Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Ocean Parkway Problem

In looking at other postings, and looking at my own experience on the day (which I'll eventually get about to writing), Ocean Parkway, from miles 8-10 (or 8-11) was among the toughest miles of the Brooklyn Half, even though it was essentially flat.

Perhaps I'm extrapolating a bit from experiences, but it wasn't so much the physical challenge as it was the mental effort. Ocean Parkway, is, well, boring. (I contrast this with the Wall Street Run, which took place earlier this month, where much time is spent preparing for the next hairpin turn, or dodging the oblivious Wall Streeter who is intent in crossing the street.)

There was a slight, slight downhill, there was a slight, slight uphill, there was a slight, slight downhill and it was, well, boring. (And it was hot, and it didn't seem to end, and the alphabet wasn't all that interesting and ....) It's not until the road curves near Avenue Z and the you can see the end somewhat in sight that it becomes ... a race again. I spent a lot of time looking at other people, regardless of sex, quite frankly ... .

It's not a physically difficult stretch, but coming at a point in the race when you're already mentally fatigued ... yeah, I can understand. (And I'd argue that when the race went the other way, you were still mentally fresh enough to cope with it, though the Prospect Park hills have their own problem).

If NYRR keeps the route for this race in this fashion, I've got a suggestion, however, on how to train for it.

Start in Prospect Park (anywhere) and then run down Ocean Parkway ... alone. Hit the water fountains (if they're working) at Coney Island, maybe even do some mileage on the boardwalk.

Then, run back. Alone. (Maybe the first time you try this run, you do it with people. But the second time. By yourself.) You'll probably hate it. But it's good for you (kind of like the medicine my wife and I are trying to convince my daughter to take right now).

In looking back at my training logs, I look at the language of how I've described the run back, especially when I've either separated from the group or am doing it by myself. I can think of a couple successful runs. Most of them have been a slog. (That sucked!!! is a favorite phrase that recurs). A friend of mine said he would pick up the pace on the way back, simply to get it over with.

(BTW, bring water. Yes, there are bodegas on the side streets, and one park, but water is missing, except for a local hospital).

It's a mental challenge. Combine that with the physical training, and it may work. Any others have suggestions?

More Blogs and Comments from the Brooklyn Half

Some of your stories from yesterday's race. Some had a blast, others have comments about the baggage set-up (too far), the porta-potties (not enough), the water situation (not enough) and the second loop in the park, with faster and slower runners intermingling (frustrating) ...

From Sica Here!

"I truly thought it was never going to end. But, like all things, it did, and we ended the race by running, maybe half a mile, into Coney Island. The crowd that lined the boardwalk was amazing. Cheers at the end of a race, heading towards the finish, is always motivational! I did well, and I'm proud of myself. I still have to work on not shutting down at the last mile."

From The Long Road to the 2009 NYC Marathon

"Seriously, this race was a wake up call. Either I've got to take my training up a notch or retire from this attempt at this year's Marathon ..."

From New York Barefoot Runner

"I ran this barefoot for the first time. It was a bit hot at 70 degrees and the Brooklyn roads are much rougher than I had anticipated or hoped for. Parts of prospect park road are very coarse and have sharp gravel spread on the road which sucks."

From What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me

"Just as I was telling my teammate that runners from all over came to run this course, the women next to us said "Yes, I came from Australia just to be here today. ... I got to boo Marty Markowitz, and yell "Develop, Don't Destroy" as I crossed the starting line."

From Hangry Pants

"Mile 8: Have first of my Sharkies and feel a little better. Start thinking about Scallion Pancakes and Yam Fries from Veggie Heaven and Ice Cream with peanut butter in it. ...

Mile 11: Still feeling awesome. See man lying in street with ambulance. Not so awesome. Yikes!"

From The Adventures of Cowboy Hazel

"I’ve saved the worst for last: We had to do almost a full lap of the park on the outside of the the slower runners. There was no divider on the inside, so they were stretching out into our “lane” and often completely blocking our paths. I was exhausted by the time I left the park, and not because of my pace."

From Live to Run - Run to Live

"We all finally got going. It was disturbing to us back-of-the-packers to make the first turn onto the loop and see runners going by already on their second lap! Grrr. Well, at least it was a downhill start - that really helped me warm up and build momentum."

From Runner, Knitter, MTA Rider +250mg Sarcastic Humor

"I don't know what happened around mile 8 - 9, but i started feeling pretty fatigued. I knew I was more than half way done, (only 6 miles left! only 5 miles left! I kept trying to remind myself) but I was tired. I think at the 8 mile water stop I forced myself to gag through half an orange GU. (Have I told you how much I despise those retched things?!?!)"

From A Healthier Happier Bear

"Even with THREE bathroom stops (in the woods) and having to wait at two water stations since they were out of water I lowered my time by 2 minutes according to NYRR since the MORE ..."

From One Runners World

" At mile 12.5, right when we got onto the Coney Island boardwalk, my body just shut down ..."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Top Brooklyn Women at Brooklyn Half

Here are the top Brooklyn women at today's Brooklyn Half Marathon (with time and age).

KELLY CHIN 1:22:45
BETH ST JOHN 1:30:59

Top Brooklyn Men at Brooklyn Half

Here's the top 20 Brooklyn males, based on the preliminary data on the NYRR Web site (with time and age)

ADAM MULIA 1:16:15
JORGE EL. REAL 1:18:43
DAVID ALM 1:18:57

Blog Commentary on Brooklyn Half

I'll keep posting snippets and links as I see stuff.

From eastcoastwestcoast:

"It was a blissful run, I was so relaxed in my pace, with easy breathing and heart rate, enjoying the sights around me and the breezes, and then having a little juice left for the last half-mile sprint to the finish. The two loops of the tree-covered drive in Prospect Park were lovely ..."

From 4:30 or Bust, a Bid for Marathon Mediocrity:

"I did not go all out in Propect Park, and found the energy to finish strong over the last 3 miles. Can’t complain with the result at all, considering the warm temps and my leg issues."

NYC Marathon Deadline

Especially if you've just whet your long-distance appetite with the Brooklyn Half today: please take note. The deadline for lottery applicants for U.S. residents for this year's NYC Marathon is 11:59 p.m. on June 1 (Monday). The drawing is in early June.

The lottery is, well, a crapshoot. For those of you considering New York in 2010, the easiest way to guarantee a spot is to run the nine qualifying races (and the one volunteer commitment). (Unless of course you're really fast or choose one of the charity routes ... or the several other loopholes in place).

Results are In

Results are here. According to the NYRR Web site, there were 9,413 finishers (which on the surface seems a little weird, given NYRR announced at the beginning of the race that 11,800 started.)

Then again, that may have included the people who signed up and didn't show. It was hot, but doesn't immediately appear that people were dropping like flies ...

Run Dangerously has a Brooklyn Half take here.

More to come ...

Initial Thoughts

Brooklyn Half race results aren't posted yet, but should be up later this afternoon.

Some initial thoughts from this morning's race:

-- You can, in fact, host a race with 11,800 starters in Prospect Park (and that number may be low)

-- The hairpin turn in the first mile didn't prove to be a problem, it seemed.

-- It didn't look like there were enough Porto-potties (or people weren't using the ones near the start). Either way, even though the race started 10 minutes late, there was still a long line.

-- It was hot. I'd be surprised if there wasn't criticism about the lack of available water at the water stop near 2.75 miles/6 miles. (When I passed by at the six mile point, the volunteers were frantically scooping water out of a bucket.)

-- That said, the volunteer and fan support in Brooklyn was awesome.

-- If you undertake the right strategy, I think running Prospect Park to Coney Island is faster. than the reverse way. I'd love to see more time on the boardwalk, though.

-- And ending in Coney Island was sweet - there were a ton of people out, and it was great to hang out there for a while.

-- It takes a friggin' long time to get anywhere on the F train during the weekend (and it doesn't help when the cars are crowded with stanky runners.

More thoughts, results, blog comments to come. Would love to hear from you - either in the comment section or simply e-mail me at brooklynrunning(at)

Hope everyone had a fun time.

Friday, May 29, 2009

After the Brooklyn Half

I know, we're so focused on tomorrow's half-marathon that you might forget there's another, piddlin', race going on over at Icahn Stadium.

Tickets are still available for the Reebok Grand Prix, which starts at 3 p.m. featuring Tyson Gay, Lauryn Williams and tons of other top athletes.

Or, you can catch it on TV. NBC has it at 4:30, Universal Sports (Channel 162 on the Time Warner System) picks it up at 6 p.m.

Brooklyn Half: Old and New

Stopped by NYRR (actually, two blocks south) to pick up my race day T-shirt, so I don't have to deal with stuff tomorrow.

It's, sadly, another short-sleeved cotton T (see the photo above). Somehow, I don't think it's going to get the same wear as the long-sleeved cotton T from the Brooklyn Half a year ago (the beer bottle on the left).

For a change, mostly followed my own advice. Have had the pasta with sauce (couldn't find my favorite meat sauce, but no worries) for dinner, sipping a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, mellowing before the race. (10 Things You Need to Know for the Brooklyn Half advice, I might add).

10,000 stories tomorrow (a link here indicates NYRR accepted at least 11,000, if not more) ...

Was thinking about my race last year - out of shape to race a half (I died after 10 miles), but a fun experience overall.

Tomorrow, my expectations are much different: An injury derailed me for several weeks, and I'm just getting back into running shape (much less racing shape). But, I figure, it's my hometown race, and a good 13 mile jaunt, regardless of time, will tell me a lot about where I am in my training, and where I need to go.

And it's going to be a blast.

Again, for those reading in the wee hours before the race. Good luck! Maybe we'll run together tomorrow.

Stretch, Prep and Be Merry From a Running Standpoint

#1. With less than 27 hours to go, it's time to stretch, prep and be merry (from a runner's standpoint).

A gentle workout today should include some significant time stretching. And while you're doing this, take a deep breath and visualize the race course. By now, most of you have run in Prospect Park before (if you're like me, you have names, friendly or otherwise, for all the dips and rises). Think about how you want to feel as you're going up Zoo Hill or rounding the turn at Grand Army Plaza (and yeah, you get to do it twice.). Think about the (mostly) alphabetic nature of the Ocean Parkway streets (and don't think you're done with the Parkway when you hit Avenue Z).

Get everything pulled together for tomorrow's race - if you have a chance to pick up your number and chip today, all the better (note it's at the Liederkranz Club (6 East 87th Street). Pull out your clothes, your extra Gu, your Coppertone 50-proof sunscreen and all the accessories and stick them in a bag now (ideally in a place where your kids won't find them and start hiding stuff - nah, that never happens to me).

And be merry tonight. No, not a keg party. Eat your favorite dish, within reason. A nice bit of fresh pasta with a meaty sauce fits the bill for me, with a beer to help with the extra carbo-loading, of course.

It bears repeating, especially for those of you who are running a half marathon for the first time. This is fun. You've put in the miles, dedicated the time over the past few months to get in shape and run this. So go for it. Best of luck everyone.

Find a Friend, Part 2

#2. Despite the rain trickling down my window as I write this, tomorrow still bodes well as a beautiful day to watch the race. And the way it's set up is geared for ultimate cheering potential - three times in Prospect Park, and then along the way on Ocean Parkway if you can jump onto the F (though we all know how uncooperative the subway - though in this case, it's above ground -- can be) on the way to Coney Island.

So, reach out to family and friends and invite them for a day in Brooklyn. Have them cheer you on during the day, and then grab a beer out at Coney Island after the race. (You're reading this at work - remember to print out the discount coupon from the NYRR Web site in case you get separated from your bib number).

Thursday, May 28, 2009


#3. Time for some chillin' out before Saturday's race.

There's a school of thought that tonight (Thursday) is more important for sleep than tomorrow (Friday), but either way, getting a decent amount of sleep is important.

And also, at this point, the training's over, so some entertainment is in order. Think about what inspires, you makes you smile. Ignore the fact that NYRR has stuck a "warm weather advisory" on its site (it's late May, what do you expect? The 40s?)

Think about why you run. And smile if any of this Brooks running commercial brings back memories.

Find a Friend, Part 1

#4. Find a friend (or two) during the race.

One of the strategies I use for longer races in particular is to run near/behind/slightly in front of people for a period of time. This helps me to refresh my mental concentration and keeps my pace steady. The trick, however, is to find someone or a group that's moving at the pace you're moving at (otherwise it kind of defeats the purpose).

So, around mile 3 on the course, where, given all the fits and stops that will come from cramming 10,000 people into Prospect Park's narrow thoroughfares, check out who's running near by you (not check out in *that* sense, though I suppose you could ... :-)), and find a friend or two who is hitting your pace. You don't have to stick with them the entire race - you/they may speed up/slow down, or someone may get dropped at the water stop. But then just start again.

This, I think, may prove especially key as you take on the final stretch out to Coney Island.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pre-Race Prep

#5. Get it in order.

If you're like me, and you make massive plans, only to be rushing at the last minute, you'll love this one.

-- Running 10 miles tomorrow, unless you've been logging 70 miles a week, probably won't help you.

-- Running 5 miles tomorrow, on part of the course, either the hills or the flats, probably will. Just make sure it's at an easy, easy pace. (Kudos if you're fantasizing the race at that point during the run.)

At this point, it's all about the race. Easy mileage into the race. Cross-train. Run one day and not the other. Take both days off. Let's relax and store up some energy.

Everyone has their pre-race routine, and I'm not going to presume to impose mine on you. I tend to run a few miles on the 2 days before, a ton of stretching and a maximum of 2 miles the day before. But do what feels natural.

An underrated part of this. Get sleep. Particularly Thursday into Friday. 8 hours. (If you can get that heading into Saturday, congrats).

Also, don't eat anything strange or new on Friday. (Tomorrow, if you do, and you go wrong, there's time to recover). If you're going out drinking with friends Friday night, keep it to a (relative) minimum. This isn't rocket science, just common sense.

And above all else, enjoy. Some of you are trying to hit the NYC Marathon qualifying time. Some of you are running your first half ... ever. It's going to be a great day.

PPTC Race Series Starts Tonight

The every-other-week 5K series has its 2009 opener *tonight* in the Park, race time at around 7 p.m., meeting at the Oriental Pavilion (Q line Prospect Park stop).

Registration begins at 6:30 p.m.

Beginning Runner Advice

#6. If this is your first half marathon, take it slower at the beginning.

A couple of people have posted that this will be the first half, and it's also longer than some of the training runs they have done. I am envious and excited for you, because this is going to be a fun challenge (and eminently doable).

To improve your chances of succeeding, you need to race smart. That means: Don't go out and blast the first mile, especially the downhill part. If anything, try to restrain yourself and run a slower pace than you are aiming for (5 to 10 seconds a mile slower). Make sure to line up in the proper corral for the pace you are trying to accomplish (not the 5K pace that may appear on your bib). Let yourself ease into the race.

Don't get frustrated if there's a bottleneck at the beginning, and you find yourself not able to run for a short period of time (particularly at the tight turns, if those remain in place). That may work into your favor.

The flipped course means the hills are at the beginning half of the race, Ocean Parkway's flatness is in the second half. As miles 9, 10, 11 approach, a slower pace in the beginning will benefit you as you try to accomplish your goal.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Hills at the Brooklyn Half

#7. Know the hills (and it's not too late).

Prospect Park, if you've run it before, isn't really flat in places, more rolling (except near the lake). And Zoo Hill (the big hill that starts by the zoo), can be a challenge for the unprepared.

The way the course is structured, you have to run Zoo Hill twice - it's a somewhat steep, half-mile long hill that just seems to go on and on and on. Make sure you know it. Because, you know ... it's not that bad. There are plenty of steeper hills in races (think Central Park), or pretty much any place outside of New York. One thing I've found in running it is that, because of the undulations, the second part of it seems slightly steeper (and then you start thinking - when is this going to end).

Jog it a couple of times before the race if you have a chance (not on race day). It will not beat you. You will master it. (And note, once you hit Grand Army Plaza the second time, your major uphill work is done).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More Things for the Brooklyn Half

Sorry for the wait ...

#8: Know the Weather, and Prepare for It

After huffing and puffing through a 5K earlier this month when the temperature had breached 70 degrees, it made me realize (among other things) that I was dehydrating a lot quicker than I had thought. Dying during the last 10 minutes of an 8 1/2 mile run on Saturday merely reinforced the fact (what's even more annoying is that I passed up a chance for water at the park on Union/Smith on the way back. Stupid mistake).

Right now, it looks like the forecast will be sunny and in the 600s for the race - perfect for spectators, less so for those of us traipsing the half-marathon course (hey, it could be a lot worse, I realize). Wear appropriate clothing during the day (light colored, hopefully avoiding the cotton T-shirt), make sure you are well-hydrated beforehand (your urine should be clear as you make that hasty last-minute rush to the Port-o-Pottie), and take the water and Gatorade on the course.

Me, I'm also breaking out my stash of Clif Shot Bloks and hoping the "best if used by 04 Dec 08" date is a recommendation, rather than a necessity.

"Planter" Fascitis and the Brooklyn Half

A fellow runner sent me the following photo of the massive planters draped across the transverse road (right around the half mile point of the current Brooklyn Half route). They're being used to block traffic until the bridge gets repaired.

Something's gotta give - either the planters will be need to be moved before the race, or, dare we say it, a slight course adjustment. No way you put 10,000 runners through this.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What's the Prospect Park 5K Record?

Anyone know what the fastest 5K run in our park is? I've got to think it's sub-15. Possibly/probably sub-14. But by who?

What about for a full park loop?

The questions come as one considers the 10K record set in Central Park at Healthy Kidney.

Brooklyn Half Prospect Park Discounts

I was wondering when other merchants would start to get into the mix.

With coupons available at Coney Island for discounts, looks like the Prospect Park-area restaurants also want their say, according to this link on the NYRR Web site.

I don't see Farrell's on the list, however. :-) (Mmm. Beer.)

Not that I'm complaining. Barrio has special “Carbo-loaded Enchiladas” and $3 draft beers in the week leading up to the race. (And Monday is Margarita-madness).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Brooklyn Half: 10,000 Runners?

I was only half-kidding about the 20,000 runners (and no, I didn't see this before my post).

Note the following press release (courtesy of fellow blogger NYC Running Blog) where they are projecting a record number of Brooklyn finishers, approaching 10,000.

Brooklyn Half: Capped? Not Capped

Continuing my obsession, this is posted on the race description page for the Brooklyn Half (they pulled the reference to a capped race, BTW, on the NYRR Facebook page):

"To enhance the runner experience, and to better share Central Park with other park users, this race will be capped. NYRR will announce when registration has closed. Until that time, registration is available to all runners."

Obviously, Brooklyn's needs are still subservient to the minions in Central Park. Though one would think they would cap Brooklyn at 20,000 people to try to get folk *out* of Central Park on what probably will be a gorgeous pre-summer day. Ehh. I've signed up. Have you?

The Japan 4-Miler the following day, by the way, is capped, and the cap is approaching.

Know Your Subways (#9)

Number 9 ... if you're racing the Brooklyn Half, don't get off at Grand Army Plaza to get to the start of the race. Yes, the 2/3 stop there (and if you're lucky and there's construction, maybe even the 4). But it's a good 1 1/2 miles to the race start.

The Q will put you on the other side of the park at the Prospect Park stop, but it's not too bad. According to the course map, the closest subway stop is on the F line (most likely, 15th Street/Prospect Park West).

And, shockingly enough, the F runs all the way out to Coney Island (so for those of you without cars that will be trekking back, the F will be a familiar place to be). Actually, it was kind of fun getting up at the crack to ride the F *to* Coney Island on previous race days, since most of the people up at the hour were going to the race, so you had kind of a pre-race party. Coming back, we're all going to be kind of stinky, I suspect - so get a place near the doors :-)

Believe it or not, the MTA actually has a schedule -- very important when you travel on off-hours -- and their advisory postings are must-reads for making treks on the weekends.

Monday, May 18, 2009

10 Things You Need to Know for the Brooklyn Half

Number 10 ... the course. And it's changed, as of today, according to the NYRR Web site.

Start: On Center Drive in Prospect Park.

Course: Turn left onto West Drive South, then left onto Wellhouse Drive, north on East Drive, returning to West Drive; one more complete loop of Prospect Park before exiting West Drive onto Prospect Park Southwest to Park Circle; Ft Hamilton Parkway to North Bound Lane of Ocean Parkway travelling south onto Surf Avenue (East Bound Lane); left turn onto West 2nd entrance ramp onto boardwalk (near handball courts); turn right (west) on boardwalk.

Finish: On boardwalk behind Keyspan Field.

Confused? Don't have the East/West/Center drives memorized? Here's a link to the course map. Basically, you'll have to take a sharp left onto a downhill right after the start, take another sharp left, run the transverse by the lake, and then start doing counterclockwise loops. You'll do a total of almost 7 miles in the park, including Zoo Hill twice (but you will have a nice downhill stretch three times.)

One comment about the start, and I wonder if this will stay in place. The sharp left onto the lower transverse by the lake (Wellhouse Drive) is tough to do at the best of times. With thousands of people pounding down the hill (many of whom won't be in the proper starting place to be begin with), there's plenty of potential for some massive wipeouts, particularly if it's slick out that morning.

More to come ...

Great Places to Run in New England

According this series of snapshots in the Boston Globe, these are Bill Rodgers' favorite places to run in New England (for those of you planning a vacation further northeast anytime soon.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Manhattan Bridge

Let me say something that might come as blasphemy: As a runner in Brooklyn, there are times I vastly prefer running over the Manhattan Bridge rather than its next-door counterpart.

To be sure, the Brooklyn Bridge is world-famous. David McCullough has written an awesome book about it. If you have friends from out of town, the Brooklyn Bridge is a highlight walk. I love the Brooklyn Bridge.

But running on it? During the summer? (Unless it's, say, before 9)? Fuhgeddaboutit.

Between the shared walk/bike path (which tourists routinely mess up) and the massive tour groups, trying to put together a consistent run over Brooklyn is virtually impossible, unless you go during non-peak hours, over the next few months.

My Saturday run took me over Brooklyn, and then back over Manhattan, where there were virtually no people. At the time of day we went (8:30 a.m.), it wasn't too bad, but you could already see the tourists starting to appear.

(I love to travel, so I'm often a tourist. But I hate tourists. Actually, that's not true -- I do try to rack up tourist-help points during the summer. But, you know ....)

Anyway, I digress. The Manhattan Bridge approach on either side isn't that steep (5% grade), but it's long -- you can get a nice, sustained 5-6 minute uphill run just on the bridge itself (more if you come up from the water on either side, though on the Manhattan side you have to deal with the Chinatown traffic). And, most important: There's virtually no one on it. No tourists. Very few runners.

Once you're in Manhattan, you can can cut across Canal Street to the West Side Highway, head down to the East River, or just head uptown (for the more adventurous souls who don't mind battling traffic lights).

No, it doesn't have the charm. And it does have the subways. And it doesn't have the wooden-slat-interlude. But for summer training: Manhattan is the place to be.

Race Results

Yesterday's Healthy Kidney race (with more than 7,000 finishers in muggy conditions) results are here. Felipe Garcia was king of Kings Country entrants, with a 31:56, while Kelly Chin led Brooklyn women with a 36:47.

Cinco de Mayo 5K race results have been posted as well. Prospect Park Track Club's Emily Sanderson was tops among the women with a 20:03, winning an all-expenses trip to Puerto Rico. Elmustafa Mchkirate won the race in a blazing 15:35 - one of the fastest 5Ks in Prospect Park so far this year. (John Henwood ran 15:18 in winning the Al Gordon in February - any faster?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

R Baby Mother's Day Results

are here. Two brief observations:

-- I'm now starting to get obsessed, but this was also a race that reached its cap - and only 4,635 people finished. Was this a 5,000 cap?

-- The times, they were sooo much slower than the Run As One on the men's side. 10 men broke 21 minutes, and 36 broke 23 minutes at that four-mile race, held last month. Today, 3 men broke 21, 7 broke 23. Though that one had 3,000 more runners.

Brooklyn Half Nearing Capacity?

Now this is strange. On the NYRR Facebook page, is the following statement:

"NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix Presented by Continental Airlines: Brooklyn registration is nearing capacity. "

No mention of this on the main NYRR page. And in fact, I think I may have missed something earlier - that it seems that *all* NYRR races may be subject to the cap, and not just the ones in Central Park. And so a snide comment made previously about a programmers error in having all the races with a "C" - not correct. (Here's an old NYT story which talks about the caps just involving Central Park - and the phrase "most races will be capped at 5,000")

As we've seen, those caps are varying all over the place.

The discussion groups are filled with comments pro- and con- about the caps, wave starts, etc. Obviously still a work in progress.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Running at Red Hook Track

Was looking at some of the other blogs, and came across this thread, which talks about safety questions at the Red Hook track, and what time of day is best.

I'm not there all that often, and my runs at the track have tended to be solo, either in the morning or middle of the day (depending on my work schedule). I've not experienced any safety issues, though at least one of the routes I take to get to the track can go through some dicey areas that I might not do alone at night. I will say that most of the time I've gone, I've been the only one there.

So, figured I'd post the question. For those of you who run at the Red Hook track - any issues? Any precautions?

Let me stress, it's a beautiful track (albeit wind-exposed), and for those of you this part of Brooklyn, should be a destination for your workouts. Like pretty much anywhere else in the city, I'd urge caution running alone in the late-night or wee hours (a time that's almost blissful to run, but necessitates an increase in the awareness level).

Thoughts? Comments?

An Oldie But Goodie 8-Mile Loop

A fair number of my running friends are doing the Cinco de Mayo tomorrow in Prospect Park, which meant that most wanted to do easy and relatively short. So today's run was kind of a no brainer - giving people an easy 5.5 mile option, an 8 mile option (mapped) with plenty of choices to do more.

From Grand Army Plaza to the City Hall end of the Brooklyn Bridge is almost exactly 4 miles. And if you stop in Cadman Plaza Plaza and turn back, you're at the 2.75 mile point. Happily, they've finally turned on the water fountains in the park, which was welcome as the humidity started to barrel in.

Thankfully, at 8:30 in the morning, there wasn't much food or bike traffic. There were, however, two police ... what, enclosed golf carts? ... that barreled past with little warning (reminded me a bit of the cars in The Italian Job remake -- one of my favorite no-brainer action movies), which livened up the run a bit.

An early Happy Mothers' Day to everyone. For the running guys, make sure you get that Sunday run done well before you have to serve breakfast in bed. For the running moms (especially the newbies), I offer up a link from the amazing Paula Ratcliffe as she discusses her training regimen with her baby daughter.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Coastering to the Finish

To entice people to Coney Island for the Brooklyn Half (those who live in the Bronx are looking at a long, long haul home), NYRR has teamed up with some merchants for some offers, including $1 off the Cyclone. (One might choose that ride carefully, especially if there are runners with stomachs full of Gatorade and Gu ...)

BTW, the Healthy Kidney 10K on the weekend of May 16 is nearing the mysterious "cap" level -- it's a club points race, for those of you who are interested.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Races This Weekend

Not a full race calendar, but for those of you looking for a race this weekend, here are some options:

5/9, Newport 10K, Jersey City, NJ

5/9, Long Island Greenbelt 25K and 50K, Long Island

5/10, Fuhggetabouit 5K, Prospect Park, 8:30 a.m (run in conjunction with a biathlon, though you can just do the 5K)

5/10, Cinco de Mayo 5K, Prospect Park, 11 a.m.

The Mother's Day 4 Mile Race in Central Park is closed to applicants, though the 1.3 mile health walk remains open.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cinco de Mayo 5K May 10

The Cinco de Mayo 5K will be held on ... not May 5 (tomorrow), but over the weekend on Sunday at 11 a.m. in Prospect Park. According to the CAMNY Web site.

"Top Overall Male & Female winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to compete in the Modesto Carrion Half-Marathon (Male) and 10K (Female) in Juncos, Puerto Rico (November 2009)."

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Interesting article posted online on the Brooklyn Paper site about the Brooklyn Bridge Park - and the steps they may take to connect it across land that's now part of the River Cafe park (though apparently city/state owned.) The photo above is a rendering printed in the Brooklyn Paper.

Marathon Results

Long Island Marathon results are here. Just scanning the results (which seem a little weird, since there are a couple of net/gun results, but mostly gun results), shows Ralph Yazzo as the first Brooklyn finisher in 3:17:52. Run Dangerously had fun.

No results posted yet for the New Jersey Marathon, though here's the link where they would be.

Ten people from Brooklyn finished the Pittsburgh Marathon, led by Max Chafkin with a 3:21:50. Ben Muessig from the Brooklyn Paper finished in 4:14:26.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Blogs

I learn from other runners, I learn from other writers.

So it's always fun when I stumble across other running blogs in the city.

Some of note (and I'll get around to adding these to the list on the site if they aren't already there):

Pigtails Flying

NYC Running Blog

Uptown Girl

NYC in 3:10

Boston or Die Trying

Chicago Marathon Also Closed

Ahh, the days when you could wait until the last moment and sign up for the race.

For those of you making fall marathon plans, please note that Chicago is also closed.

I will say, I just received the brochure for the Adirondack Distance Festival, including a marathon, in the mail - Sept. 19-20. It looks enticing, and relatively nearby, if I didn't already have another commitment.

Among my many to-do lists - put together one of fall marathons (I need to do this for my own purposes, given my flameout this spring) that are potential Boston qualifiers, which I'll share.

Running and Writing (or Is It Writing and Running)

The Brooklyn Paper's Ben Muessig is running the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday, and the neighborhood weekly is there to talk about it via podcast et al. Good luck, Ben!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Quick Links

* The 2010 London Marathon is already sold out

* The NYRR Mother's Day 4 mile race is also reached a cap

* If you're downtown tomorrow, cheer on the participants in the Revlon Run/Walk 5K

* And on Sunday (hopefully the rain stays away), the 5 Boro Bike Tour

* RIP Al Gordon, who passed away at 107

NYC Half Registration Snafus

Some folk trying to register for the NYC Half today may have run in to a problem, particularly if they registered for the New York Marathon or a past NIKE Half. The application prompts you for a username and password - for the life of me, I couldn't remember mine, and so it wouldn't let me in.

However, for a change, it may not be me.

The Facebook discussion group is peppered with complaints about this - including from people who claim they've never set up a profile (I actually recall setting up the profile - I just don't what it is, and none of my usual passwords work). Anyway, the response from NYRR:

"Anyone who emails with this issue, will be added to the list even if registrations closes (we'll factor it in to the final numbers). "

That was posted earlier this afternoon (it's just before 7 now), so not entirely sure how valid it is. All this was on top of what the club called higher-than-expected volume for the site, causing problems.

P.S. I was off on my price: $65 for the race (with no refund, no exchange, etc.)