Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Year's Offerings

A longer January/February calendar will come later, but for those of you fretting about what to do in and around New Year's Eve/Day, fret no more. And of course, the great thing about it is that you don't have to leave Brooklyn, unless you choose to do so.

For example, the annual New Year's Eve Fun Run, sponsored by Brooklyn Road Runners and Slope Sports, kicks off at 11:15 p.m. There's a new start this year (9th Street, inside the park), and here's a description of the course:

"Start at 9th Street, down around the Lake, turn Left on Center Drive. At the end of Center Drive, turn right back onto West Drive to the Finish line at 9th Street. Runners, please make note of your times at the end of the race. There will be an unofficial timing and this is an unscored Fun Run."

As for the swag:
  • A free pair of running shoes (value up to $100) from Slope Sports for Top Male & Top Female finisher!
  • Running gloves for the first 250 participants
  • Hot chocolate from Cousin John's Bakery
Not bad. $20 before race day (register on, $25 day of (with discounts for BRRC members - so check out their Web site if you're interested in joining).

For those of you who are ringing in the New Year in Manhattan, the always popular Midnight Run in Central Park takes place at midnight. No, you can't get the first of your 9 qualifying races for the NYC Marathon in 2011, but you can have a blast at this 4 mile fun run (course here). And did I mention the costume contest and dancing.

(P.S. A little side note. The Philadelphia Marathon this year had bandits handing out beer ... hint, hint).

OK, so you've survived the evening. The Prospect Park Track Club, however, is getting an early start for the new year with its club race, Harry's Handicap. Basically a loop of the park, the unique twist is that your starting time is based on the best estimate for a 5K time - so, for example, a 30 minute 5K runner would start 10 minutes ahead of a 20 minute 5K runner. The goal is to get all the runners to come in at the same time. It's a club event, but guests are always welcome (and you can even consider signing up for the club.) Race time at 9:30 a.m. A history is here.

*** UPDATE. Harry's Handicap has been moved to 9:30 a.m. (tho some runners may start as late as 10:01 a.m.) ****

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Skiing the Brooklyn Bridge

Did you run the Brooklyn Bridge during this weekend's snowfall? Check this out from a guy who skied parts of the bridge.

Roads are plowed, mostly, and Prospect Park is passable. Brooklyn Heights promenade not so much (unless you have some kind of shoe grips or mini-crampons). Would imagine it'll be icy in the morning, so tread carefully (and avoid the trucks that spray salt at you.)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

NYRR Holiday 4M Results

are posted here. 3,759 finishers, according to the Web site. Interestingly enough, 54 percent of the finishers were women (usually you see an even split, or more men). Here's the course map.

Leatherman's Loop Registration Jan. 1

at 12:01 a.m., meaning that if you're out celebrating the beginning of 2010, better figure out a way to register soon. Last year's registration closed within 16 hours.

( The race is scheduled for April 25.

Friday, December 11, 2009

NYRR Volunteer Stuff

The NYRR has posted volunteer requirements to accomplish the "9+1" requirement to gain guaranteed entry to the New York Marathon in 2011.

First off: If you're hoping to use a January race to fulfill your 2010 NYC Marathon volunteer requirement, you're out of luck. From the Web site:

"Volunteering at 2010 races satisfies the volunteering requirement for the 2011 marathon only—not the 2010 marathon."

(I don't know at this point if you can still volunteer for the two remaining races on the 2009 NYRR calendar, though you can still run them. The 4M race in Brooklyn tomorrow remains open for runners; the 15K in Central Park is filling up.)

But there's an out, of course:

- You can meet your 9+1 Program volunteering requirement by sending a substitute volunteer. This person simply indicates at the race that he/she is volunteering on your behalf.

(I thought about making fun of this, and cracking a bunch of jokes. But the fact is: That's wrong. I realize there are legitimate reasons that someone isn't able to volunteer at a local race. But if you're running 9 NYRR races to qualify - and then convince/pay/con someone else to volunteer for you? You can't come into NYC for a 10th race? Get over it. Give back to the running community and volunteer. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. I'd rather see the NYRR add a provision allowing for people to volunteer in local races (Brooklyn perhaps).) I welcome comments on this, as always.

Don't dawdle when you're deciding on a race. Again, according to the Web site:

Volunteers MUST register early in 2010 to ensure a volunteer spot at a 2010 race. When a race has reached its volunteer capacity, the race will be removed as a volunteer registration choice on the Web site.

(Right now, all the races posted on the NYRR Web site for January and February seem to be open).

Again, super-important: If you want to do this program, you must be a member of NYRR. And that means a) signing up before Jan. 31, 2010, and b) maintaining your membership through November 2011 for the race.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Armory Opening Soon?

With all the delays in the past, it'd be a welcome sight to have a place to run some indoor track workouts this winter ... (in the late winter, that is, if the timeframe spelled out here is of any indication). The cost may be $40 a month for access, though I'm sure there will be different rates for different groups.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Running Links

Some links of interest:

Turkey Trot Participation Surged in 2009 (and this is only the 10 biggest races). Thanks, we saw it here in Brooklyn.

Jogger Banned From Portsmouth, NH. It's almost, but not quite, being banned from Manhattan.

Bill Rodgers Training Log From 1975. My plan is to duplicate it ... at least until the evening of Jan. 1. Note his first week is 147 miles, which I'd be psyched with for the month.

Becoming Your Own Massage Therapist. Graduate from the stick, and go for the foam roller.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

PPTC Turkey Trot Photos

Here's a link to some photos shot at the Turkey Trot. It's Prospect Park Track Club-focused, but there's plenty of shots out there of "regular" runners to give you a flavor of what happened, both in the actual running of the race, as well as the behind-the-scenes stuff.

Wednesday 10-miler

Had some extra time today, so ran a bit longer than I normally would in mid-week (though if the marathon training kicks into gear, suspect that will change).

Anyway, wanted to do 10 miles, starting from Brooklyn Heights - there are a variety of options, but I realized I hadn't been over the Williamsburg Bridge in a bit, so figured I'd do a loop - over the Brooklyn Bridge, down to the river, then back over Williamsburg and back along Kent and Flushing (detouring a bit through Dumbo)

One of the benefits to this run is a working bathroom just north of the Williamsburg Bridge (the water fountain is turned off, but the sink is still running) that's generally been clean the few times I've had to use it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Trot Results: Update

The following notice was posted on the PPTC Web site Sunday:

Please note that we are aware of the inconsistencies in the posted results, we are working on making the corrections. Please check back in a few days, thank you for your patience.

The e-mail address to report issues is

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Upcoming Races

Next weekend (Dec. 5-6) has at least three local races to consider:

* The Bay Ridge Jingle Bell Run 2009 (or, the Valerie Piro Push to Walk 4 Mile Run) on Saturday, Dec. 5. The race is run in support of Valerie Piro, a Stuyvesant High School student who was hurt last year after the girls track team van flipped on the way to a track meet at Dartmouth College. The course is on the Shore Road Promenade.

* The Peter Rabbit 3-Mile Cross-Country Run in Prospect Park (also on Saturday)

* The Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis in Prospect Park on Sunday, Dec. 6. Among the amenities: jingle bells for your shoes. The run is 5K, the walk is 3K.

At this point, the NYRR race in Central Park, the Joe Kleinerman 10K, is sold out, so if you're looking to race and didn't sign up for that, there's plenty of options close to home.

Cider Time

One good thing is that, when it's the time of year when the water fountains start getting turned off, it's the time of year to make sure you bring an extra couple of bucks with you to get some hot cider at Grand Army Plaza once you've finished your run.

Today's run, in the blustery, 45-degree temperatures, was fairly straightforward. Grand Army Plaza, over the Brooklyn Bridge, back on the Manhattan Bridge, then thru Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights before heading back. No one was interested in running fast, so the group I was with kept it at an easy pace, and started taking some random turns as we headed back to Grand Army. If you head straight back after the Manhattan Bridge, it's probably closer to 9.5 miles ... but as I mentioned, we decided to stray.

Most fountains were turned off, though note the fountain by the entrance of the north side of the Promenade (near Orange Street) is still functioning ... for now. And the cider, albeit a bit expensive at $2, was well worth it, if only to warm the hands.

Turket Trot Results Posted

on the PPTC Web site. 1,494 listed finishers at this point..

UPDATE: I should add, these are preliminary results, as there are apparently a fair number of you who ran the race, with chips, who don't have results listed, so more will be forthcoming.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Trot Draws Close to 2,000 Runners

The number might be a bit high, but there were tons of runners out today in Prospect Park enjoying near perfect weather and burning off those calories before a feast later in the day. Results, reactions will appear later. Hope everyone who went out there had fun!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Trot Swag May be Gone

The first 1,200 entrants for this year's Turkey Trot get some free swag (not sure what it is). If you're procrastinating, or hoping to do race-day entry, you may be out of luck, according to this post on the PPTC blog.

Entries do remain available for Thursday's race, of course. With the brilliant weather forecast, can almost guarantee there will be a crush of last-minute entries (and the door slams shut at 8:30 on Thursday morning), so don't dawdle.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Course Changes?

The NYRR Holiday Run is now a 4 mile race, according to the NYRR Web site.

Thanks to reader IO, who pointed out that the NYRR has already changed its planned race on 12/12 from a 5K to a 4 mile run because of construction in Prospect Park.

Not sure yet what the Turkey Trot course will be next Thursday (that's still 5 miles) - if may be the planters that are causing the problem on one of the transverses in the park, or something else.

Weekend Races

A couple of races of note, including a X/C race I left off the earlier schedule:

The Manhattan Track Club is hosting their annual Bad Boy Cross Country meet at Van Cortlandt at 10:30 (women) or 11:15 (men) on Sunday.

Somewhat closer to home, out on Coney Island is the Boardwalk Turkey Trot.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Give Thanks For ...

Thanksgiving Day road races. And in this case, we've got one right next door. The annual Prospect Park Club Turkey Trot (5 miles) takes place a week from today.

While many of you are running - as I understand, applications are pouring in - there's also a huge need for volunteers for the race. So, if you're recovering from anyone of a number of fall marathons, sidelined temporarily by an injury, or are simply in a helping mood, by all means, join in the fun Thursday morning.

Interested volunteers should reach out to Richard (e-mail is rwe121776 (at) Or, if last minute plans change, show up around 7 a.m. (hey, you're not eating turkey at that time) at the Wollman Skating Rink. All hands are welcome.

And yes, of course, you can also register - at this point, via The first 1200 registrants are guaranteed some kind of race souvenir, though the slots are filling up fast.

Some Slots Open for Race to Deliver Sunday

Some slots are still available for the 4-mile Race to Deliver on Sunday in Central Park, according to the NYRR Web site (the race, unless I'm mistaken, had been closed out).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some January, February NYRR Races Posted

Some January and February races have been posted on the NYRR Web site at

Monday, November 16, 2009

PPTC Women Take 2nd at NYRR X/C Race

See the award winners here,

NYC Marathon 2010 Notes

Couple of updates, as things have become a bit clearer:

-- The NYC 2010 application Web site has modified the language a bit about buses leaving from Brooklyn to the race start:

"Brooklyn and LaGuardia -- Transportation to the start will be provided for participants staying in select hotels booked through our travel partner, Anthony Travel, Inc."

So, no. At this point, Brooklyn residents still would have to use local travel from running clubs, head into Manhattan for travel, or take the ferry over. (Or swim, but it'll be cold.).

-- For those looking to use the qualifying time option to get into New York, note the races have to be run by Jan. 31, 2010, with the exceptions of the NYC Half (no sense yet on how entries will be handled) or Boston (already closed). If last year's half marathon schedule is any indication, that means the Manhattan Half could be a final chance ... but not Bronx. Naples anyone?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Boston 2010 Entries Closed

Folk, if you didn't register, or were banking on some of the later fall/winter races to use as a qualifying time: you're hosed.

Boston Marathon 2010 entries are closed for 2010, according to a posting on the Web site.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Songs in Your Head

Have to confess, with young children, I'm more apt to be hearing Laurie Berkner or Barnie in my head as I go out for a long run.

But recently, my Central Park runs have been stuck with this. ... I'm sure there could be worse (and it is kind of catchy). So much for the need for an iPod. :-)

Winter Training

As the weather gets cooler, and the races dry up, it gets tempting to give in to cut back on the winter workouts.

After all, as this NYT article spells out, it's harder to run when it's wet and cold.

Umm. No. Don't give in.

Yes, it's not always pleasant when it's snowing and cold out. But prepare beforehand, and the running is simply balmy.

Think about it: Can you imagine a snowy run on the usually heavily populated Brooklyn Bridge or Prospect Park? I've done both, and it's absolutely beautiful, especially with much, much fewer people.

Admittedly, it's harder to get motivated when it's frigid outside, and you don't have races in mind to spur you on. But now's the perfect time to start planning the races for early 2010 and next spring.

Now, it's possible that we might have a place indoors to train (instead of just a treadmill) this winter. But it's definitely worth it to a) keep the training going and b) keep yourself motivated as December and January approach. Build a base, and get ready for spring.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crankin' on Cross Country

OK, enuf of the post-NYC marathon blahs - let's get cranking on some cross-country races, especially since the weather is so cooperative.

Perhaps not today, I'll admit I love 60 degree days, but it's a little warm for the crisp, cutting edge of the air you need (and the breath you can see) before the start of a good, old-fashioned X/C clash. But what about last weekend?

While it's creeping into the middle of November, and your race season is winding down, there's still at least three races you want to put on your schedule:

Nov. 15: NYRR X/C Championships (5K), Van Cortlandt

The traditional 5K course at Van Cortlandt in the Bronx. A great race.

Dec. 5: Peter Rabbit 3 Mile (Prospect Park)

Great local race. It's two loops of the main lawn in Prospect Park, and deceptively difficult (try running it on your own some time). Last year, frost had set in.

Dec. 13: NYRR Pete McArdle X/C Classic (15K), Van Cortlandt

Three loops. Use some of that marathon training to pound out a solid time.

Lace up the flats or the X/C spikes and get out there - what are you waiting for?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Meb, Ryan et al at press conference

Completely non-Brooklyn related, but worth a read: a transcript from some of the top Americans, including Meb (he gets one-word name status) and Ryan Hall at the press conference after the race.

NYC Marathon Results Update

Searchable results will be posted by 7 p.m., according to the Web site. Until then, you can probably finagle some numbers using the Race Day tracker.

Foot Locker Challenge

Results below from this year's 5-borough challenge

1Allyson Hentel (Manhattan) 03:43:01
2Angela Gonzalez (Queens) 03:50:31
3Lisa Defillipo (Staten Island) 03:52:30
4Jessica Lebron (Bronx) 03:54:35
5Dorothy Mcphee (Brooklyn) 03:54:36

NYC Marathon Race Day Tracker Now Live

Track runners in today's race, using the race-day tracker, which is now active.

Boston 2010

Speaking of races in 2010: Many of you have eyes on Boston (including some running in today's race). Note the notice on the BAA Web site:

"If you have met the qualifying standards and intend to enter the race, the B.A.A. urges you to register now and not wait as registration is on pace to reach its maximum field size earlier than ever before. "

It wouldn't be a good thing to run one of the late fall marathons (hello, Philadelphia), hit the qualifying time, only to discover the 2010 race had been closed out.

NYC 2010 Half Is ...

March 21, according to the ING NY Marathon site. NYRR had indicated that its crown-jewel half would be marketed as a lead-in to the Boston and London marathons the next month. At the time, NYRR had also hinted they wanted to keep Brooklyn around a fixed date - meaning late May - though at this point that's just a guess.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Water Fountain Woes

On the eve of the New York Marathon, the Parks Dept. has started to turn off water fountains. A long-ish run over the Williamsburg Bridge today and back to Prospect Park via Kent, along the BQE, Washington and then Vanderbilt - and several spot-checks (I NEED WATER!) indicated a number of fountains have already been turned off for the winter.

Despite the 60-plus degree temperatures today. Sigh.

The ones in Prospect Park seem to be on, as are the ones in Cadman Plaza. Anyone know of any others turned off?

Don't get me wrong - obviously the risk of pipes freezing necessitates these moves, though it seems weird that they are off in some neighborhoods and not others. It just means some advance planning, in case the temperatures nip higher again, to carry some water.

New York Marathon Web Surfing

For those of you trying to sit on the couches as much as possible today (and aren't college football fans), here are a few places to consider Web surfing as you get ready for tomorrow:

The ING NYC Marathon Daily Blog

LetsRun (the best of the professional Web sites devoted to running)

New York Times (and also a separate link to an op-ed column that argues that vapid articles about running make it hard to focus on the race itself) (for updates - this is for Brooklyn) (kickback and relax - it ain't *all* about running)
(if you have a subscription, watch "Chariots of Fire" immediately)

Friday, October 30, 2009

NYC Marathon 2010

Details have been posted about applications for the 2010 version of the New York Marathon. Some of the highlights:

-- NYRR members will pay $149 to enter (and a $11 processing fee). Non-members pay $185.

-- There will be Brooklyn buses to the start (more details to come).

-- The lottery is open Nov. 2 and runs through March 5

-- Guaranteed entry applications, including those who have time qualifiers or have done the Q-race route, will be available next year

-- Interestingly enough, those seeking time qualifiers will still be able to run the NYC Half (likely mid-to-late March) or Boston and use those times to get in

It's Finally Time

Whoohoo, it's finally New York Marathon weekend. Advance congrats to everyone who is toeing the starting line - think about all the hard work, long runs, early morning wakeup calls you've put yourself through to get to this day.

Since you're being inundated by advice, well wishes, etc. I'll limit my comments to one:

-- Plot out the 12-24 hours before the race, knowing what you're doing, what time you're going to bed, what time you're getting up (remember, you ***gain*** an hour for daylight savings time, etc.). Obviously, your routine will change since it is marathon day, but minimize all those changes.

Best of luck everyone.

*** POST UPDATED AND CORRECTED to show that you gain an hour of sleep. See what sleep deprivation does? And thanks to the commenter for pointing the error out ***

Monday, October 26, 2009

Race Results

Here's a link to the Nike Human Race results, as well as a press release from Nike (click on the New York-based U.S. flag) More than 3,400 runners finished in the Prospect Park 10K event, making it one of the year's largest races in the borough.

And, here's results from the Poland Spring 5 mile race in Central Park.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

PPTC Marathon Bus: New Departure Times

From the PPTC Web site:

"NYRR has just notified local clubs that chartered buses have to be at the bridge by 6:30 a.m. Runners riding PPTC buses to the start must be at 9th Street and Prospect Park West no later than 5:45 a.m. to check in and board the buses. This is a half hour earlier than originally planned. Buses will leave as they are filled and the last bus will leave at 6:00 a.m. SHARP! The PPTC buses will roll on Marathon morning from Prospect Park West and 9th Street."

More info about early morning transportation on the Web site.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Check the Fine Print: NYC in 2010

The application for the New York Marathon in 2010 goes live on Nov. 2, one day after this year's race.

From the Web site:

"By adding 12 weeks to the training schedule, NYRR hopes to attract runners from a wider spectrum of ability, from experienced runners to novices -- even people who have never run a step."

What's not said: Applying to the race doesn't mean you get *into* the race. 2010 standards haven't been published, but please check the application when it is posted. If you're banking on getting into the NYC Marathon via lottery, there's no reason to apply until the deadline -- based on last year's rules (so you can enjoy the use of your money before then).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plodders Stay Home

So ... there's an article on the front page of today's New York Times about so-called "plodders" and whether they should both running a marathon.

It's teased with following blurb: "As marathon fields continue to grow, so has the intensity of the debate over how quickly a runner should finish the once-elite event that is now an activity for the masses."

Umm, what debate?

Oh, this:

"Purists believe that running a marathon should be just that — running the entire course at a relatively fast clip. They point out that a six-hour marathoner is simply participating in the event, not racing in it. Slow runners have disrespected the distance, they say, and have ruined the marathon’s mystique."

I consider myself lucky enough to have friends who have qualified for the Olympic Trials , and those whose goal are to break six hours in a marathon. And yes, there are those who question the commitment of those who are moving at the slower pace. A tiny, tiny, tiny few.

The NYT has turned off the ability to comment for the article. And that's not a surprise, given the responses I've seen in my own running community. Geesh.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nike Human Race in Prospect Park 10/24

Nike is one of the most powerful media/athletic companies on the planet. But you'd have to be actively searching for stuff to understand that the Nike Human Race is this Saturday. In Prospect Park, no less.

I was reminded of this as I struggled during a six-mile run earlier this evening down 1st Ave. and then along the FDR. At one of my checkpoints (by 23rd St. along the water), there was a large display promoting the Human Race and a lone person standing by with a clipboard. (Not sure what she was trying to do.)

Contrast this with the advertising blitz by the New York Marathon folk reminding us that the race is at the beginning of November - I've seen displays everywhere.

Anyway, here are the details. It starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sunday Stuff

The weather forecast - low 40s and rainy - ain't promising, but some things to be aware of:

* The 11th annual Race Against Violence is being held in John Paul Jones Park

* In Prospect Park is a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, that starts at 11 a.m.

* For those of you who want to get cold, wet and dirty (after all, why else do we run?), the Kurt Steiner X/C race takes place at Van Cortlandt in the Bronx at 11:30 a.m.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Running in Prospect Park

Hey, the New York Times discovered running in Prospect Park is a good thing. To Roving Runner's credit, though, he didn't stay on the loop but explored within.

Think the Brooklyn tourist board will be a lot happier about that article than this one about murderous swans ...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Race Results

Wow, a ton of them over the weekend. Let's get to some of the highlights:

One of the fastest marathons* (in part because it's a huge net downhill (*that is, unless you hate downhills), the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA, boasted a good handful of Brooklyn runners. Daniel Blausey had a net time of 3:11:25, making him the top Brooklyn male finisher. Maggie Deschamps led Brooklyn women with a 3:40:05.

And then, of course, there was Chicago, where the fastest marathon on U.S. soil was run. Pretty friggin' awesome. The results are here, but right now it's not letting me search by city and state.

Closer to home, the Staten Island Half Marathon boasted almost 4,000 finishers on what was a picture perfect day for the 13.1 mile race. Jorge Eliecer Real smoked the field with a 1:10:04. Sarah Foster finished second overall for women with a 1:28:39.

Kirt Joseph led the way with a blazing 16:30 at the Get to the Point 5K, which boasted 449 finishers. Miriam Beyer dominated the women's field with a 19:21.

No immediately seeing any official/unofficial results for the Restoration Plaza Bed-Stuy 10K. Some rumblings out there that there were some problems with directions on the course, which may have caused some problems (and added some distance.)

The fall weather is here, and so is racing season. Congrats everyone who laced on shoes over the weekend - and good luck to those who are gearing for competitions in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Snoozing

This Saturday morning was one of very few in recent memory that I haven't dragged myself out of bed for a run by choice (as opposed to being injured). But with a race Sunday -- and so many options out there -- there was no impetus to dash down some coffee and speed-read the Sunday paper.

Best of luck everyone running Bed-Stuy 10K, Staten Island Half, Chicago Marathon or whatever. And congrats to local runners who ran in Hartford today - hope it wasn't as windy as it was here in NYC.

Wrapups, coverage and other stuff late Sunday and Monday.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Race of the Weekend

Here's a quick shout-out to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration 10K this Sunday. I ran it a couple of years ago and had a blast - it's a fun course, with plenty of entertainment both before and after the event. Be mindful of all the subway construction this weekend as you're trying to get there.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Random Thoughts on a Monday Evening

I am not a huge fan of running the early mornings. 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. starts, I can do with no problem. Even 6 a.m. isn't so bad. 4:30 a.m., after being awoken by a persistent (and yet undead) mosquito - not a fan. I read about the people who regularly get up for 5 a.m. runs and come back after a 10 mile jaunt - consider me impressed.

Yet circumstances and training necessitated a 9 mile run this AM

The few things that remain in my sleep-deprived mind (there is no way I'll see the second half of Monday Night Football tonight):

-- at 4:30, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is empty, and beautiful when there is a full moon shining on the water

-- at 5 a.m. in Prospect Park, there are more power walkers (and couples, I might add) then there are runners

-- the park's raccoon and swan population is alive and well

-- I have to be really, really, really desperate to open one of the PortoPotties at that hour (I didn't)

-- It's harder to sprint for a subway car after running 9 miles

Other stuff as I'm thinking about it:

-- The Prospect Park Track Club is sponsoring a marathon bus ($10 for members, $15 for nonmembers) to get to the NYC marathon start. Also of interest: a Gatorade supported group run on Oct. 25 of the last 10 miles of the race

-- Check this out: Photo and article in Prospect Park, including resident Chris Bither, about running with a stroller

-- I asked Heavy Metal Runner for his description of an almost 20-miler that he's been running, and he obliged. To quote from his e-mail:

"It's a pretty good route. Lot's of water available on the 2nd half. I run from carroll gardens up union street to easter parkway, then up bedford all the way through williamsburg. I make my way into long island city over the pulaski bridge, the over the queensboro bridge, across manhattan to the west side and then I take the west side down until I hit chambers street and then i head over the brooklyn bridge and straight home. I like this route also because it covers a lot of territory that the marathon covers which I had yet to run on (this years marathon is my first so i figured it would be to my benefit to run some of it's faraway from home stretches to gain a little familiarity)"

Race Results

Plenty to catch up on:

Here's the final standings of the Brooklyn Triple Crown

Grete's Gallop Half, a 2+ loop of Central Park, is here

Kelly Chin was the top Brooklyner in Minnesota at the Twin Cities Marathon with a 2:49:34, just missing qualification for the 2012 Olympic Trials (go Kelly!). She needs a 2:46.

Cross-country ruled at Van Cortlandt, as it should (first of three consecutive Sundays, races at 11:30)

No results yet for the Liz Padilla 5K (unless I've missed) - will link when available.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gangs of 4

Was running an easy 7 miles today because of a 5K tomorrow, and was struck by the number of groups I saw in Prospect Park and on the roads leading to the Brooklyn Bridge.

It's actually something I've noticed for the past several weeks, and I realize this is purely anecdotal, but the number of groups (2, 3, 4 or more) of runners - at all hours -- I've seen seems to be increasing. And this is ultimately a good thing. I love running on my own, but I'll be the first to admit that running with someone else can add another element that makes the run both enjoyable and successful.

I tend to do group runs on the weekend, and then probably once during the work week (work and family commitments often make it difficult to schedule more than that, something I know that weighs on a lot of my colleagues, especially the ones with young children). But I've found that the extra effort in trying to schedule runs and speed workouts with my friends is well worth it. Not only does it help me when I'm trying to run faster, it also helps to control me when I'm seeking to run slower.

Happily, there are plenty of clubs out there that have scheduled groups runs, where you can meet up with folk, make friendships/alliances, and then set up your own runs. Local running stores also tend to be sponsoring runs, so check them out.

Some links below to some of the area clubs and organizations: Scheduled workouts are available on their sites. There's also Team in Training, which has some Brooklyn-based workouts, and more formal workouts with stores like JackRabbit (though this involves a fee), as does the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp (not solely fixated on running).

Brooklyn Road Runners
Brooklyn Running Meetup Group
Prospect Park Track Club (with Slope Sports)
North Brooklyn Runners
Shore Road Striders

Liz Padilla 5K Oct. 4

For those of you who might be interested in what tomorrow's Liz Padilla 5K in the park is about, here's a summation from a colleague to put it in perspective:

"On Thursday, June 9th, 2005, we suffered the tragic, untimely loss of Elizabeth Kasulis Padilla. Always an active person, Liz was riding her bicycle to work when she was killed in a road accident. Her absence continues to weigh heavily on those who knew and loved her, yet she continues to inspire us through her legacy of generosity and kindness.

Liz, a graduate of Cornell Law School, joined the Volunteer Lawyers Project as a Pro Bono Coordinator/Staff Attorney in December 2004. She immediately focused her extraordinary talents and abundant energy on providing direct representation and counsel to clients with family law issues, as well as the challenging task of coordinating the efforts of the Project's volunteer attorneys, making certain all eligible clients received appropriate representation in family law, bankruptcy, elder law and housing matters. Her fluency in Spanish was a great source of comfort to many of the Project's clients. Liz was an active participant in the Project's Senior Legal Education and Assistance Program (LEAP), visiting many of the senior centers herself. Liz approached each day with excitement, eagerly seeking opportunities to give back to her community, especially to those most in need of a helping hand.

In addition to long hours at the VLP, her days were filled with an amazing mix of challenging and meaningful activities: tutoring high school students, training as a tri-athlete, enrolling in a trapeze school, running the NYC marathon with disabled athletes as a member of the Achilles Track Club - and so much more. More than anything, Liz loved her very special family, laughter and hard work. In the summer of 2005, Liz was planning a 5k Race to benefit the VLP, her unique way of joining two of her favorite activities. We dedicate this event to her. "

The race starts at 10 a.m at Bartel Pritchard Square (15th/Prospect Park West). There's also a donation page.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

JackRabbit Q&A on Oct. 1

A quick promotional pitch from JackRabbit, if you happen to be in the neighborhood ...

JackRabbit is hosting a marathon Q&A night in each of our three stores at 7:00pm on Thursday October 1st to help everyone who is running a marathon this fall.

Whether you're wondering about how to time your taper, or about race day nutrition, or what to do about a nagging little injury, we'll be able to answer all your questions. Each store will feature a panel of three marathon experts:

A Doctor or Physical Therapist

A Running / Marathon Coach

A Sports Nutritionist

Each will give a 10-minute talk, and then they'll stay as long as needed to make sure all of the questions from the audience are answered.

Everyone attending the marathon Q&A night will also get 15% off everything in the store, so you can make sure you have everything you need for the final few weeks of training and for race day. IN ADDITION, if you bring a friend to the event, you'll each get an ADDITIONAL $5 off any purchase over $100.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Newport Half

Ahh, some feedback and a race to keep an eye on in 2010:

"I'm a big fan of the blog and would like to give a thumbs up to a race you never mentioned, the Newport Half Marathon in Jersey City. I ran it this weekend and despite the rain and some equipment issues I had a great time. The views were great, the course was flat and it was fun to run a race with less than 2000 people! Even though the race was in New Jersey it was super convenient (and easier to get to than the Bronx) and the registration was a five minute walk from the PATH, which links to the F train at 14th street. There was a more and better post-race food than any NYRR race I've ever been in.

Anyway, I hope you give the race some notice next year, I think anyone who runs it will be presently surprised."

From my end, duly noted (the fact that the post-race food kicked a** makes this a formal apology).

I added the Newport Half to a race calendar back in August, but to be fair, you'd have to have pulled out the magnifying glass to find it. We/I tend to forget that there are some great (flat) races right across the rivers in Jersey City and beyond, so worth pursuing.

Random Thoughts on a Monday Evening

I started typing the subject line ... and realized I've done this before. Some quick hits/thoughts before I get sucked into the work week:

-- Some guy on Craigslist is offering $500 for a marathon bib (note this is illegal and will get you banned from future races). I'm interested in discovering how he manages to avoid the NYRR sting operation, since you know they troll the site as well.

-- I'm looking, but not seeing yet, the results from the Brooklyn Triple Crown. I think it's a great concept, and am sorry Brooklyn Running didn't do more to promote it. Some decent local sponsorship, and better marketing - I think it's got a shot to thrive. Chalk it up for a goal for 2010.

-- I ran in Central Park earlier today, and got sucked into the same trap that happens most of the times I run a full loop. I see a runner, I want to pass him/her. Then I start picking up the pace, and all of a sudden I'm running tempo pace for what's supposed to be an easy 6 mile run. (This doesn't happen in Prospect Park, or actually, many of my other solo runs. I'm suspecting this has to do with the fact that my ratio of Central Park runs/races is a lot higher.). Open to any thoughts on how to avoid this, beyond better self-discipline.

-- Following up on some earlier speculation: I'm told that no, you can't get two qualifying races by registering both the short (1.7 miles) and the long( 13.1 miles) at the Norwegian Festival in Central Park this weekend. (Kudos to anyone who pulls it off and gets credit). I bet you get two cracks at the smoked salmon for the bagels, however.

-- My first blog entry on this blog was two years ago tomorrow. Since then, when I'm actively posting, the blog is getting more than 100 page views a day, and I'm now up to 10 followers. (Which is both awesome, and a little creepy).

For a variety of reasons, I don't do a lot of promotion or outreach, pushing this to other Brooklyn sites or setting up a Twitter account (the latter because I think I'd annoy myself.) But I wanted to thank you all for your comments and feedback over the past 24 months, because it shows your dedication.

Stuff like this, which was sent to the e-mail account, makes my day.

"I just wanted to send you a quick email to let you know that your blog is awesome. I came across it a while ago and I check it repeatedly, pretty much because I'm a running nerd myself and I also live in brooklyn."

That's who I'm trying to help. And if one of the things I pontificate about takes off a few seconds from your 10K pace, then I've done my job.

So, please forgive my foibles and occasional lack of timely response (for example, if "Heroes" wasn't entering its death spiral - it already jumped the shark, now it's being eaten, I wouldn't be posting tonight). And good luck to all of you as we enter Year 3.

MS 136 Benefits From Hall Foundation

I need something to wash the sarcasm away. Happily, there's also this post on the NYC Marathon Web site, talking about the foundation that Ryan and Sara Hall have set up to promote running and help people live better.

"The Hall Steps Foundation, a charitable initiative that will fund programs to create a better life for youth living in poverty in the United States and abroad."

The Halls are one of the pre-eminent running couples in the U.S., both in accomplishment (cheer for Ryan at this year's NYC Marathon) and deeds.

One of the five schools that will receive funds from this is "M.S. 136 in Brooklyn, a school that hosts a run-a-thon every year as a fund-raiser."

Pretty awesome, I must say.

Virtual Marathon? Pay for Q-Race

So ... MapMyFitness and NYRR are promoting "virtual" races, including the first annual virtual marathon (where you can run as few as three miles) and get one of the 9 racing credits you need for next year, as part of New York Marathon Week.

For $25, you can run a virtual marathon or a 5 mile race and receive a) a qualifying credit to the 2010 NYC Marathon (part of your nine races) and b) if you're among the first 1,000 entrants, you get guaranteed entry into the NYC Half Marathon next year (you still have to pay the entry fees, however).

From the Web site:

"Start, run, and finish your race anywhere you want! A Virtual Race gives you opportunity to join in the excitement of the ING NYC Marathon week activities in your own backyard. Map out a personal race course, run it within the designated dates, upload your results, and then compare how you did against all other competitors -- virtual and live!"

So basically: You can shell out money, run 3 miles with folk (read the rules) and get credit for a race. You also have a chance to win a 6-month weekend subscription to the New York Times. (Life is hard - you don't get the full week -- ohh, wait, it's free online).

BTW, if you run just three miles, check this out: "Runners must complete a minimum of three (3) miles or up to a maximum of a complete marathon (26.2 miles). Any distance shorter than the 26.2 miles will be mathematically extrapolated to the marathon distance, regardless of the actual distance run. "




(Words escape me (which is probably a good thing)).

I've got a better idea. I'm not going to hit the 9 qualifiers this year, so I'm happy to sell my qualifying credits for $20 a pop. First come, first serve ***

My favorite part: You don't even get at T-shirt. However, you can pay $20 for a medal, or a T-shirt. $35 for both.

Obviously, this isn't for me. And I'm missing the point. So please, I'm looking for anyone who is doing this to explain why they are shelling out the money to do this. Extra points if you pay for the T-shirt.

*** Please note, as of now, NYRR does not allow for transfer for qualifying credits, so this is obviously illegal and won't help you get into the NYC Marathon in 2010. So you won't get the marathon credit. You can still send me the $20 though :-).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Race Results

Beautiful Saturday, rainy Sunday - suspect some of the results reflect that. Congrats to everyone who participated this weekend in the local races.

Some links:

From NYRR: For the Fifth Avenue Mile: Professional results, and then the rest of us. If you see David Peters, originally from the UK, but listed as a Brooklyn resident - don't challenge him to a race. He scorched a 4:14.

Also, on Sunday, the 18 mile tune up, run by many for purely the reason that it's an 18 mile training run -- with support (check out my post from yesterday for a run for a similar distance, though you don't have people at tables giving you water and Gatorade.) For the 3,500-plus of you who made it out there, good luck on your fall marathon.

Nothing yet from Music that Heals 5K in Prospect Park today, but here's the link for the main site. Also, not yet seeing a link for Tunnels to Towers.

Ban Bikes on the Brooklyn Bridge?

It's not going to happen anytime soon, but this op-ed in today's New York Times raises some interesting ideas about the ongoing battle between pedestrians and cyclists, and suggests that a protected bike lane be added during the forthcoming road rehabilitation.

As much as I love running over the bridge, it's also - run at your own risk - during the summer months and peak tourist weekends. And especially when it gets crowded and I am running, I spend an inordinate amount of time with my neck getting an extra workout as I look behind me to avoid getting crunched.

I'm not a regular cyclist, but I'd be willing to posit that the Manhattan Bridge bike lane is a much more preferable route of getting into the city (or back into Brooklyn.

Thoughts from those who bike? run? or both? over the bridge?

Upcoming Races

Upcoming Races

Oct. 3: Grete’s Gallop Half Marathon/1.7 Miles, Central Park

Oct. 3: Miles for Midwives 5K, Prospect Park

Oct. 4: Liz Padilla 5K, Prospect Park

Oct. 4: Fred Lebow 5K, Van Cortlandt Park

Oct. 11: Harry Murphy 5K, Van Cortlandt Park

Oct. 11: Staten Island Half Marathon, Staten Island

Oct. 11: Restoration Plaza 10K, Bed-Stuy

Oct. 11: Get to the Point 5K, Greenpoint

Oct. 17: Scout Trail 5K, Staten Island

Oct. 18: Kurt Steiner 5K, Van Cortlandt Park

Oct. 18: Race Against Violence, John Paul Jones Park

Oct. 24: Nike Human Race, Prospect Park

Oct. 25: Poland Springs Marathon Kickoff (5M), Central Park

Some in November:

Nov. 1: New York City Marathon

Nov. 8: Fugettaboutit 5K, Prospect Park

Nov. 15: NYRR X/C Championships, Central Park

Nov. 25: PPTC Turkey Trot, Prospect Park

Other Links:

New Jersey Races

Connecticut Races

Long Island Races

U.S. Marathons

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Double Bridge Run, With a Battery Loop Twist

First off, I'd like to point out that I ran *most* of the route today (my colleague did so, and then planned to tack on a loop of the park to give him 21 miles). But this a pretty decent 17.5 mile run. Some decent bridge climbs (to mimic what you'll see in New York), and some long traffic-free stretches.

For description sake, I'll start at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, though you can start pretty much anywhere you want, and make your way over to the Brooklyn Bridge. From there, head over to the West Side Highway, and then hug the water as you loop around Battery Park, from there, head north-ish up to the Williamsburg Bridge, and over. Plenty of options there - we chose to go back into Brooklyn Heights, hugging the water and running along Kent and Flatbush, into DUMBO (its arts festival weekend, so lots of fun there) and along the Promenade. That's where I stopped (at about 15 miles - we did a rather comical double loop at the Liberty entrance looking for the bathroom, which I didn't include).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fifth Avenue Mile Saturday

Speaking for myself -- I have to confess, it's tough to get excited when New York City is host to dignitaries and celebrities *constantly*. A U.N. meeting? Happens all the time. Obama swinging by? He loves this city and state. And a celebrity viewing? Heck, Gossip Girl, Law & Order and other TV shows/movies (hello Brad Pitt and George Clooney) love the Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO area. (A local terrorist? OK, that's enough to give pause, especially as the subways were filled with gun-toting security forces throughout the week).

But that belittles the fact that I/we care about certain folk. And in the running community: Bernard Lagat fits the bill. He's running the Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday, as is Shannon Rowbury. Others scheduled to run? How about sub-13 minute 5K stud Matt Tegenkamp? (And possible you.) Me? I've got a two-hour milage-grubbing slog (err ... uh, great opportunity) ahead of me tomorrow as I desperately try to get in shape for a fall marathon (holy cr*p, New York is in five weeks, Philadelphia in 8, and if you're running an October 26.2-miler - you better be ready now).

Still, if you happen to be downtown near Fifth Avenue in the AM - by all means, it's worth sticking your head into the crowds and watching some of the best milers in the world running. (Or maybe, if you've already signed up, get your family and friends out there.) Best of luck to everyone who's running.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk Sunday

For those of you looking for a somewhat unique race, check out the Tunnel to Towers Run this Sunday. It's a bit pricey at this point ($50 after today), but the race, about 5K, heads through the Battery Tunnel into Manhattan. From the Web site:

"Stephen Siller,
beloved husband and father of five, was a firefighter from Squad 1, Park Slope Brooklyn. On 9/11, he was off-duty, and on his way to golf with his 3 older brothers.

When Stephen heard on his scanner that the World Trade Center had been hit, he turned his vehicle around and headed towards the site. When his truck was prohibited from entering the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, typically of him, he raced on foot towards the site with his gear strapped to his back.

He was last seen alive on West and Liberty Streets where he, more than likely, went looking for his Squad, all of whom perished. The Tunnel to Towers Run retraces Stephen's footsteps on that fateful day.

In running along his path, we honor the memory of all the Firefighters, Police, and EMS workers who performed their duty that day. In running this race, we are reclaiming still another part of the city for all our heroes and for all of those who died on 9/11."

Start time is 9:30 a.m. in Red Hook. More than 20,000 are expected, according to this press release.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yonkers, Queens Results

Those craving a longer run over the weekend also had their chance, with both the Queens Half and the Yonkers Half and Yonkers Marathon.

At Queens, Kirt Joseph was top Brooklyn male in Queens, with a 1:15:26. Stacey Barron ran a 1:27:34 to finish fourth overall among women and first in her age group. Here's a report from the race itself.

In Yonkers, Brooklyn's Orest Babyak finished second overall with a 2:36.

PO Hoban 5 Mile Results

Here are the results for the PO Hoban 5 Mile race, held in Bay Ridge over the weekend with 612 finishers. Arsenio Ortiz finished first overall for the men, with a 28:36, while Christine Pagano was top female. No winners declared yet for the Brooklyn Triple Crown - a series of three local races, of which this was the third.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Brooklyn Team Wins Reach the Beach Women's Division

Lots of race action this weekend. Going to break these up into separate posts to give everyone their due, and, since I'm doing this while watching "Heroes" and the football game, it will allow me to get some posts done in a somewhat timely fashion.

First up: No Sleep Till Brooklyn (quick, name that artist), an 11-member women's team captained by Corre Kombol, won the women's open division at the 207-mile Reach the Beach relay in New Hampshire over the weekend. The team, down a member after a late injury, averaged 7:42 a mile for the distance, finishing in 26:38:57.

Congrats all!

Some of the team offers their thoughts on blogs, here and here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Marathon News

* The historical Yonkers Marathon is this weekend

* Philadelphia Marathon on Nov. 22 is sold out for 2009

* New Jersey Marathon early fee deadline is Oct. 1 (still plenty of spots at this point, but you only have to pay $80 - very cheap for a marathon these days)

* Registration is available for 2010 Boston Marathon (if you've run a qualifying marathon, and are thinking about doing it, worth getting it in by the end of the year).

Speed Workout, Blog Style

Bleah, lot of stuff going on, not as much time to keep up to date on the blog (and if it comes down to a choice between running and *writing* about running, needless to say I'm out the door).

I'm out of town this weekend, so let me offer up some quick thoughts about some immediate future events (a 3x200 if you will).

-- A couple of area bloggers, including One Runners World and Hills Are My Friends (they'd better be your friends in New Hampshire), as well as a number of Brooklyn/NYC teams are running the Reach the Beach Relay this weekend. 207 miles, from Cannon Mountain to the New Hampshire coast, with 6-12 runners splitting the 36 legs (most do 12 runners, with 3 legs a piece).

-- The Brooklyn Triple Crown will be settled this weekend, with the PO Chris Hoban Memorial 5-Mile Run along the Shore Road Promenade (nice and flat). A great opportunity for some PRs if the cooler temperatures hold.

-- The Queens Half (the only one of the five borough halfs I've never run) is on Sept. 20 as well. The transportation is almost as complicated as getting to the NYC Marathon start - unless you have a car, that is. Also note, you'll be using a D-Tag, rather than a chip, so if you're unfamiliar with it, there's instructions on the NYRR Web site.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall is Here, What Are You Running?

OK, fall has officially arrived.

Well, no, there are still a couple of weeks until the autumn equinox. But it’s Labor Day, and summer has ended. And, gratifyingly enough – the temperature was a super 59 degrees as I moseyed out for a 10-mile run this AM.

It’s also time for those procrastinators, who are stalling as to what kind of races and training to do this fall. If you’re thinking about a marathon, and you don’t have a decent base and have put in some quality training – think about next year. If you’ve got that base, Philadelphia is a mere 11 weeks away, and there are some races in December and January (check out the calendar here from the folk at Marathon Guide.)

So, here’s the first of many lists this week that will spell out some options for races/training etc. Want to focus on Brooklyn? There’s easily a half dozen quality races – and I’m pretty sure I’ll find more. Cross-country? A local calendar is forthcoming, though in the interim, check out this. (This is a cached version, I'm having a problem linking to Chuck's X/C calendar).

If you’re thinking about running New York next year, make sure you’re prepped to do so *now* rather than getting inspired by the race on Nov. 1. It’s easy enough to do: Be a NYRR member, run 9 qualifying races by December *and* volunteer at 1 (during the 2008 qualifying cycle, this could be done through January). And it's still possible, even if you have run *none* so far

Some caveats:

** The Sept. 12 4 mile race is almost sold out, so register quickly. And, while the NYRR Marathon on Nov. 1 is a qualifier, it is sold out (unless you want to pony up some money for the various charity slots that are kicking around). None of the NYRR-run X/C races are qualifying races.

** While you can’t wear the same number at the Grete’s Gallop and the Norway Run, there doesn’t seem to be anything stopping you for signing up and paying for both races, if you really need to be getting those qualifiers (if anyone tried that last year and was stopped, please let me know). It’s not a loophole I particularly want to ask anyone at NYRR about, in case it exists and they stop it.

Remaining NYRR qualifying races:

Sept. 12: Fitness Mind, Body, Spirit Games (4M), Central Park

Sept. 20: Queens Half Marathon, Queens

Sept. 26: Fifth Avenue Mile, Manhattan

Sept. 27: ING New York Marathon Tuneup (18M), Central Park

Oct. 3: Grete’s Gallop Half/Norway Run (1.7M), Central Park

Oct. 11: Staten Island Half, Staten Island

Oct. 25: Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff (5M), Central Park

Nov. 1: NYC Marathon

Nov. 22: Race to Deliver (4M), Central Park

Dec. 6: Joe Kleinerman 10K, Central Park

Dec. 12: NYRR Holiday 5K, Prospect Park

Dec. 19: Ted Corbitt 15K, Central Park

Cash for Clunkers: Turn in Your Old Shoes

Super Runners Shop, which has a location in Brooklyn at 123 Court Street (the former New Balance store), has a promotion this Wednesday (one day only) whereby you recycle your old running shoes and receive $25 off a new pair of shoes.

Details of this are scarce - a store clerk I asked said the promotion was being run at all of the New York City stores, though I can't find any mention of it on their Web site (the Grand Central location is promoting a similar deal.) So, what I don't know, if there's any restriction - any type of shoe you must get, or can't get.

Also not clear: If you turn in four pairs of shoes, do you get four $25 off certificates? Still, it's a pretty good deal, especially if you spent part of Labor Day laboring in the house (and having to get rid of stuff) and a great way to avoid cluttering up the landfill.

The store is open until 7 p.m.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Results From Governors Island 5K

are here. William Hansler, 34, of Brooklyn, captured 3rd place overall in the 5K race with a 16:33 - and was the top "First Responder" (First responder is an active or retired Fire Fighter, Law Enforcement Officer, EMT or Paramedic).

The race attracted more than 600 finishers. After visiting the island for the first time yesterday, I've got to say: This would be a perfect spot to have a NYC championship 5K race. Put a race cap on the field, or set up separate events for specific categories (M/W Open, M/W Masters). Obviously, the logistics of getting everyone out to the island would have to be addressed ... but it's such a short hop from Manhattan or Brooklyn.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Odds and Ends

Some random stuff, as I shake off the summer cobwebs and get back into serious X/C training (and maybe even a marathon this fall, depending on the state of my right leg.)

-- The Prospect Park Track Club starts up its next 10-week speed training series on Tuesday, Sept. 15, run by Tony Watson. Cost is $50 for PPTC members, or $100 for non-PPTC members (if you're thinking about doing it, might want to join the club for the $25 annual fee.)

-- 56 days until the New York Marathon, and the Web site has been updated with all sorts of goodies. A lot more will be seen on this blog in the coming weeks about the race, with hints and tips and stuff.

-- Registration for the Boston Marathon, the holy grail, begins on Sept. 9. I'll admit I'm biased, because it's on my life list of things to qualify for and complete, but as I meet runners from all *pun* walks of life -- qualifying for Boston is almost always a goal, especially as we age.

-- If you didn't see earlier, the New York Times offers its spin on the barefoot running/wearing shoes debate in a recent article. A nicely written piece, I thought, with fair balance. Did the Nike shoe revolution ultimately hurt running? Keep in mind, almost all of you reading this blog likely still need the traditional shoes and their support. For those of you able to break away, I applaud you.

-- Need some long-run ideas? I realize I've spent pretty much no time setting up the organization of this blog, but here's a link to some long routes if you need.

Race on Governors Island 9/6

OK, this is completely late notice, and for that I apologize. I was bemoaning earlier today about the lack of any weekend races in the immediate area. I was also on Governors Island (not running, but enjoying a beautiful late summer afternoon and recovering from a 2-hour run earlier in the day).

Sometimes, coincidences collide. Check out the 5K race tomorrow on ... Governors Island. It's a 5K race that takes into account the 2.2 mile loop. Very flat, and could be some nice times. The World Trade Center Run to Remember is "a celebration of the lives of those lost on September 11, 2001."

Race day ferry information is here. Worth checking out if you're able.

For those of you who are wanting to check out Governors Island anyway, a free ferry is available from Brooklyn on weekends (I should warn you, the first ones, around 11 a.m., are packed, so get there a little early.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Henry Isola X/C Results Posted

here. Edward Owens, 16, from Brooklyn, captured second-place overall on the four-mile course, with a 22:07.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


A rare dive into national running, but this got short shrift. Dathan Ritzenheim set the American record in the 5K yesterday! So compare this time (12:56) to your time in Prospect Park ... just simply, wow. Amazing.

Saturday's Run

Fresh with the knowledge that a) I was going to get wet this morning, b) I didn't win the MegaMillions jackpot and c) I had no idea if my increasingly fragile legs were going to let me complete the daily run, it's not surprisingly that I approached today's adventure with some trepidation.

Happily and surprisingly, the run itself was delightful, with the only problems coming from some fatigued legs (and an aggravating search for water fountains at one point). After a run up from Brooklyn Heights to Grand Army Plaza, we went down Eastern Parkway down to Bedford Street, then over the Williamsburg Bridge. I headed back from there, then went down along the water (Kent/Flatbush), while others stayed to do a longer run in Manhattan.

Overall, a decent run. It's the first time I've taken the shorter route over Williamsburg (if you're facing Manhattan, is the path on the left that leaves off of Bedford). I'm not a huge fan of the bridge - it's a concrete morass and I'm not particularly fond of the approach to Brooklyn (the hill just seems to stretch forever). But it's a great place to get in some decent training, and well worth it to incorporate as part of your longer run.

The route here is slightly longer than I did today - when feeling up to it, I love to drop down to Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, and then finish along the Promenade, so I've included it here. (I'd normally embed the map in this post, but am having some mild technical problems).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Help Greg Fight Cancer 5K

I wasn't there, but heard reports of hundreds of people at last night's 5K in Prospect Park, a race to help raise money for Greg Hamilton, who is battling cancer. Anyone go? Race reports appreciated. (I also heard the course - a deviation from the traditional 5K in the park - was very challenging and a lot of fun by running on a lot of the paths).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nike Human Race in Prospect Park 10/24

As Emily noted in one of the comments, the Nike Human Race 10K will be in Prospect Park on Oct. 24. Details are here. Logistics and course, to come ...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Couch Potato Sunday

It's a rare weekend where runners can become couch potatoes and stare at your computer/TV - and get some decent running coverage.

First off, let's go local. The NYC Half Marathon takes place Sunday. Not only can you view parts of it on TV or computer, but you also sign up for e-mail alerts to track your favorite runners. There are 300 runners from Brooklyn registered for the race (if my search through the database is accurate), so if you're not in Manhattan to cheer them on, give them some virtual support.

Then, of course, there's the IAAF Athletic Championships. I'm on vacation, but I guarantee that I'll be watching the 100 meters on Sunday afternoon at 3:35 p.m. (and plenty of other races in the coming days).

Watch ... and get inspired. Tons of races this fall to focus on and set your goals. (And go for a run Sunday morning before all of this stuff!)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Upcoming Races

Here’s a list of some of the upcoming races in the Greater New York area over the next several weeks – and, lo and behold, not everything is in Central Park (even the NYRR races!) A couple of others put on the schedule because they’re well worth considering. Please note, as always, that things are subject to change. (And I guarantee I’ve missed a few, so please alert me). There’s plenty of local stuff – and I’ll try to update, or call out specific events. Races that are closed out at this point (aka the NYC Half Marathon) aren’t included. At the end of the lists are some links to Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut races.

Aug. 13, VCTC 5K X/C Series, Van Cortlandt Park

Aug. 15, Great Urban Run, New York City

Aug. 22, Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run, Harlem

Aug. 25, Help Greg Fight Cancer 5K, Prospect Park

Aug. 26, PPTC Al Gordon 5K, Prospect Park

Aug. 30, Henry Isola X/C Classic (4M), Van Cortlandt Park

Sept. 7, New Haven Road Race (5K, 20K), New Haven, CT

Sept. 7, Long Beach 5 Mile, Long Beach, Long Island

Sept. 12, Fitness Mind, Body, Spirit Games (4M), Central Park

Sept. 13, Komen Race for a Cure, Central Park

Sept. 20, Queens Half Marathon, Queens

Sept. 20, Yonkers Marathon and Half Marathon, Yonkers, NY

Sept. 20, Chris Hoban 5 Mile Run, Bay Ridge

Sept. 26, Fifth Avenue Mile, Manhattan

Sept. 27, NYC Marathon Tuneup (18M), Central Park

Sept. 27, Tunnel to Towers 5K, Red Hook

Sept. 27, Newport Liberty Half, Jersey City, NJ

*** and for some longer range planning ***

Oct. 3, Miles for Midwives, Prospect Park

Oct. 4, Liz Padilla 5K, Prospect Park

To go beyond the city … lot of options:

For Long Island races, check out this calendar

For New Jersey races, check out this calendar

For Connecticut races, check out this calendar

NYRR Team Championships Results

Felipe Garcia was the top Brooklyn man at yesterday's NYRR Team Championships - Men, clocking 25:11 for the five-mile distance. On the women's side, Kelly Chin from Running Divas had the fastest time among Brooklyn residents with a speedy 29:28.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Quick NYRR Hits

- Tomorrow's race in Central Park is the club championships (I'm linking to a race preview to show why you should care), and you must be a member of a local running club (among other restrictions) to participate).

- The NYRR race in Brooklyn on Dec. 12 is a 5K. One e-mailer told me the course would follow the same route as the Al Gordon 5K in February, which is definitely possible.

- Race registration is open for the remaining 2009 races - it's a good opportunity to take stock of the number of qualifying races that you've done for next year's New York Marathon, and figure out which ones you need to do (and need to volunteer for).

- Nice profile piece of the Prospect Park Track Club in the latest New York Runner magazine. And a nice cover shot of a runner on the Brooklyn Bridge. (I might add, it's somewhat unrealistic to see the bridge *that empty* during summer daylight hours, but perhaps the tourist horde is just around the bend.)