Thursday, August 31, 2017

Brooklyn Half Marathon

We rallied the troops and got some friends to register for the Brooklyn Half Marathon. With more than 25,000 runners, it's a tough race to get into and sells out fast so I was glad all our people got a spot! It's a rare Saturday half marathon in the city (most are on Sundays) and the course is flat, making it pretty popular. The course starts at Prospect Park and ends at iconic Coney Island - yes, home of the hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July. 

We picked up our bibs and race packets at a pre-race party on the Brooklyn waterfront a few days in advance. It was a bit gloomy but that didn't dampen the party. They had food trucks, drinks, music, and vendors - the New York Road Runners really went all out and tried to capture the essence of Brooklyn as a borough. They had a fence we could tie our old running shoes to for donations. I wondered how many miles each pair had run. 

Race day came early. Scott and I taxied to the start, found our friends, and waited in the never-ending porta potty lines. Yikes! I was so excited to experience this race with our best friends. This group has been such a support to us during our New York newlywed life. They are more like our family. We got off to a strong start and I tried sticking with Jenny for the first two miles or so - but she is just too dang quick. The course is very flat which was great but at one point we ran on the same stretch of street for about five to six miles and it got mentally repetitive. The sun was shining, the temperature wasn't quite 60 degrees, and the race report said humidity was pretty high at close to 70%.

The best part of the whole course was the last quarter mile on the Coney Island boardwalk. Spectators line the famous boardwalk and it got my adrenaline going as I tried to rush to the finish line. The race was strong and steady for me. My times will never be something to write home about but I finished this race in 2:04 about 30 seconds faster than Scott. I let him hear about my victory for the remainder of the day. He told me, "This is the last half you sign me up for!" I was rolling. He found me quickly after we crossed the finish line and we searched for our friends.

We found everyone and got a big brunch at a diner on the boardwalk. It was so much fun to swap race stories and hear about everyone's experience. I always love the break down after - hearing the easier parts and the more difficult stretches, chatting about the funny signs spectators came up with. I think I've caught the race bug. I love everything about the supportive racing community and all that goes into race day. And I was pretty high on this group - the Reeses, Hughes, Wilsons, and Komendas were such sports to do this - I hope it's a memory we all cherish for awhile!

Some of our friends hung at the beach and went on the famous Cyclone and Soarin' Eagle roller coasters afterward. Scott and I were pretty beat and headed out shortly after brunch. We made up for it though and got a Renew Reflexology foot massage later that night. 

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