, and one gel as we left the park. I saw so many people cheering, at the water stations, passing me in the race, really you felt like everyone was there! Pace-wise, I have to admit, I barely looked at my watch once or twice… I had no idea. Elyssa shouted mile splits sometimes, just because our only thing was to check not to go over 2 hours, but as I can’t do any math, I figured I’d look at mile 10… I like to hit the pedal when I leave the park but Elyssa had an irish soccer game -or something- to play that afternoon and wanted to save some energy, and I was comfortably having a good time that I was not chancing it by taking off! By mile 9 we decided we’d finish together and we did just that! Easy peasy, half done! nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Race (3) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Race (2) We got to Coney Island, we put our hands together and crossed the finish line. 1:57 and something.

nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (2)

Done, we had fun, and now we have some more fun. In Coney Island!!!

The Finish Line The best part! You have around 300 meters to run on the boardwalk and it gets loud and crowded, even before 9 am! They had medals, bagels, powerbars (chocolate and mint, yuk!!!) and gatorade+water. It is just such a happy place and by 9 am you are free to just go do whatever you want!!! I had told Juan to wait there for me so I caught him as soon as I got my medal! There were a few blocks walk until we got to baggage but it was super organized and easy. Really nice medal too. And we got more pictures of course! nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (3) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (4) nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Finish (5) The Post Race/Getting my bag back fiasco!  Well.. we had to walk a bit to get our bags and holy molly it was a MESS. Seems like just a few bags where there, there was no line, everyone was against the fence holding their number and shouting their number and if the volunteers found it, they’d bring over the bag. My bib was on my skirt and I just didn’t feel like unpinning it so I asked someone (taller!) ahead of me to shout my number and SOMEHOW I got my bag super fast… Everyone else was just standing there… Apparently, I was one of the lucky few people who got to bag check in time! I learned a LOT of people didn’t get to the bag deadline early on, so they dropped their bags in the “late” truck, so those bags where being brought there in bunches… and/or there were not enough volunteers. I offered to jump in to help to organize the bags by numbers but they didn’t let me. It really was a mess all around. nyrr 2014 Brooklyn Half Post Race (1) Stats time Oy, this might be painful… or whatever! Finish time: 1:57:32. Average Pace: 8:59. 20 minutes off my PR, ha.

Previous PR: 1:37:35. From: March, 2013 Age Grading: 57.55% Ouch Overall Place: 10,758 of 25,587 Gender Place: 3,831 of 13, 678 Age Place: 523 of 2,105 (still top 25% which is fine… I guess!) To note looking at the stats, not only this is now the biggest half marathon in the US, but also, there were more women finishers (13,678 ) than men (11,909), insane! Total was 25,587 . Also sad, one runner died at the finish. This always makes me so sad.
splits elevation course nyrr brooklyn half marathon 2014

Seems like I lost satellite in the last mile I think. I kept looking and it said 12.47 for a whiiiile for a long time.

The Result I am VERY HAPPY with the race I run. I was not in shape, I wasn’t into it, actually, I had no interest in even showing up, but I managed my goal, to have fun, to not suffer… This doesn’t mean that I am back. I am not feeling like running still and for what I see, I probably won’t for a while. I am back to not running. But I managed to get to my beach party, the way everyone did: by running 13.1 first.

The Post Race Well, I skipped the MCU park as I had already been there last year for a NYC Runs 5k and my team, the Dashing Whippets, always has a beach party!!!  YEY, beach weather. FINALLY! So we scooted over to the beach after we got our bearings and omg, the FUN

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

I am done running. I am HAPPY.

Happy Birthday Whippets (5 years!!) and Matthew Wong (a few more than 5!)

Happy Birthday Whippets (5 years!!) and Matthew Wong (a few more!)

Cute Speech by Rich. Everybody cry, not really. Then there was a chase to plaster a cupcake on Matt's face but I think Matt had been training to avoid that...

Cute Speech by Rich. Everybody cried, no, not really. Then there was a chase to plaster a cupcake on Matt’s face but I think Matt had been training to avoid that…

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

cupcake boy (I am donut girl)

Boys will be boys??

Boys will be boys??

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

My girl Kirby and I showing off or matching shorts!

He's not normal.

He’s not normal. (It was the Gatorade!!!)

Dashing Whippets Brooklyn Half Marathon

So Many Whippets!! (Apparently I am menopausal as I am the only one without a shirt..!?!??!)

It’s done. I am not sure when I’ll post again, if I have  anything else to say… but, my parents are coming to visit (after 5 years!) and they’re  too excited to see me race, and the Mini10k happens, so, we shall see.

Brooklyn Half Marathon, official page, with loads of pictures

– Brooklyn Half Marathon, official race results

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Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Fun Run, by New Balance

Straight from New Balance!

The Brooklyn Half Marathon is already next weekend and I wanted to let you all know about the Brooklyn ½ Pre-Party Fun Run, Presented By New Balance taking place on Thursday, May 15th at 10:30am. This free event gives runners an opportunity to get in a fun 4 miles and pick up their race packets before the big day!

Wondering how to get to the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Presented by New Balance? Why not run? Join New Balance for a 4 mile fun run and you’ll gain early access to the Pre-Party so you can skip the lines to packet pickup, shirt pickup and the official merchandise. The run will start from the New Balance Experience Store @ 150 5th Avenue at 10:30am.  They’ll even take your dry gear over from the store to the party for you and give you a subway card so you can get back home after the party. RSVPs are limited.

Runners can sign up on the NBNY Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/NBNYC.

More information on Pre-Party, check out this link: Brooklyn 1/2 Pre-Party Presented By New Balance

More on the Pre-Party and the race itself on my post about the 2013 NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

the expo last year: FUN STUFF

2013-05-16 18.05.44 2013-05-16 22.30.03  2013-05-16 22.28.58 2013-05-16 18.06.322013-05-16 22.29.24

Race Report: NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon

After having PRed like a maniac at the NYC Half two months ago, I set this one as my next goal, but.. I didn’t really train seriously… here’s what happened!

Brooklyn Half Marathon, official page


Bib Pick Up/Registration. It was amazing!!!! Best “expo” EVER, though they weren’t calling it an expo, it was more like a pre-race-party, like a fair, or outdoor sports party.. or something. There was live music, djays, food vendors, a bit  of shopping, and nice views of the city. If I didn’t have scheduled just 2 hours for that, I would have stayed there all night!

2013-05-16 18.05.44 2013-05-16 22.30.03  2013-05-16 22.28.58 2013-05-16 18.06.322013-05-16 22.29.24

Getting there. Was a pretty easy on the 5:06 am 4 train, but it was running local so it took a bit longer than I planned. Luckily, it wasn’t crowded and we got there wit enough time (which meant we woke up at 4 am!). Then it was just a quick 5 minute walk to bagagge which looked like the airport. Corrals were just two blocks away. It was super clean and easy. Pretty much all runners in the train, minus this guy

IMG_4622  Oy.

Start. Super organized. Lots of security. I love when we have the portapotties IN the corrals. No stress waiting in the lines, perfect.

2013-05-18 06.00.19


Race Atmosphere. The race is huge but still it felt like fun. You had everything, from Kim Smith, to runners on tutus. It was very relaxed and fun at the start. In a way, it felt like a small town race… I know, it makes no sense!

Safety. There was security all over the place. Baggage was inspected at tons of tables before you could drop it (no lines!).

Weather. It was in the 60s and I thought it would be hot… It wasn’t. Actually, it was perfect. It was overcast so without the sun, we did pretty well.  I did throw a bunch of water cups on me, which made me freeze after I finished, but the weather never really bothered me.

The Course. Is… interesting. There are a couple of hills in the first half, and then flat or downhill past mile 6. You REALLY have to negative split here or you did something wrong. Good course to PR in, though for some reason, I never seem PR here… There is the one hill in prospect park, which is not that steep but seems to last foreeeever (elevation profile is here). There can be way too much sun after you leave the park, but luckily it was overcast.

The Finish Line. the best part! You have around 400 meters to run on the boardwalk and it gets loud and crowded, even before 9 am! They had medals, pretzels, apples and gatorade+water. There were a few blocks walk until we got to baggage but it was super organized and easy. Really nice medal, just like last year too!

sds2013-05-18 10.28.54

The Post Race.  Well, this was the first time I didn’t stay for long. I was freezing and Nathan’s was closed (and I really wanted a hot dog, damit!). My team had planned a beach day and I knew I’d froze if I sat in the sand.. so we just left, which is was most people did: trains were packed (and smelly!). PS: I met everyone in the train!



Well, I really I had no idea what to expect. Having PRed lately I knew I’d do okay but I wasn’t sure I was in the same shape I was in March when I PRed at the NYC Half…  I had been training but, there was a tiny big fat issue… I’ve put on around 10 pounds since March. I have been having fun and eating and lot and enjoying life so I will  not complain a lot, but come race day, you totally feel it! After a few miles, it gets heavy… Yeah, but Oh well. LIFE IS SHORT! (and my shorts were tiiiiight!). On the other hand, I again wore my brand new Mizuno Wave Sayonara, LOVE them.

I did race super smart so I know I couldn’t have done better. I started slow and my last miles were a romp. I actually spotted Julie in my corral and we started together. I wasn’t sure we were the same pace but we run the first three miles together, and then she took off. I’d see her in the uphills or turns, 100 or 50 yards ahead of me, but that gap was way to big for me to even try to get to her. I decided to let her go, and forgot about it. The first two miles we run were quite smart and slow. The third one, a downhill, was deliciously fast, the we got in the park and got back to a regular modest pace. Then the climb, which I took really easy… Once I left the park, I really wanted to hit the gas but I wasn’t sure there was much there, so I kept it conservative for a while. At around mile 9 I spotted Julie ahead again, closer, when I was following a guy I had been chasing for the last mile. I run with her for a few seconds and kept going. I was already pushing and wasn’t sure I’d have enough but I knew I was close to my PR so I got hopeful and really tried!

2013-05-20 12.11.57can I point out my beautiful cadence again?


Finish time: 1:38:29. Average Pace: 7:32

Previous PR: 1:37:35. From: March, 2013

Age Grading: 68.32%

Overall Place: 2,384 of 21,378

Gender Place: 356 of 10,563

Age Place: 33 of 1,567

– Brooklyn Half Marathon, official race results

I am VERY HAPPY with the race I run. I was not in shape to PR but I know I used all I had in the most efficient way. It was as close to perfect pacing as I could have done.

How do I know?

Well, I compared it to last year’s race, same course, which I did in 1:43, an avg pace of 7:55, still my first mile then was 7:30! this time, it was a SLOW 7:49 (for a 7:32 avg!). Last year, my last 3 miles were around my average pace. Here, they were 10 to 15 seconds faster than my average. See? A great improvement!!!!

ALSO, I compared it to the pacing of the women who finished around my same time… you should do this sometime!! Check out the difference in pacing (I am the one on top in italics). Check how most of them took a bit longer than me to finish, but crossed the 5K and/or 10K earlier than me (the first aka hardest part of the course). By 15K I was the last one of the five. Quite revealing, isn’t it?

Net Time 5K 10K 15K 20K Pace Per Mile
1:38:29 0:23:31 0:47:45 1:10:57 1:33:34 7:32
1:38:40 0:22:54 0:46:35 1:09:53 1:33:16 7:32
1:38:46 0:23:33 0:47:25 1:10:49 1:33:55 7:33
1:38:59 0:23:06 0:46:47 1:09:54 1:34:09 7:34
1:39:02 0:22:45 0:46:13 1:09:47 1:33:56 7:34

So, eventually, after years and years… you start trusting yourself and you know how to pace efficiently and smart. Not an easy feat, at least for me, but I am feeling good about this one. Now, if I could ever get my need for fun and delicious food under control, I think could do great things and go faster, but.. WHO ARE WE KIDDING?

and here is the link to my 2014 Brooklyn Half Marathon Report and Pictures!

And the winner to my Guess My Finish time contest is Mr. Tim Emmet, just 3 seconds away, who said: 1:38:32 because it will be a little warm. Good luck!  —Worth noting also, njpaleo said 1:38:25, FOUR secouds away… CRAZY.

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