Tuesday, May 27, 2008

NYRR Marathon Lottery Deadline

A reminder ... the deadline is this weekend, with results to be known by June 6

From the NYRR Web site:

U.S. runners interested in applying to the ING New York City Marathon should be aware that lottery applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on June 1, 2008. Please note that results of the lottery drawing will be available by Friday, June 6. Good luck

Saturday, May 24, 2008

June Races

Here's an early look at June races I'm aware of: I'll post an updated list in a few days with more NJ, CT and Long Island events:

June 1: Japan Day 4 Mile, Central Park, 8 a.m.

June 1: Japan Day Kids Races, Central Park, 9:30 a.m.

June 1: Kenneth Dolan Memorial 5K, Prospect Park, 10 a.m.

June 1: : Riverdale Ramble (10K), Bronx, 10 a.m.

June 1: : Riverdale Ramble (1/2 Mile Kids Run), Bronx, 10 a.m.

June 3: Tuesday Night Speed Series, Icahn Stadium, 7 p.m.

June 3: : Fort Hamilton 5K, Brooklyn, 7 p.m.

June 4: NYRR 50th Anniversary Run (5M), Central Park, 5:30 a.m.

June 4: Al Goldstein Speed Series 5K, Prospect Park, 7 p.m.

June 5: VCTC Summer Cross Country Series 5K, Van Cortlandt Park, 7 p.m.

June 7: Major Eugene McCarthy Memorial 5K Run, Marine Park Brooklyn, 9 a.m.

June 7: Firefighter Michael Elferis Memorial Run (5K), College Point, Queens,

June 7: NYRR Mini 10K (Women), Central Park, 9 a.m.

June 7: Keith Nintzel Memorial 5K Run, Sayville, Long Island, 9 a.m.

June 8: Portugal Day 5K Run, Newark, NJ, 9 a.m.

June 8: Doreen’s Race 5K, Staten Island, 10 a.m.

June 10: Tuesday Night Speed Series, Icahn Stadium, 7 p.m.

June 10: Fort Hamilton 5K, Brooklyn, 7 p.m.

June 12: Flag Day 5K, Basking Ridge, NJ, 7 p.m.

June 14: Brooklyn Pride 10K Fun Run, Prospect Park, 9:30 a.m.

June 15: WABC Father’s Day Fight Against Prostate Cancer (5M, Men), Central Park, 8:30 a.m.

June 15: WABC Father’s Day Fight Against Prostate Cancer (Kids Races), Central Park, 10:15 a.m.

June 15: Al Ronaldson Memorial 5K, Staten Island, 10 a.m.

June 17: Fort Hamilton 5K, Brooklyn, 7 p.m.

June 18: Al Goldstein Speed Series 5K, Prospect Park, 7 p.m.

June 19: VCTC Summer Cross Country Series 5K, Van Cortlandt Park, 7 p.m.

June 21: Luke M. Parlatore Memorial Run, Staten Island

June 22: Achilles Hope and Possibility 5 Mile, Central Park, 8:20 a.m.

June 24: Fort Hamilton 5K, Brooklyn, 7 p.m.

June 28: FRNY Lesbian and Gay Pride Run, Central Park, 9 a.m.

June 29: Cosme 5K, Coney Island, 9:30 a.m.

Brooklyn Bridge 125th Anniversary

I'm a bit late to the game, to be sure (which is why the first I knew of the Brooklyn Bridge fireworks Thursday night was only a couple of hours beforehand. Why does work interfere with my leisure time?). That said, plan your runs carefully this weekend if they include the Brooklyn Bridge. Take into account:

-- 125th anniversary weekend

-- Memorial Day weekend and start to summer

-- Tons of international tourists who love the fact the dollar is weak

It's going to be crowded up there. But hey, the guys hawking bottles of water are back, so there is some benefit.

May make for a frustrating trek, unless you go early in the morning. That said, if you're hosting runners who are in town -- go for it. The Brooklyn Bridge run is one of my favorites, and you'll score tons of brownie points with your running colleagues. Just don't expect a fast time (and if you want to push the pace, head over the Manhattan Bridge, with a lot less of the history and a number of the same views).

Same, goes, I should say. for runs on the Coney Island Boardwalk (though it shouldn't be as bad as the temperatures stay great for runners, not-so-great for beachgoers).

And in the evening? Partake of David McCullough's "The Great Bridge" -- sitting in my bookcase for the past several years, but cracking it open now. Amazon.com doesn't seem to have links to buy the paperback version I have, though I may not have delved deep enough - you can always get it on a Kindle :-)

Memorial Day Race on Staten Island

Those of you looking to bag your first race of the "summer" may want to check out this four-miler over on Staten Island on Memorial Day.

Details are here. Race starts at 9 a.m. Note the location - those of you with a car may find it easier to get to the start rather than the Ferry/Bus issue with which you'll have to deal.

Why Do I Run?

To see things like the "giant telescope" connecting Brooklyn and London on Fulton Landing underneath the Brooklyn Bridge (and the man who had pink leashes on two small pigs in the park nearby ...)

If my math is correct (which it isn't always), from today, the first day of Memorial Day Weekend to the Monday of Labor Day Weekend, we have 101 days of summer stretching before us. Where will you run today?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Running Brooklyn's Streets

There was a blog, Runs Brooklyn/Brooklyn Runs, that I was following until the author decided to move to Iowa City! In it, he was charting his attempt to run all of Brooklyn's paved streets, complete with photos and experiences. Ultimately, he got about half way.

I was reminded of that from the New York Times story today that says that Brooklyn is actually only 72 square miles, rather than than the 82 square miles listed. And of course, there's the requisite dig at Marty Markowitz.

"So Brooklyn is a little more svelte than we knew," said Marty Markowitz, the borough president, who is not.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Upcoming Midweek Races

The AHA Wall Street Run is sold out, but there are plenty of other options as some of midweek race series start getting under way. These are perfect for getting in tempo runs, or looking to lower your PRs, especially now before the temperatures start getting warmer.

Tuesday, May 20: The track races at Icahn Stadium. This week's distances: 1500m, 400m, 800m, 3000m, 4 x 400m relay.

Wednesday, May 21: Al Goldstein 5K in Prospect Park. Sponsored by the Prospect Park Track Club. 7 p.m. $5. And you get the big hill out of the way in the first mile. What could be better? Wednesdays, every other week, through the summer.

Thursday, May 22: VCTC Summer 5K Cross Country Races up at Van Cortlandt in the Bronx. Also 7 p.m. Also $5. Thursdays, every other week, through the summer.

Brooklyn Bridge Construction

They're doing some cleaning and construction work near the main pedestrian entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge off of Cadman Plaza. The detour from the steps is gone - and in its place is some beautiful stone sidewalk signs welcoming visitors into Brooklyn. However, they are still doing work, so be careful.

Also, the pedestrian pathway on the Manhattan Bridge will be closed the weekend (that's the side facing the Brooklyn Bridge). Unclear why, though it looked like they may be prepping for some kind of movie shoot. However, the bicycle pathway is open (that's on the northern side of the bridge, facing uptown and the Williamsburg Bridge) - just be careful of the bikes. Especially as you are coming from Manhattan, there are a couple of blind spots that make it a little hazardous if bikes are whizzing down the bridge toward you.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Either a Great Idea, or ...

So, what time do you run in the AM?

NYRR is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an all-comers race on June 4 as part of Running Week. The distance will either be 5K or 5 Miles. The good part? It's free. The catch? It starts at 5:30 a.m. (and no, that's not a typo.)

Oh, yeah, it's a Wednesday morning, to boot ... And it's a scored race and marathon qualifier.

Hmm, let's see, to get to Manhattan that early would imply getting on the subway by, what 4 a.m. to be on the safe side ... (safe being a relative word).

Then again, runners aren't known for their 9-5 view of the world ...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fall Marathon Update

Those of you dithering over your fall marathon selection may need to make some planning now. While many (Hartford, Philadelphia et al) remain open, others are starting to close.

Chicago is closed except for charities and tour groups. And Twin Cities in Minnesota said last week they had only 2,500 spots remaining.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More Brooklyn Half blogs

Gowanus Lounge has a link to a set of photos. To be fair, I thought about lugging a camera along, or even stashing one in my bag for before and after photos. It was a thought I revisited, fruitlessly, while sitting on the F-train around Avenue J yesterday morning ...

From Michael's Swim-Bike-Run Adventures (awesome photo on the front page, BTW):
About a quarter mile into yesterday's Brooklyn Half, just when I was briefly turning my head to glimpse at the Ocean to our left, I found myself slipping and sprawled out on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Even with this mishap, the beginning of the run was just about perfect ...

(My comment: This is why I wasn't looking at the scenery. Friggin' boardwalk. Might as well as start the race on the Dumbo cobblestones).

From Jennifer at eastcoastwestcoast:
And at mile 10, I saw the clock at realized that I was on a great pace! I kept on cranking and sprinted into the finish line, knowing that I had likely just achieved a personal best in the half-marathon. And WOOOO-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

From pay a visit:
Only a crazy person would get up at 6:15 a.m. to run 13.1 miles. My husband is crazy. ... I watched him cross the finish line, and I have to admit it was pretty exciting.

(My comment. I also got up at 6:15 a.m. after I ignored my watch alarm, so I could spend an hour on the F-train. I don't think I'm crazy, merely that I have my priorities in the right place (and I didn't arrange for a ride.). Then again, I didn't pay money to get a NYRR ride from Manhattan).

From jamesara:
The bad thing about it is that is pretty much perfectly flat for the first 10 miles, then you have the hills of Prospect Park to contend with. So many races end on an uphill. Why? It's like a slap in the face. It's sadistic. Maybe these courses are chosen by people who aren't runners but whose spouses are, and it's a way to get even. The other bad thing about it is how long it takes to get Coney Island on the subway from where I live. I got up at 6:15, left home a few minutes after 7, and got to Coney Island at 8:45! ... They let us wash up and then we went to have lunch at the Chip Shop, replacing and probably far exceeding all the calories I had burned off in the race. So worth it. I was too full, however, to have any of their delectable deep-fried desserts - the deep-fried Twinkie is truly a...a...well, I can't possibly describe it - I mean, it's a freakin' deep-fried TWINKIE!!!

(My comment: More to come. I've got to say, this is fun, because these give me a completely different view of the race from my own narrow perspective).

In other races ...

Lest I forget, there were plenty of other races this weekend:

The Long Island Marathon and Half
: Top Brooklyn male in the LI Marathon was Jose Rivas with a 3:26:50. Kelsey Hays ran a 3:55 to make her the top women's finisher for Brooklyn.

Cinco de Mayo 5K: Don't have results available yet from the Prospect Park race, though will post as soon as I can.

Broad Street Run: 50 Brooklyn runners finished today's flat 10-miler in Philadelphia. Denise Perrone, 43, was the top Brooklyn finisher, clocking a 1:04:43, which was good for 5th in her age group (and an age-graded percentile of 81.4 percent!!!)

Other Bloggers' Thoughts on Brooklyn Half

So, let's see what the blogosphere has to say about yesterday's Brooklyn Half. Some snippets are below, as well as links to the blogs ... more as I locate them. And, as mentioned earlier, feel free to respond with your own comments.

From Timed Run: A Marathon Training Diary
The race horn sounded and, ready or not, I ran. I finished mile 1 at a quick yet relaxed 6:12 pace, but at mile 2 I felt two pinches in my stomach. Uh oh. ...

From rundangerously
The constant headwind on ocean parkway caught up to me by mile 9. after a pair of progressively slower miles, i ran my slowest mile, 8:04, on the hills in prospect park ...

From Triaspirational
... it was an enjoyable run, and it's quite something starting out like that on the Coney Island boardwalk. Very rattly/clanky boards when everyone's pounding along in an ambulant herd!

From Venerable Companions, Exemplary Campaign
We were feeling confident about the 2 hour goal but the park was the hilly part of the course and much more congested. I feel that one thing I do well running is holding a pace unless the hill is really big ...

From the Sound Shore Runners message board:
I had been expecting some tough hills, but my legs and breathing were feeling ok, and I actually caught up lost time towards the end, with 6:42 and 6:26 for the last two miles. Just as I was beginning to wonder where the finish line was, someone shouted "only another 45 seconds to the finish", which was probably the best thing I'd heard all day!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Impressions of the Brooklyn Half

One person’s impression of the Brooklyn Half (all ratings on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest). Let me stress, these are done with limited input, so others’ race reactions might have been much different.

T-shirt: Like the design. Hate the color (orange). Also, nothing special about the T, which means it’s a candidate for a nightshirt for my almost 5-year-old daughter. Here’s a suggestion to NYRR: Spend a little extra for a high-quality race shirt that’s available for participants in any one of the 5 half-marathons, and allow for discounts for people who don’t want the shirt (you want five technical shirts, you pay for them). Racing fees are already too high.
Rating: 3

Organization: Setting up a race outside Manhattan involves special tasks and responsibilities. One point lost for having to change the race date. That said, barring comments and feedback from other runners, enough water, mile markers that seemed accurate (a novelty for NYRR sometimes) …
Rating: 3.5.

Crowds: They don't come close to the NYC Marathon. But they make up for it in enthusiasm and support.
Rating: 4

Baggage check: Given problems with other NYRR races, I’m amazed that getting 6,000 bags from Coney Island to Brooklyn works as seamlessly as it does. My third year of doing this, never had a problem.
Rating: 4 (one point deducted for the official yelling at the runners in the bathroom line at 8:20 a.m. that the baggage check buses were leaving in four minutes … of course, if I hadn’t already used the PortoPottie, I might be giving it a 5)).

Course: 8.5 miles of flatness, 4.6 miles of undulating hills. Love it.
Rating: 5 (and I say this after completely bonking once we entered the park.). I would hate it if NYRR flips the direction of the course - the challenge is the final part of the race. I do realize that others will disagree with this.

Weather: Perfect racing conditions. High 40s/low 50s. I realize it’s a little cold for some, but I was running in a singlet and short and dripping the second half of the race. The early fog/mist from this early AM was gone during the race.
Rating: 5

Favorite in-race conversation (at mile 5):
Him: ``We’re going to do well today.’’ (This, from a guy who was wearing an Ipod and making random comments, probably (I hope) in reaction to the music.)
Me (battling with a calf cramp and numbness in my left foot, because I inexplicably left my primary running shoes at work): ``Yep.’’
I hit my goal race time with 15 seconds to spare. No idea how he did, given he blew past me at mile … 5.

Favorite in-race conversation II (at mile 4):
I was running near a guy who had a distinct soccer (football) garb on at the time, wondering why he was doing so well while other people were wearing … well, running clothes. Guy from Dublin comes up from behind me, engages him in conversation because he recognizes the colors. Reminds me that the race isn’t about the people who run, but the runners who are people. (I think soccer guy also beat me.)

Favorite stopping spot on the course: Mile 6. Two years ago, it was for a much-needed bathroom break. This year, it was to stretch out the aforementioned calf.
Rating: 1 (frankly, I’d rather there wasn’t a place on the course I was stopping).

The first two miles: Umm … What’s the deal? Sand? Wooden slats on the boardwalk that stick up, making things tricky? Barrels that suddenly appear? Not NYRR’s fault, but it’s an ongoing problem. I didn’t wipe out, but I spent much of the first part of the race staring at the ground instead of the wonderful aspects of Coney Island.
Rating: 2

Participation: More than 5,800 finishers. Wow. Bronx had 3,285. Manhattan had almost 5,000. Grete’s Gallop in Central Park last year had 3,730. Queens had 3,591. And Staten Island had 3,262 (and I love the Staten Island race, despite the numerous issue it’s had in properly measuring the course and getting the mile markers right). The Brooklyn Half garners the largest participation in the five-borough series (and trails the massively promoted Nike Half (9,920 finishers in 2007). Maybe NYRR should think about scheduling this race on a consistent date. Maybe NYRR should consider promoting this race as a *major* half marathon.
Rating: 5

Corral system. Why didn’t NYRR do this before? (probably because of the massive pre-race prep work) Started in the second corral, only had to slow down a couple of times because of the condition of the start. I’ve also heard from folk that the Adidas Race in April also went off well.
Rating: 5

My own race: My mileage, because of work and family issues, was low heading into the race (only 20 miles a week for the past two months, with only one long run above 10 miles). Obviously, not the ideal training conditions. Figured short tempo runs would help me through it, and they did, at least for the first part of the race. I finished under my goal time (with help from my running club teammates), even though I bonked in the park.
Rating: 4

Folk, feel free to add your own feedback to the comments. As various NYC running bloggers make their own reax to the race, I’ll post links. Congrats to everyone who ran today. A lot of fun, and a way to celebrate Brooklyn, whether this is your only race of the year or one of many.

Brooklyn Half Marathon Results Posted

Half marathon results are posted here. 5,832 runners finished this year.

John Henwood from NYAC won in a time of 1:08:37. Top female finisher was Sarah Vergote of the Bronx (and CPTC) in a time of 1:20:19

Top Brooklyn male finisher was Edvard Gapak in 1:09:58. Victoria Ganushina won the borough honor's for women, clocking a 1:24:16.

Brooklyn Half Information Coming

What an absolutely fantastic day for a race! Temperatures in the low 50s, a cloud cover to eliminate the sun and, with only a few gusts of wind on Ocean Parkway, no other weather elements to worry about. Now, of course there were the misshapen boards sticking up on the Boardwalk, some paving on Ocean Parkway and of course some serious hills in the last 4 1/2 miles of the course. Talked to a lot of runners after the race, and it seems like there were a fair number of PRs. More information coming as the results get posted and the feedback starts coming in.

Good Luck in Brooklyn Half

Brooklyn's biggest race takes place this morning. Best of luck to everyone who is participating - weather conditions look almost perfect.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Guaranteed Entry Deadline to NY Marathon Tonite

Reminder, tonight's the last night you can apply for guaranteed entry to the New York Marathon (with something of an caveat - people looking to use Saturday's Brooklyn Half for a qualifying time have an out). Details on the NYRR Web site.