One of the main reasons I created this blog is to review the races that I run in and around New York City. I’m going to start with the Brooklyn Marathon which was hosted for the sixth time by NYC Runs on November 20th, 2016.
Let me say this is not a course for the weak at heart. It is a well organized marathon, but there are no frills. I thought since it was on a loop there might be bands or music set up, but there were not. If you need extra motivation make sure you remember to bring your headset. I was honestly surprised that the supporter turnout was as big as it was, there were only 350 runners.
The marathon starts in the center of Prospect Park and takes you through eight loops. The first two loops are small, the last six are full laps. One of the smart things they do to help you keep track of where you are is give you six rubber bands to keep on your wrist. Each time you finish a loop you can take one off to keep count of where you are. Around loop six I was very happy to have these! It would have been easy to get off track. Worst case, they also had a timing mat before the turnoff to the finish line with an announcer that called out your last lap.
The course itself is nice. My only complaint is that there was not a lane blocked off for runners, you were in the mix with everyone else trying to get in their workouts. It’s particularly hard to dodge bikers 22 miles deep. On the back half of the course you will find the major hill that is about a half mile long. It’s hard and you will have to push through it six times. According to my fitbit I climbed 115 flights of stairs during the race. Other than the big hill, the rest of the course rolls. The front side of the park could use some paving, but it’s very manageable.
The weather this race was the hardest part (god bless my mom, dad, dog and Amanda for coming). As the morning progressed the weather got worse and worse. After finishing the race it actually started to snow! Here is a picture of me and Titan at the finish line 4 hours and 33 minutes later…
It’s a small race so they don’t have all the “gear” one normally gets. It was nice that they provided a Central Park half marathon space blanket at the finish line. They also provided a Brooklyn Marathon towel and medal. The medals are quite cool! It’s a map of the course, and has a runner figure on the medal that you can slide around the lap. I heard that the 2015 medals actually lit up. If you decide to run this marathon, be prepared for at least a half mile walk to the closest subway or car pickup location. If the weather is cold, this can be a very long walk.
All in all I was happy with the race! I don’t think I would it again because the course is looped, but if they branch out you will see me there in future years. There are rumors that they are working on a course that extends around Brooklyn.