Friday, June 4, 2010

Queens Half Moved to July 24

So... this may come as good news or bad news: You pick.

Just noticed this, but NYRR has pulled the Queens Half out of its September 2009 slot and scheduled it for July 24. (If there was a note out there, and I missed it - humble apologies). If you recall, it's been in August in the past. It had been scheduled for Sept. 12 this year.

So, now you get to run through both the Bronx *and* Queens in the middle of the hottest months of the year (you might think the NYRR doesn't like those boroughs, though I have to admit I have soft spot for running on the Grand Concourse in the middle of August).

Last year's race change to September came with a snafu, of course.

What's new? A new course that starts at Flushing Meadows (easily accessible by public transportation, the site notes, though obviously no one who wrote that has tried to go from Brooklyn to Queens early on a weekend morning in the midst of subway-work hell. I know this from experience ... hopefully there's a let up.) Blech.

Yes, the race starts at 7 a.m. So if you don't have a car ... double-blech.

It does add a summer half marathon into a relative void (a ton of halfs in Sept. and Oct., which I'll eventually get to). It does mean, however, you only have 7 weeks to train for it.

No course map yet, though if it has half as many turns as past Queens races, it will be welcome.

So what happened in the Sept. calendar? I didn't take copious notes, but it looks like they just removed it from Sept. 12 (according to the cached search I did on Google). No replacement race, if one is even being considered.

The huge downside: I'm not sure when the move was made, since I haven't been monitoring the race schedule closely. For those of you aiming to run all 5 halfs, and had already scheduled a vacation out-of-town in July ... triple-blech.

One final thought: A lot of local runners like focusing on their local halfs (Manhattan, I'd guess being an exception, though if running two-plus loops of Central Park is your game, no problem). By shifting the dates around at the last moment (as has happened with Brooklyn, etc.), it keeps runners from focusing on what, for many, is their "destination" race. Given the fact that the NYC Half has already been set in stone for March 20 next year, why not do the same for the local halfs?

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