Thursday, January 29, 2009

Al Gordon 5K Course Quiz

OK, if you can figure this route out *without* resorting to a map, kudos ... Most people would simply run a loop around the park (which you can do, one ... or three ... times the following day at the Cherry Tree.). Hint: it looks like a figure 8, I think.

This may be an unfair shot, but does anyone remember the last time NYRR held something in Prospect Park? Wasn't there a problem with the measurement? (Yeah, it's a pet peeve of mine, especially when the mileage markers get messed up).

Anyway, from the NYRR Web site:

Enter the west side of Prospect Park on Center Drive to reach the start. The race will start on Center Drive inside Prospect Park. Turn left/south onto West Drive and continue until you reach Well House Drive. Turn left/east onto Well House Drive and continue until you reach East Drive. Turn left/north onto East Drive and continue onto the West Drive. Finish with a left turn onto Center Drive.

(An aside: This may be a great race to get your volunteer requirement done if you're doing the 9+1 qualification for the NYC Marathon in 2010. And then you can race the following day!)


ChickenUnderwear said...

I remember that race. It was not just that the course was measured wrong. There was chaos all over the park. I was hanging out with my kids at the 9th Street playground before the race and NOBODY knew where they were, let alone where the race started. After the race I was on 7th Ave and saw the same people totally lost and looking for a subway.

This year promises more chaos in the neighborhood. I don't think the people who wrote that course description know where it starts.


I like my verification word

Doug O. said...

This course is a counterclockwise loop, with the start/finish on the Center Drive. You skip running around the lowest part of the park past the lake.

According to Rob Matson's Running Routes for Prospect Park booklet, the course distance on the West Drive (down the hill), the Well House Drive (towards the Boathouse), the East Drive (up the hill to GAP) and the West Drive (from GAP back to the Center Drive) is 2.83 miles. That leaves .27 miles to be run on the Center Drive at the start and finish.

I imagine the start will be close to the West Drive, meaning a quick left turn at the start. Then the finish will be farther down the Center Drive. This will allow more people to start off without having to go through the finish line structure.

After the Brooklyn Half, people are totally lost. This race should be no different. Hopefully the F train will not be skipping 15th Street that day.

Samantha said...

I don't think the F is skipping any stops, but who knows, if we're lucky the G will be running instead of the F :p

Oi. I was thinking about running this one.

Janet said...

This is less confusing than the course of the (finished by) midnight run on New Year's Eve, which could best be described as the mirror image of a lower case "e". At least we won't be running this one in the dark.

Janet said...

While they've tried to give subway directions (and one would hope that they'd figure out that there should be volunteers or at least posted signs at each subway stop they list) they've made the rookie mistake of referring to the "Q/B", which could lead people to wait for a "B" train which isn't going to come again until Monday.
I did actually e-mail NYRR about that one, let's see if they change it.
(When I did my volunteer stint last June they gave out a map to the volunteers so they could help people get oriented which was supposed to be specific to that race--the Mini--which, similarly, listed subways which don't run on weekends.)

Anonymous said...

The course map is up:

Janet said...

So you get the big hill out of the way at the beginning, and finish off the main road. It also looks like the whole skating rink/parking lot area (the only stretch of road where cars are allowed) is avoided.