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
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.) ****