Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Brooklyn Half: Qualifier for NYC Marathon

Passing along a reference in the fine print to this year's qualifying standards (note they change in 2013):

"You must have met the appropriate qualifying time between January 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012 (2012 NYC Half, Boston Marathon, and NYRR Brooklyn Half-Marathon times will also be accepted). Include the race name and date with your application."

Something to keep in mind if you don't get in via lottery.

$216 for NY Marathon?

Sigh, it's true (and more if you're not a member). Reminder, however, that the NYC Half was on the high end, so we shouldn't be surprised. NYC is hurting, and it's passing along fee increases - and the NYC Marathon is passing it along to us as well.

Given the demand to get into the race, this is definitely a sustainable price (think about the prices for Broadway productions), so don't expect a reduction.

One request for NYRR: Disclose how much you are paying for appearance fees, and how that has changed over the years. To keep the elite athletes coming here is a deliberate (and defensible) decision. However, if that's the reason why the fees are being boosted, then tell the running community that.

I'm pretty sure there are more expensive marathons in the U.S. (My readers will confirm - and I will research!) But this certainly is one of the highest.

On that note: Happy New Year! My apologies for the scarcity of posts over the past few months - ironically, an increased focus on running contributed. 2012, I'm hoping to get back to a regular posting, including race results and a renewed focus on local runners.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Changes in Empire State Building Race Entries

Still processing, but note that entries open tomorrow at noon, closes Sunday

*Evening race
*$100 entry fee
*Non-elite runners put in a lottery
*Entry field limited to 600 participants (roughly)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Long Run

Boston is in 4 1/2 months, so the long runs are beginning to start. Today's route, about 16+ miles, is an oldie but goodie - Brooklyn Heights to Prospect Park, back over the Brooklyn Bridge, around lower Manhattan, back up to the Williamsburg Bridge and then back to Brooklyn Heights.

The great thing about this: one guy in the group pointed out this absolutely wonderful public restroom on River Terrace (before you go into the waterfront) between Warren and Vecsey Street. It's clean, it has water fountains, it's warm. Huge fan, especially since it's getting hard to find good places for water.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Jingle Bell Jog Now a 6K

Umm, yeah. "Unexpected construction work on Center Drive" (did it suddenly get blocked off in the past week?) makes the course now 3.7 miles rather than 4 miles.

The good thing: There will be a ton of PRs!

No course map is available, though the race starts and finishes on Center Drive.

Entry fees are $50 thru Dec. 9. Proceeds benefit NYRR's Youth Programs.

NYC Half Prices: $117 for NYRR Members

Would you pay $117 ($128 if you're not a member of NYRR) to run a half marathon?

This easily could be the most expensive road half-marathon in the continental U.S. Maybe the world. (If you've seen anything, more costly - not including some of the trail runs - holler).

I appreciate that the costs to run through Times Square on an early Sunday morning are huge. But ...

NYRR comments on why the costs are so high:

"Operating costs that significantly affect the race -- like gas, insurance, and bridge tolls -- continue to rise, which increases the cost of doing business in the world's greatest city for running. Our race fee has gone up due to these increased race operation costs and city agency fees, which are required to maintain our world-class standards in safety and quality."

It's a legitimate concern (though the last time I checked the NYC Half route didn't actually go past any tollbooths - but maybe that's next!). It's unclear here how much the elite appearance fees, or lack of a title sponsor, also affect the cost. (Personally, I'd rather this be a great half marathon to showcase the best local talent, rather than one of the many elite events NYRR puts on, though that's just me.)

Here's an alternative suggestion. Run any one of the NYRR half marathons (the Manhattan Half right now costs $25) and donate the rest to any one of the deserving local charities (City Harvest is my current choice) or the NYRR Foundation to support youth running in the city.

I've got a qualification slot to run this March, but I'm pretty sure I'll be racing elsewhere that day.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

2012 NYRR Races .... and the NYC Half

Several races are now open for the January-March period on the NYRR Website including the Manhattan Half on Jan. 21.

And the NYC Half lottery opens on Dec. 5 and is open for two weeks. It'll be interesting to see how this year's version goes - and how many people are able to get in because they ran in 4 of the 5 borough half marathons (including the canceled Bronx Half.) No idea yet on the price.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Brooklyn Marathon in WSJ

Nice piece about Sunday's Brooklyn Marathon in the Wall Street Journal. If you're out in the park Sunday doing your own stuff, make sure to cheer on the runners as they pass on by ...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Brooklyn Marathon Sold Out

A quick follow to yesterday's post on the Brooklyn Marathon - now it looks like the race has sold out. A waitlist is being created, and interested runners can sign up and will be notified after 11/3 on a rolling basis if they have made it into the 250-person field.

Poland Spring Canceled - What You Need to Know

For the second time this year, a NYRR race has been canceled. Runners will receive qualifying credit for the race *or* a coupon for a race to be determined (the list will be released after the NYC Marathon).

Lot of ice still on the trees, a lot of limbs down on the road, so be careful in your daily run today (and bundle up!). The ban on city parks appears to still be in force - even when it's lifted, keep a wary eye on the sky.

I can't even imagine what would be going on if the NY Marathon had been scheduled for today.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

City Parks Closed on Snow on Trees

All city parks are recommended closed right now due to the snow on trees ... watch the NYRR site to see if tomorrow's race is cancelled, but at very least be careful on your morning run, whereever you are. It's fun to run in the snow, but ...

Running in the Snow

The guy is running in the Bronx,but you get the idea. It's friggin' October. Good luck to the NYC Marathoners next week (of course, it'll be 70 degrees, I'm sure) ... This courtesy of the NYTimes.

Poland Spring Kickoff Still On

Right now, Poland Spring Kickoff 5 Mile race tomorrow is still on - and there's probably no reason for it to be canceled, unless the surprising snow keeps coming down. The one issue might be the trees - I've already seen limbs down in Brooklyn Heights while tromping around as the snow is collecting. Regardless, it most likely would become a fun run rather than canceled outright.

Last-minute details will be posted on the website and the Facebook page.

Running the Bridges and Brooklyn Waterfront

There's something to be said about mashing together two shorter running routes to get a good 10K run in.

One of my staple runs is to start at the Brooklyn Promenade near Remsen, head over the Brooklyn Bridge, and then head back. It's just shy of 4 miles, and I'll do it usually when I have just a half hour to run.

With a bit more time this morning (and not meeting up with any of my usual Saturday cohorts), I decided to mix together this run with a Brooklyn waterfront run. So after getting into Manhattan, I headed into Chinatown and came back to Brooklyn via the Manhattan Bridge. From there, it was straight into Dumbo, where I hugged the water (and farted around in Brooklyn Bridge Park near Pier 1 for a bit) all the way to Atlantic, then headed back up to the Promenade.

The route is about 6.4 miles, give or take, and is nice in are really only a few places where the cars may interrupt your running. You also get two long "bridge" hills and a short, but steeper, approach from the water up Jouralemon (or, if you choose to modify it, up Atlantic).


Nothing like waking up in the morning and seeing the banner headline: POWERFUL STORM COULD IMPACT 60 MILLION PEOPLE (that's from

Of course, the underlying news is that we could actually have measurable snow here in Brooklyn in October for the first time since 1952, according to this article. Right now, it's a mixture of snow & rain in Baltimore! Bet those who are running the Marine Corps Marathon tomorrow weren't expecting this weather (heat is usually the big issue for that race.)

Forecast is for 2-4 inches for the New York City area, and I'm sure it's going to be slushy and fun out there. If you want to enjoy just the rain ... well, the light drizzles have just started on what's going to be a wet one today. Get the running tights and rain gear out! And just be thankful this isn't happening *next* weekend.

Brooklyn Marathon Has a Only Few Spots Left

For those who really want to run 8 loops in Prospect Park on Nov. 20, you *still* have a chance to register for the inaugural Brooklyn Marathon. As of Thursday, there were 8 spots left.

*CORRECTS an earlier post with the right date - it's before Thanksgiving!

PPTC Marathon Bus

Prospect Park Track Club still has space on its marathon bus fleet (or it did as of yesterday afternoon). For those of you racing next Sunday and still don't have a way to get to the Staten Island start, the buses leave from 7th Ave. and Garfield (by JackRabbit Store). Details are here.

MRIs: Worth It?

New York Times this morning has a front-page article questioning the widespread use of MRIs as a diagnostic tool, citing many doctors who say the value is overstated and can lead to unnecessary surgery.

Ironically, the only MRI I've had for a running related injury (I had twisted my knee) helped rule out surgery by doctor who was eager to put me under the knife.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday Running Thoughts

*I love the fact that you can identify the hard-core folk aiming for New York Marathon in a couple of weeks (or Philly, or any of the late fall marathons). It's the belts, of course, with water, gel etc. It's the camaraderie (Yes, I've spelled this right). My run today, 15m, I nodded to several others out there in the final throes of training.

*Spent an hour at the tail end of the Rock 'N Roll 10K in Prospect Park. Purely judging on the music -- *THERE WERE NO LIVE BANDS*. I know the DJs tried, but cmon. My group passed four DJ stations, and no bands (3 on the loop, one on the upper transverse). If I missed any, apologies and I'll correct. But for the price of the race (I hope they got a great goodie bag), let's have some great music.

Searchable results should be here: The winning time: a blazing 29:01 (wow)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

To Pace or Not to Pace?

Welcome the latest debate in the running world, helped by the fact the IAAF just eradicated world records for women who ran in mixed races. Thankfully Paula Radcliffe still can lay claim to the record, though her "record" time is now two minutes slower than previous.

What about local races? Should runners be paced? Should men pace women? Should men pace men? Should marathons have pace groups?

Jury's still out, obviously, though let me offer two recent examples from my own personal running experience, just to ground the discussion a bit:

*In making a bid for a qualifying time for Boston Marathon 2012, I was offered by a couple of faster friends to help me through my qualifying race. (I'd wrestled this issue before, ultimately said that I wanted the race to be as pristine as possible).

*Earlier this year, I helped a friend (female) run the second part of a half marathon, part of training as she aimed for a full marathon.

The world marathon "record" set at Berlin involved Patrick Makau surrounded by pacers. Thousands of runners in New York this year will be part of organized pace groups. Obviously, even if you're paced, you still have to run the race, and I don't think that undermines the legitimacy of the time.

Fascinating debate over at on the topic, btw.

I do think, however, that pacers interfere with the tactics of the actual race itself (though of course, if there are pacers, you build that into your strategy). It's one of the reasons why I love X/C and trail racing - time goes out the window, and it's all about what you can do against others on the race course.

My own personal decision about not wanting help was essentially selfish: Boston was one of my lifetime goals, and I wanted to do it on my own. There are several good reasons to have pacing, of course - that's why the options exist.

Something to wrestle with, I think. Appreciate any thoughts folk have. Happy trails, and stay dry this weekend.

P.S. Three posts today so far - at this rate, I'll surpass the September output momentarily! (Sarcasm on my writing failures duly noted).

P.P.S. Absolutely no idea what the women's 10K record is in Central Park. Will that be reset? (I'm guessing no, given the response of a lot of national running leaders.)

Great Times at Grete's Great Gallop

Cooler conditions led to some blazing times at today's Grete's Gallop, a half-marathon in Central Park.

Tops among Brooklyn runners:
*Michael Maag (6th overall): 1:10:42
*Caitlin Phillips (3rd overall): 1:22:05

In the 1.7 mile Norway Run
*Garland Days (4th overall): 9:04
*Anna Fyodorova (4th overall): 10:25

Welcome to autumn temps!

Searchable results here (for the half) and here (for the Norway Run)

October Races

Lots of great October races out there, including the Bed-Stuy 10K next week, a chance to run on Roosevelt *and* Randall's Island, and the return of X/C races up at Van Cortlandt. A look at some of the area races:

*Oct. 2: Liz Padilla Memorial 5K, Prospect Park

*Oct. 2: Harry Murphy X/C 5K, Van Cortlandt

*Oct. 2: Merrell Down & Dirty 5K, 10K, Bronx

*Oct. 9: Restoration Plaza 10K, Bed-Stuy

*Oct. 9: Staten Island Half, Staten Island (registration closed)

*Oct. 9: Get to the Point 5K, Greenpoint

*Oct. 9: Run for the Wild 5K, Coney Island

*Oct. 9: Westchester Half/Quarter Marathon, White Plains

*Oct. 15: Roosevelt Island 5K, Roosevelt Island

*Oct. 15: Rockaway Marathon, Rockaways

*Oct 16: Kurt Steiner X/C 5K, Van Cortlandt

*Oct. 22: Rock 'N Roll 10K, Prospect Park

*Oct. 22: Sleepy Hollow 10K, Sleepy Hollow, NY

*Oct. 22: Run the River 5K, Randall's Island

*Oct. 23: Race Against Violence 5K, Bay Ridge

*Oct. 30: Poland Spring 5M, Central Park

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Brooklyn Team's 'Reach the Beach' Epic

If you've ever wanted to run a 24-hour relay race, check out this short video by "Better on the Way Down," which recently completed the Reach the Beach race in New Hampshire.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lagat, Simpson Win 5th Avenue Mile

Bernard Lagat, Jenny Simpson won the men's, women's races today along 5th Avenue.

Results here. And results here for the various races.

I'd post a video and/or story from NYRR, though unclear why there's nothing available at this point (too bad that this wasn't shown live for those of us who couldn't make it downtown). Highlights should be available later.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Race Results: Rock 'N Roll Philadelphia Half

Some blazing fast times at the ultra-fast Philly Half this past weekend.

The database isn't really set up to search by city, but a quick look at the results indicate some top times here:

Daniel Renahan, 1:11:06
Ted Towle, 1:13:33
Giancarlos Zambrano, 1:23:11

Random Thoughts on a Monday Evening

*The Staten Island Half (my favorite of the five official halfs that's not run in Brooklyn) on Oct. 9 is nearing capacity, so if you're planning to race, sign up now! Grete's Great Gallop on Oct. 1 still has space, though ... really ... do you want to race two loops of Central Park or go gallivanting on Staten Island?

*Boston Marathon entries continue this week, with the first round of entries already locked in. Now it gets interesting, as the remaining qualifiers seeking entry will continue be seeded based on how fast they beat their qualifying time. Entrants should know by Sept. 28. As of tonight, 88 people from Brooklyn were listed in the entrant database.

*Looking for some Northeast cross-country races this fall? Check out Chuck's X/C Calendar.

*Still looking to blast that final 5K of the year? Check out the Music That Heals 5K in Prospect Park this Sunday, Sept. 25. A look at upcoming races is here, courtesy of NYCRuns.

*Finally got down to Brooklyn Bridge Park (in Dumbo) the other day, where I haven't been for weeks. Checked out Jane's Carousel (it looks a little out of place, though is certainly beautiful), though even more importantly - you can now run in that area again and make a nice half-mile plus loop near the Manhattan Bridge.

*My DVD movie pick of the week (and maybe it'll inspire you to run in Red Hook): The Adjustment Bureau. Yeah, it's a cheesy sci-fi film (all the better), some great shots of the area, however.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jenny Gets Gold

If you run (and obviously you do if you're reading this blog), watch the video of the women's 1500 at the World Championships and get inspired.

Congratulations Jenny (Barringer) Simpson!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene Aftermath

Based on TV reports and eyewitnesses, there are actually people up and about, running at places such as the Coney Island Boardwalk and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade! At least in the Heights, few tree branches and limbs down, though we're not done yet. Just be safe, people.

Water is covering some places in lower Manhattan along the water's edge (i.e. the prime running paths) - CNN has some shots of anchors with water lapping at their ankles - though hasn't really advanced much further. In Brooklyn between Piers 1 and 6, a few places have water on them, as the East River is right up near the top of the land.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Watch World Championships for Free

As much as I love the fact that Universal Sports covers track and field, I'm not going to pay $14.95 to watch the World Championships when I can watch them for free here.

(Thanks to Running Times for providing the link).

Great stuff both early and late in day (watched the women's 10K final earlier this morning), and also tons of other sports as well.

Stay Safe

As tempting as it will be to go for a long run during the hurricane (well, tempting for some of you - yes, you know who you are), take a second to consider the tree limbs that will be hurtling in your likely direction.

Category 1 or no, Irene will leave a lasting impact on the area - make sure you're not part of the story.

If you've been living under a rock the past couple of days, all three NYRR races are canceled this weekend. The next NYRR/Marathon qualifying run is Sept. 17 - the Fitness 4-miler, though entries are limited.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weather and This Weekend's Races

Hurricane Irene is already starting to wreak some havoc with race planning, so it's a good idea to be flexible.

As of now, both Sunday's Henry Isola X/C race in Van Cortlandt and the Bronx Half will be run as scheduled ... NYRR urging people to watch their website for updates. (My guess is that if there are any potential issues, the Bronx Half will be held as a "fun" run so that everyone who entered will get it as a qualifying race, though we'll see).

I do have to say, running the Bronx in rain is *much* more appealing than 90-degree temps.

Do keep a wary eye out if you're running something else on Sunday, and please, be careful.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Free Entries to Rock 'N Roll 10K in Prospect Park*

*Of course there's a catch.

You have to be an Active Advantage member *and* you have to be one of the first 20 to sign up at 1 p.m. *today* (Tuesday, Aug. 23)

Otherwise? Steep, steep entry fee of $60 if you're planning to run. The race is Oct. 22.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Battle of Brooklyn Tomorrow in Prospect Park

The 2nd annual JackRabbit Battle of Brooklyn takes place tomorrow in Prospect Park tomorrow at 8 a.m.

Three loops, 10 miles - it's similar to the Cherry Tree that's run in the winter.

There's still time to register online ($25) or pay $30 tomorrow at the door. And yes, there's a relay!

And, of course, a gimmick:

This year we're adding a new element: "Time your Climb" sponsored by Garmin. Each runner will not only receive their splits for the three loops, you'll also receive your splits for climbing Prospect Park's big hill. In each age/gender category, there will be a "Time your Climb" winner for the fastest combined time up the hill, *and* for the most consistent times up the hill.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fall-Winter Races for NYRR Open Aug. 1

Races for Oct. -Dec. include the Staten Island Half.

Founders 5K Results Posted

Top results, both male and female, dominated by Central Park Track Club, which was the host of the race (not much from the local Brooklyn teams). Still lot of Brooklyn turnout overall. Next week is the NYRR Team Championships, the annual smackdown among registered teams.

One thing I'd note - I was running in the same direction as the runners doing a long run today - lot of traffic on the Prospect Park pathways. That's both good (love it when tons of runners are out there), and obviously bad (when you're racing, the last thing you want to do is be having to worry about runners - and cyclists).

Results are here - click on the .pdf to see age-group rankings.

Queens Half Results Posted

Less than 4,800 finishers in this year's race, which was closed to entrants several weeks ago. Hot day, though thankfully less humid (think what if this was *last* weekend)

Brooklyn's Miriam Beyer (racing for Athena New York) was top female with a 1:29:14, edging out Brooklyn's Sarah Foster. In fact, five of the top finishers in Queens were from Brooklyn.

Brooklyn's Armando Ramirez (WSX) finished third overall among the men with a 1:17:33.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Founders 5K on Saturday at 9 a.m.

Late notice I realize, but for those looking to run one of the many 5Ks in Prospect Park this summer - here's the next one.

Founders 5K, to honor the founders of the city's running clubs, starts at 9 a.m. just outside of Bartel Pritchard Square.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The First Brooklyn Marathon

How much do you love Prospect Park?

3 loops (like the Cherry Tree 10-miler). How about ... 8 loops.

You get the opportunity for the inaugural Brooklyn Marathon, to be held in November. Details are here

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Plot Strategy for Your NYC Marathon Qualifiers

UPDATED this post to correct and reflect that the Club Championships is a marathon qualifier!)

As of now, all the summer qualifiers are closed until Aug. 27 (except for the Club Championships ... and you have to be a club member to race that)

The way things have been going, qualifying races have been closing out 2 weeks to 2 months ahead of time, so be alert.

Based on the NYRR event calendar, here's the number of remaining qualifiers that are still open (and remember, you need a volunteer entry as well):

*July: 0
*August: 3
*September: 3
*October: 3 (details on Grete's aren't up yet - both races that day may be qualifiers)
*November: 2
*December: 4

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Boards or Concrete at Coney Island?

The New York Times offers an update on the ongoing debate about whether the boardwalk at Coney Island will be replaced with something other than boards.

The article quotes schoolteacher Robert Burstein, who runs on the boardwalk daily:

Robert Burstein, 56, a schoolteacher who daily takes five-mile runs on the Boardwalk, said people flocked to it because they “want respite from concrete; we have concrete all around us.”

Friday, July 1, 2011

Go Fourth and Run

I love three-day weekends, because it means there's the opportunity to get in two long runs and not suffer (too much).

Or, you can run long on Saturday and race Monday.

Or ... and you knew this was coming, you can do both (see option two).

Two races I want to highlight this weekend, though there are plenty in the region:

*Pepper Martin 5 Mile out in Staten Island. Absolutely wonderful local race, with a killer hill and great post-race party.

*The July 4th Marathon up at Van Cortlandt Park. I've never done one of these trail holiday races, which range from 6.5 mile parts and up, though I might make my way up this weekend. It consists of one or more loops on the gradual Van Cortlandt trails (as opposed to the undulating X/C course and the punishing Cemetery Hill). As the motto for this free community race states: Just show up and run.

And the great thing? On this one, you can go long ... and race.

Happy holidays everyone.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cosme 5K Photos

No results posted yet, but you can take a look at some photos.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Running in the Humidity

Phew, this has been one tough week to run.

I've done my best to dodge the humidity, running in the early mornings, late evenings where the temperature has been great. Not really all that successful, I've found, with sweat dripping off my brow within a mile, and regularly coming back from runs having dropped 3-4 pounds despite efforts to stay hydrated.

But if you're training for a late summer/early fall race, you've got to do it. Need I remind the Boston Marathon wannabes (me! me!) who are looking for a last-minute qualifying time for 2012, the entries open on Sept. 12, which pretty much rules out most of the great fall marathons in the area.

As I was reminded earlier after whining to folk about today's run, which was cut short ... again ... by the humidity: You set a goal, you go after it, you do what you have to do.

Today's run: Prospect Park, over the Brooklyn Bridge, a loop around the southern tip of Manhattan, back up to the Williamsburg Bridge, over and then along Kent and Flushing before finally collapsing near the Brooklyn Bridge Park. 4 miles short of the planned 20.

So, you pick yourself up, and do it again. :-) Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Cosme 5K June 26

For those looking for an excuse to get out to Coney Island tomorrow, a reminder about the Cosme 5K. Weather looks awesome, and you can jump in the ocean afterward.

For those who ran the Kenny Dolan 5K a few weeks ago, it's also the second leg in the Brooklyn Triple Crown race series.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday Evening

The Brooklyn Bridge stinks ... literally ... at various points because of the painting. And we're in the midst of the summer tourism-hell season (with bikers who continue to ride over during rush hour). And yet we continue to go up there.

*Actually, the best time, paint smell not withstanding, I've found is the early morning. With the summer solstice upon us, you can actually capture the rising sun as part of your run - one of the prettiest sights here in NYC.

*Interesting article in the NYTimes on the 10% cap rule (i.e. you should only increase your mileage by 10 percent each week). I'm firmly of the belief that a) you train as to how your body lets you and b) rules are made to be broken. I have a colleague who jumps up mileage on one week, and then holds it for 3-4 weeks, breaks it down a week to recover, and then does it again.

*With the summer heat and humidity upon us, it's time to get creative. Rather than pounding out 15 miles, think about a two-a-day (breaking it up 7 in the AM, 8 in the PM) or run in the evening and then in the morning.

Some race updates:

*The NYRR Front Runners 5m on June 25 is now closed. The Achilles Hope & Possibility 5m on June 26 still has slots open.

*NYCRuns has links to both a Bad Ass Bay Ridge 5K and a Bad Ass Bay Ridge Challenge (with an an obstacle course) on June 25

*This is the on week for both the PPTC 5K in Prospect Park (on Wednesday) and the VCTC X-C race on Thursday.

*The Governor's Island 10K, however, is also closed at this point.

Get out there and run. And plan your summer vacations around some great running experiences, whether it be races or simply running in places you wouldn't normally.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer Race Series Results

For those of you who braved the heat and the rain this past week, congrats. Results from the humid Wednesday 5K in Prospect Park here and the thunder-struck Thursday X/C race in Van Cortlandt Park (won by NBR's Pavel Marossine here.)

Adidas Grand Prix Race Today at Icahn

For those looking to come up with last-minute plans, tickets look like they are still available for today's Grand Prix race over at Icahn Stadium, though I would call ahead to be sure. Phone number from the site is: 1-877-849-8722. The meet starts at 1 p.m.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fun Workout in Prospect Park: Hydrants

I was doing a workout in Prospect Park the other night and a guy passing by asked "Are you doing hydrants? Cool."

Well, at the time, I was leaning over gasping for air, heading for one of the working water fountains in the park, so I didn't really appreciate the comment. But it was nice to get an acknowledgment of one of the quirkiest workouts the park has to offer.

It's very simply, a fartlek ... a "fun" workout where you alternate running fast and slow over a wide variety of distances. Put another way: It's speedplay.

There are a number of ways to do this - we chose to do it by using the hydrants on the inner loop of the park as the determining factor. After warming up, start at the first hydrant you see. Run fast until you see the next hydrant. Run slower, until the next hydrant. Run fast. And so on.

It gets you running fast over a wide variety of distances - in the southern half of the park, the hydrants can be spread out over 100-200 meters, in the northern half of the park (between GAP and 15th Street), you get some 800 meter distances. It's equally fun if you do it at dusk or at night (hey, is that a hydrant? Or a stump?).

You decide how fast you run. And especially during the first loop of the park, if you don't remember where the hydrants are, or can't see them ... it's a different workout every time. Do it with friends - and it doesn't matter if you end up doing the fast parts at different paces - just have the faster runners circle back and pick the slower runners up.

Races This Weekend

There are some *great* local races this weekend, and if you don't have any plans, you should check them out:

*The Major Eugene McCarthy 5K, held in Marine Park, takes place Saturday.

*The Dashing Whippets are hosting a track!! meet at the East River Park (FDR Drive, East 6th) on Saturday. Events include a 2-mile run and a distance medley relay. Festivities start at 9 a.m.

*The always popular, always hilly Riverdale Ramble 10K, held Sunday at 9 a.m. I'm a huge fan of good-sized local races (no offense NYRR), and is this one of the top ones.

*Closer to home is the Kenny Dolan 5K (yep, it's a loop in Prospect Park with several hundred of your closest friends). It starts on the (down)hill near Bartel Pritchard (15th/Prospect Park West). It's also part of the Brooklyn Triple Crown series, which continues June 26 with the Cosme 5K (and is missing the third leg at this point.)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Brooklyn Half: Quick Reax and Random Thoughts

Some highly subjective comments about today's race - as always, feel free to agree/disagree/comment away:

*The volunteers at this race rock. Seriously. Mary Wittenberg said they were on hand at 1 a.m., and the effort showed. From the directions and the organization to the water stops (more on these in a sec) - they did a great job.

*The weather was ... well, as predicted, those who love heat and humidity had a great day. Took me a mile before I was dripping (and that was even before I started dumping cups of water on me). Thankfully, Ocean Parkway was mostly in the shade as I was running down (I'm wondering if the sun had gotten higher though as the race progressed?)

*The past several days of rain had a minimal impact in Prospect Park, though I wouldn't be surprised to hear of some slips and falls - in a few cases, parts of the inside lane really weren't suitable for running, and the puddle at the southern end of the park, while smaller than usual, was very present and made for interesting navigation during the first loop

*I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on the second loop of the course, when the faster runners and slower intermingled. During the long downhill on mile 6, when people separated, I think it was fine. But mile 5, from GAP to 15th Street? A bit messy.

*No way to back this up, but was mile 6 a tad long? (and I would think that mile 5 possibly a tad short as a result). Until losing it in the final mile of the race, it was my slowest mile by a good 10 seconds (and yes, I realize that part of the run was on Zoo Hill).

*Water stops at every mile (almost) on Ocean Parkway were incredibly helpful. The one quibble I'd have is the very first water stop (at mile 1), which may have been set up there because of the park construction, was a little too soon for most runners (of course it was welcome at mile 4).

*I think I've expressed some doubt about the change to the course a few years back, but I think I'm now a total convert - it's a hassle to finish in Coney Island and get back, but I like getting the hills out of the way early and being able to pound it out (or in today's case hang on) during the flat part for the second half of the race. (For the first time in three years, I wasn't fixated on the alphabet streets, which certainly helped.)

*One wonders whether the MTA and NYRR talked about the date before the race. I completely understand that work has to be done on the tracks, but having the F out of commission (shuttle buses aside) isn't a very smart move. (And, this probably could have been avoided by the people who got burnt by this, but the Brooklyn Bridge was also closed to Brooklyn bound traffic early in the day, which didn't help some folk.) It's never a good thing to see a couple of hundred people sprinting to the start during the national anthem (very beautiful today, btw).

*Part of that may also have to do with the bathrooms. The lines looked really long today. Longer race commute means more bathroom needs, me thinks.

*Is there a way to avoid closing baggage claim at 6:30? I'm sure there are reasons, but it gets messy, especially when folk are getting to the race late.

*Set the Brooklyn Half date now. Saturday, May 19, 2012. Get the speculation out of the way. Just do it.

*The water at Coney Island: a bit chilly, but was definitely worth walking into the surf to soothe some sore muscles.

*Runners are good people. After suffering brain freeze when I checked my bag with my Gu (so much for my perfect pre-race preparation), a friend's friend gave me a strawberry-banana Powergel as I was getting a bit desperate. Without that, my final mile almost-collapse would have happened a) a lot earlier and b) would have been a collapse. So thanks.

*I've got ties with/friends on both clubs, but I'd love to see a North Brooklyn Runners (95 finishers)/Prospect Park Club (89 finishers) showdown (and throw in Brooklyn Road Runners (17 finishers) to boot).

Brooklyn Half Results Posted

Details are here

Surprising fact - only 5,909 finishers, down from 7,015 in 2010 and 9,641 in 2009.

More to come ...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Last Minute Thoughts for Tomorrow's Brooklyn Half

*So the weather isn't really going to cooperate. If anything a little rain might be nice. We're talking 61 degrees and humid at the start - and it'll be 66 by the time you finish. So make sure you're properly hydrated, hit the water stops at the race - even consider carrying a water bottle.

*The F-train - well, it's a bit fff-d up if you get my drift. No F-train between Jay Street and Church Street, which means you might need to rely on the shuttle bus the MTA will have running. It's also going to make it a bit of a hassle to get out to Coney Island (or back), especially for spectators, if that's the line you're relying on. Details are here. Obviously other ways to get to the park; Grand Army Plaza is about 1 mile from the start, however.

*Remember you need to use the clear plastic bag for your baggage.

*Do not wear your ugly orange Brooklyn Half shirt during the race. You haven't earned it yet :-)

*Do, however, soak your legs/body in the surf.

*Above all, have fun. No, it's not likely that you'll convince many people to join you in Coney Island at 9 a.m. So kick back, have a Gatorade/beer or two, and get them out there for later in the day.

Good luck everyone.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Brooklyn Half T-Shirts

Just picked up my shirt. Good news, it's a tech shirt. Bad news (and this is debatable): it's kind of a light orange.

Hey, at least the sun is out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Night Speed Series at Icahn

It's easy to miss (not posted on the front page), but NYRR has its annual speed series at Icahn track for folk who want to hone their speed.

It's too late for tonight's race, though there are dates on May 31, June 14 and June 28, with events ranging from 400m to 5000m as well as relays. Different events are held on different dates, and you can run more than once for $10 for each meet.

Portugal Run Closed

For those planning the Father's Day race (now the Portugal Run), NYRR has posting on its website that it's now closed.

I'm still hoping I get a Portugal Day card from my kids ...

Brooklyn Half Weather

The sun is out now (I swear, I saw it for a brief moment), a brief respite the misting, spitting, drizzling, pelting, pouring rain we've had over the past couple of days (and more on the way it seems through Friday).

(Of course now it seems all the water fountains are on!)

I had early hopes of temps in the 50s for the 7 a.m. start of Saturday's Brooklyn Half, only to be dashed by NY1. And a check at indicates this is the current forecast:

High of 71, low of 59, possible thundershowers.

For the heat-misers among us, rejoice. I'm suspecting it's going to be a sweaty, humid mess (like it was this AM ugh). It may be dry, which is a good thing. And keep in mind, if you know the shoes that you're going to race in, keep them dry - the last thing you want is to head to the starting line with shoes still damp from Thursday's run.

Friday, May 13, 2011

PPTC 5K Race Series

What's not to like about this annual race series?

*5Ks every other Wednesday in the park.

*Low-key, yet intense competition.

*Great opportunity to get medals in your age group.

*Wonderful chance to work in some tempo runs into your long-distance training.

Here are the dates:

May 25
June 8
June 22
July 6
July 20
Aug. 3
Aug. 17 ****(site says Aug. 18, but because it's supposedly on a Wednesday ...)

Each race starts/finishes by the Oriental Pavilion (on the zoo side of the park) around 7 p.m. (a bit later usually because PPTC waits for the cars to clear the park.)

Quick Look at Races This Weekend

Complete list here of area races. Some comments/highlights below:

Healthy Kidney
(tomorrow) has closed, so don't plan on getting in on race-day entries. Race start at 8 a.m. for those who did get entries. Expect it to be packed - last year's race had 7,839 finishers.

Buckley's to Kennedy's 5K on Sunday always get's a large local contingent up in Queens.

Millrose Games at the Armory?

Interesting article in the NYTimes yesterday about the Millrose Games possibly moving to the Armory.

Obviously, since the Armory seats 4,000, you're going to see a lot of demand for those seats (last year's games had 7,000, making MSG look barren). And that kind of atmosphere - completely sold out track meet - will be intense.

Yet there's going to be something lost there. It's sad also that USATF may pull funding if the move occurs.

I'm from a generation that would watch Millrose on PBS TV growing up, and I've managed to catch it live once while here in NYC. It's a great meet, yet I understand when change has to happen. Hope it works out.

Catching Up

Wow, I am lame. Brooklyn Half in eight days, tons of races both behind us and ahead of us. Not even an injury to excuse me (OK, yes I tweaked my knee the other day, though that's part for the course.). Lot of stuff to cover, lot of things to talk about.

Let's go.

Friday, May 6, 2011

NYRR Race Update

Few things if you haven't already seen on the NYRR website:

*Japan Day race is now 8:30 a.m.
*Health Kidney race May 14 is almost closed
*Wall Street run May 17 is closed, as is the NYRR Mini 10K in June
*There's a new 10K, Boomer's Cystic Fibrosis, on July 9
*July, August, September races are open for registration. Shockingly enuf, the Queens and Bronx halfs aren't filling up as quickly as Brooklyn (I'd like to think has to do with borough pride, though the heat might have something to do with it.

Brooklyn Half Course Map Posted

No real surprises here: the course starts on Wellhouse Drive (the "lower" transverse if you're coming from Grand Army Plaza), does two-plus loops before heading out along Ocean Parkway and finishing up on the boardwalk.

Phew. The comment earlier and the lack of a course map had me a tiny bit worried. (After all, how many race dates has this race had, and different tweaks of the courses?)

Bring on the great weather, btw: 70 degree days will be the norm for a while, which indicates that we're probably on for a slightly warmer day when the race comes around, even with the 7 a.m. start.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Sunday Evening

Having completed a run over the Brooklyn Half Marathon course earlier today, my dislike for the Ocean Parkway segment continues. Blech. But it is what it is, and it's refreshing to know that my ability to read the alphabet is still there (look, there's Avenue M ... Avenue N ...)

*If you did get one of the coveted slots (there's an offer for a number on Craig's List to buy one for $25 - not endorsing, just saying), make sure you're taking the time to go over the two parts of the course. Running Zoo Hill twice isn't a picnic.

*One of the highlights of the run today was being able to do it with two complete strangers (brought together by organized happenstance). The conversation flowed well, and it's always great to meet people who have the potential to be running friends.

*Gotta say, after watching the NYC 5-boro bike tour, I'm plotting how to run on the BQE.

*What's up with the water fountains in Prospect Park? Finally the ones on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade got turned on, but some of the oldies but goodies at PP (including the one in the woods by the GAP pathway) are nowhere in site. Even the ones by the lake are sporadic - some on, some off.

*We're hip-deep into spring racing season, and there's a ton of stuff out there. One race coming up next weekend is a hidden gem - the Newport 10K in Jersey City. Fast, flat course, easy to get to, and it doesn't consist of a loop in Central Park.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

NYC Marathon Benefits ... How Local Runners Are Affected

Catching up on a few things, but wanted to comment on this article in the NYTimes the other day on how the NYC Marathon benefits the city.

*Runners from overseas spend $2,647 per person and stay 5.7 days on average
*Runners from elsewhere in the United States but outside New York — an additional 20 percent of the participants — spend $1,585 on average and bring 3.8 guests with them.

Looking at those stats: If you live in NYC, don't bet on the lottery to get in the marathon. Run the 9+1 program. Unless you're willing to fund-raise, run really fast, or pay megabucks, odds are you won't get in otherwise.

High School X/C Runners, Watch This

It's a Katy Perry knockoff, though captures the angst that I had (and I think my teammates) during X/C - in a hilarious way.

PTA 5K in Prospect Park April 30

Now that the temperatures are pushing past 70 degrees (oh the heat, oh the humidity), it's time for 5K season in Prospect Park. A few have already been run this year - get set for the onslaught.

This weekend, the Brooklyn PTA 5K takes centerstage to raise money for Brooklyn schools. Details are at NYCRuns.

Lots of other races, this weekend, including the Bronx Zoo 5K and the High Rock Challenge out on Staten Island. Check out the list here. And good luck everyone running marathons and halfs in New Jersey and Long Island - hope the heat holds off.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NYC Lottery Results Out Today

So far, among my friends and colleagues, I'm seeing a lot of "We're sorry XXXX, you have not been selected."

Friday, April 22, 2011

When Not to Race

At the beginning of each week, I tend to map out my planned mileage and workouts. In some ways, this is folly, since my work schedule fluctuates, my kids don't always fit my schedule - in short, it's pretty much what most runners with families who work face.

The additional challenge, however, is running the planned workout *on that planned day.* And this discipline, I admit, is problematic. Because what happens it that an easy day turns into a hard day (or vice versa).

Group runs (which are great, and if you don't have a group you're running with, I urge you to find one), are great at setting this discipline ... most of the time. I had to laugh when I got an invite to run with a friend at a much slower pace than he usually goes out on.

As for single runs: if I'm not training for anything specific, I tend to run at the pace I feel like. Some days fast, some days slow. My legs let me know what's going to happen.

(Bear with me, there is a point coming)

And then there's today - a planned easy run up to Prospect Park and then an easy loop, prepping for a longer run tomorrow (even with the expected rain). My run up to the park was bit more brisk than I wanted, but no worries - it felt fine. It was in the park that it got a bit dicey. I was passing another runner, when she suddenly sped up and surged past me. She slowed down a bit, I passed her again, and then she surged forward again.

This happened for 1 1/2 miles before I finally passed her for good. But the problem here was less to do with the "competition" that can occur when doing a loop in the Park and you pass someone/are passed by someone is that my pace suddenly accelerated by 30-40 seconds a mile. To be sure, there are times when it's fun to do this. Today wasn't supposed to be one of them. And while I'm pleased with the overall results (it gives me a better sense of my fitness 4 weeks into the Brooklyn Half), I've also muddled my planned training for the weekend.

In the larger scheme of things, there are worse things that can happen. My long day tomorrow will be a short/easy day and I'll find time on Easter Sunday somewhere for the long run. If you're running only 4 or 5 times a week, make sure you're doing the workouts that you should be doing. Making an easy day a hard day can be problematic.

One way to avoid (something I referred to a few weeks back): Take a time check at known measured distances to see how you're doing. Prospect Park, with the 1/4 mile marks for the PPTC 5K race is great at doing this. It's also how I knew that I was running a lot faster than I should be (yeah, I should have slowed).

Some unsolicited advice as you get prepped for your spring races. A bunch of Brooklyn folk are running either New Jersey or Long Island (half or full marathons) next weekend; make sure you're not running hard this week, even though it will feel relatively easy as you complete your taper.

JackRabbit Running Show This Weekend

For those of you sticking around NYC for the holiday weekend, note the JackRabbit show at the Metro Pavilion in Manhattan.

Several local clubs will have a presence there, including Brooklyn Triathlon, North Brooklyn Runners and Prospect Park Track Club.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lessons Learned

One would think that, having run in Brooklyn for umpteen years, I'd have learned a few lessons. Obviously, I had forgotten the following:

*One does not run on the Brooklyn Bridge on a gorgeous weekday evening on a holiday week. Never. ever.

*When one runs past someone with a dog, always keep the owner in between you and the not-always-so-friendly-likely-to-bark/lunge-at you-canine.

Cardinal rules. Violated both tonight. I'll remember this. On the plus side, got in an ~8 mile run at a respectable pace (except for the Brooklyn Bridge). So life isn't too bad.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PRs Tumble at Boston

All I can say is that I want to run a marathon with a 20-mph tailwind. (Get over the net downhill course, marathon-record critics - Boston is punishing).

WOW. Awesome times.

The searchable database is here. Some top Brooklyn results:

NBR's Danny Mazzuchin was the boro's top finisher, crushing the race with a 2:48:45. Top female honors go to Kir Selert, who blazed to a 3:01:55.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

JFK Runway Blog Comments

Since I was totally late in blogging about this, wanted to offer up a few comments on the JFK Runway Run from some fellow bloggers, who did a much, much better job in capturing what happened, and the adventures getting there.

From Bridges Runner:

"Heading for home there’s tar or something to that effect that’s sticking to my shoes! Great, needed that for the final portion..."

From To Badwater: (includes comments about the top female)

"The driver thought it was a little funny that we were asking to be dropped off at "Building 14" and not at the terminal, but we explained that it was for a race. He just shook his head at that. I can imagine him thinking, Crazy runners. He might be right."

Weekend Races: Brooklyn Bun

I should note, there's plenty close to home if you want to get out on the roads and crank out a few fast miles. (Since I'm typing this on Saturday AM, I'm going to skip to the Sunday races, but if you're reading this right now, click thru and scroll down to see what you can do at the last minute.)

Close to home, there's a biathlon in Prospect Park on Sunday called the Brooklyn Bun. Ride 20K, race 5K (and they've got a pretty cool logo, that I've hopefully embedded correctly above.). There's also the Bronx Biathlon in Orchard Park.

*Head up to Queens and run the Alley Pond 5-Mile on Sunday

*City Park Foundation 4 Mile Race in Central Park (NYRR) still has spots open on Sunday, and there are kids races there as well.

Running and Travel

The good thing about traveling is that it gets you exposed to all kinds of different ideas and places, especially new running routes (even if blogging gets dumped to the wayside for a short time).

Let's focus on the positive parts though -and it's apropos, considering it's marathon weekends in Boston and London. More than 100 Brooklyn runners in Boston, and I expect to see a fair NYC turnout in the UK.

*When I travel, I run. Mapmyrun or Gmaps Pedometer is a great way of figuring out routes from where you are staying. And on Mapmyrun, you can see what other folk have done in the past.

*Take the unexpected path, even if you don't expect to. When I run in new routes for the first time, I invariably get temporarily lost. Or I have no idea where I'm going. That's the fun of it. Don't be afraid to ask. Again, that's part of the fun. And tacking on an additional 5-15 minutes to your run isn't going to ruin your training - just run slower, or even take walking breaks.

*Find a destination race, and plan a trip around it. is a great place to start.

*Plan a trip, and find a run to fit your needs. For example, I'm up in the Boston area a lot, so use New England Runner and Cool Running to plot out some ideas (these are both great for the Northeast, I might add.)

*Look up a running group online from the area, and send a quick e-mail to see if you can join them on one of their weekly runs. I did this up in the Boston area a few years back since I wanted to go long and I wanted company, and enjoyed a wonderful 16-mile loop on Heartbreak Hill into Wellesley (and back).

Good luck everyone racing this weekend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

JFK Runway Run Results?

Work has got me out of town, not always near a computer so I can blog, so I missed some great races this past weekend.

Helen Dole of PPTC was top finisher in the JFK Runway Run - that's about it, since I can't find a link to the results and the main website isn't connecting. So I'll try to update that as soon as I'm back. If anyone has a link, please forward so I can post.

Marathon fever, with London and Boston this weekend (among a slew of local and regional races).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Race Results From Last Weekend

At least three races over the weekend garnered a healthy amount of Brooklyn runners:

*13.1 over in Queens

*More Half Marathon

*Urban Environmental Challenge

Some beautiful temperatures out there - I was lucky enough to be out in Van Cortlandt Park on Sunday for the 10K trail race, and it was a blast.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Great Trail Race Sunday in VC

The annual Urban Environmental Challenge is this Sunday at 10 a.m. in Van Cortlandt - always a challenging race. For a change, the weather conditions seem perfect (unlike the near hurricane it was run in a few years back). Online entries for this 10K race still available.

For those looking for other like-minded trail runners, check out the New York Trail & Ultrarunning Meetup page.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday Evening

Is it me? No, it's not just me.

There's definitely some running excitement in the air.

I love this time of year, where we're on the cusp of shedding the cooler temperatures (I think I'm done with the tights, finally), and the prospect of singlets and shorts weather beckons.

I love going out for an early morning run and passing people of all shapes and sizes and speeds, some gearing up for their Boston Marathon blast, others just looking to shed some pounds (or give their dog a workout). On those runs, I don't *know* anyone, but I know them, such as the solitary runner on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade at 5:30 a.m., or the woman who runs in the Heights or on the Brooklyn Bridge in a long skirt.

I love the fact that running gives you a concrete goal. For some, it's simply to finish a race and a distance they've never done. For others, it's finishing a 8 x 400 with each one in 70 seconds or better. (Next stop, 16 x 400).

I was at Red Hook Track earlier this evening, desperately trying to reteach my legs how to run fast (it's always worse after I'm coming off an injury. I had a chance to watch some runners from Clara Barton High churning out some 400s, 200s, sprints - and it was pretty awesome.

That's why I run. And ice.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NBR Runners Take 2nd in Colon Cancer Races

In the 15K, John Paul Montes blazed to a 51:42, good enough for second place overall. Full results here. And results here for the 4 mile race, where James Chu ran a 22:01, also capturing second. Congrats!

Red Hook Park (and Track) May Get Spiffed Up

This article in the Brooklyn Paper over the weekend focuses on the changes to artificial turf (from grass) and school playing rights, though buried in the third paragraph:

"Xavier will also replace the field’s surrounding track — paving the way for the school’s runners to work out there, too."

The lights and bleachers may be upgraded as well. No idea on timing, or whether this is a done deal, though something to keep an eye on. While it's a far cry from Icahn Stadium, it'd be great if there were some widespread community meets that attracted the best in Brooklyn.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Running Along the Waterfront

Sometimes you don't want to deal with any hills, yet get some miles in.

That was my thinking this AM as I did a very flat 6-miler, starting from the Promenade and heading north, then reversing direction and running out to Red Hook via Henry Street. Then back along Columbia (dodging the Battery Tunnel entrance), along the pathways that make up Brooklyn Bridge Park.

A few nice things about this run:
*It's flat (did I mention that?)
*You can cut it short in numerous ways (or go longer, obviously)
*There are also places you can do "time checks" and figure out your pace: For example: It goes right past the Red Hook Track (I did two laps there just to get my pace under control), there's a section between Pier 6 and Pier 1 that looks to be about 1/2 mile, and then there's the Promenade, which is about 1/3 mile.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Brooklyn Half: Two Months To Go

A bit less than nine weeks from now, the Brooklyn Half is on the horizon - getting psyched?

If you didn't get stoked from watching any of today's NYC Half, whether it's from screaming at the front runners or cheering on comrades from your local group runs ... well, check this out and get in the mood.

Some strongly worded suggestions:

*Get those loops of Prospect Park in, and own those hills
*Make sure your training plan is up to date and you're on track: The weather now is delightful, so no more of those "it's cold and wet and wintry outside." C'mon, it was in the 70s on Friday.
*Get signed up for those target races (note the Scotland Run 10K is almost full, so move quickly).
*Address those nagging injuries. If you have to be derailed and take some time off to heal, do it now, not in early May

Eddie Owens: 1:07:34

So, it was pretty awesome being able to scope out some of the world's top distance talent (at least, those who weren't running in Spain today). Watching Galen Rupp battle it out with Mo Farah near the 13 mile point was cool, and watching Meb, Ryan and Kara come in after was also special (even if they weren't in the front). Be interesting to see the take on how people thought they performed.

The thing that bowled me over: Some guy started screaming "Go Eddie, go Eddie" with about 0.1K to go, and I saw this guy who kind of looked like Eddie Owens sprinting past. Sure enough, it was. He finished 37th.

Wow. (Actually, what I said isn't printable, since I was completely bowled over).

(Eddie was the first Brooklyn finisher, BTW, nudging out Jorge E. Real, who's a common borough winner.).

On the women's side, Kelly Chin finished in a whopping 1:19:17, good enough for 27th overall.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

NYC Half vs World X/C

Meb, Adbi, Ryan, Galen ... they are all here.

Meanwhile, there's this thing called the WORLD Cross Country Championships that's being run tomorrow as well. (Cross country continues to get no love, sigh).

Thankfully, Shalene, Lewy Boulet and Huddle are out there to represent the women (and it should be noted that Kara Goucher, one of the headliners for the NYC Half, ran the U.S. championships earlier as part of her comeback from the birth of her first child last year).

For those interested, has a ton of stuff on tomorrow's race.

NYC Half Tomorrow

And it's probably going to be a cool race, especially with the talent that's supposed to show - including Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher. Men profiles and women profiles here.

You don't have to give up your Sunday run to watch either - head over one of the bridges and aim to get to the finish at West Street (just north of Chambers Street.) by 8:15. The weather should be awesome.

Meanwhile, don't forget to track your favorite runners, info is here on how to do it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Ahh, rough couple of weeks, between work and battling some injuries (I find I don't post as much when I'm hurt, probably because I'm trying to tune out the fact that I can't run like I want to.)

That said, will get some posts out over the next few days, especially important given that the all-important Brooklyn Half is a bit more than 2 months away.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Guaranteed Entry E-Mails for NY Marathon

They went out today (or at least, I got mine). Reminder, if you're going to race this year, sign up by April 19. NYRR also gives you a helpful option by which you can shell out the money for this year's race, cancel, and keep your guaranteed entry for another year.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Coogan's Results Posted

Rain didn't stop more than 5,000 people from showing up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Heading to Boston and Not Running the Marathon?

Sign up tomorrow for the BAA 5K, held Sunday of Marathon weekend.

Entries are limited to 5,000 - I suspect that you won't see a lot of local entries, but a ton of national entries as "running tourists" (I'm one this year) converge.

It won't close out as fast as the marathon, but will probably get filled quickly. Entries start at 10 a.m. The course is relatively flat (there's one short, steep hill).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Al Gordon Photos

Here's a nice pensive shot of PPTC's Mike Koenig (in the background) plotting his race strategy. Koenig blazed to a 23:59 in Prospect Park yesterday. This from the NYRR Web site. Other photos here.

South Brooklyn Running Club

A (relatively) new running club has formed, located in the Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens area (though like other clubs, it's obviously taking members not in the geographic area).

Take a look! One of the teams they formed in last week's Cherry Tree finished third (if not faster).

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Al Gordon Results Posted

here. Nearly 4,000 finishers in the third of the February Prospect Park "series." Hope you were able to run at least one of them, if not all three.

This isn't a team points race, though worth noting that Prospect Park Track Club's men's team finished first (73 overall finishers), women's team finished third. North Brooklyn Runners women finished third (33 overall finishers).

For those who pay attention, we'll get a better sense of overall strength when the first team points race of the season takes place at Coogan's next weekend.

NYT Investigates Running in Williamsburg

Umm ... I think folk from North Brooklyn Runners probably have things to say about this article, particularly these paragraphs:

"Among the first things I noticed when I started running was how few other runners I saw. That’s probably because of how cold it is, how dark it is (I often run at night) and how much ice and snow mar the route. But it may also have something to do with Williamsburg being the ZIP code of choice for hipsters these days. Whatever else running may be, hip it is not.

Which ultimately could be one reason I like it so much. Of course it’s also possible that I’m simply hooked, or maybe even addicted to suffering (see: 12-degree days), no matter where running falls on the axis of cool."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Al Gordon Still Has Spots Open

Unlike other fast-closing NYRR races, the Al Gordon 4 miler tomorrow still has spots open for registration.

Sign up info is here:

Registration is on race day is at P.S. 154, on Windsor Place and 11th Ave. until 7:30 a.m.; race starts at 8 a.m.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cherry Tree Results Available

You can see them here. There may be tweaks.

Quick Thoughts From Cherry Tree

Wouldn't it have been nice to run this morning's race in 60 degree temperatures?

Ahh, last week's flirtation with spring was dashed as a new cold front moved in, complete with a frigid, slashing wind that seemed to blow in random directions (usually as you moved up Zoo Hill). Still, around 1300 people were out in Prospect Park - maybe 1000 doing the 10-mile race and the others doing the relay. (Numbers approximate until the results are posted).

People generally seemed in good spirits, and there was plenty of cheering as the relays went off and circled back to the starting point. Will follow with more details, links to other coverage and results as they become available.

Hats off (or should I say, headwarmers off - that was the goody) to the PPTC and the volunteers who braved the cold for their usual fine jobs!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Boston Marathon Q Times for 2013

The BAA Web site is crashing, so hard to see it, but the high points:

*Rolling entries for 2012 based on fastest qualifiers. First entries on Sept. 12.

*Five minutes cut for all qualifying times for 2013 for both ages, all genders. - is the main site

Boston Globe article is here:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cherry Tree Update/Yesterday's 5K

The Cherry Tree has more than 1,000 applicants so far, with a race cap of 1,400, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the race will sell out this week. Online applications are still viable thru Feb. 16, as well as more details here.

One highlight: the race is sponsoring a used clothing drive, with T-shirts and shoes going to the youth in Belize, so bring your stuff (and get rid of all those NYRR cotton T-shirts you never wear!)

I haven't seen results from Sunday's 5K in the park - if anyone has a link to results, please forward and I'll post.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's 5K

Well, it's actually on Feb. 13 - a reminder of the first of three Prospect Park races this month. The race starts at 10 a.m.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Race Fees and Meb

This article in the New York Times was being passed around the office today as folk got a chance to face the bleak reality of race budgets. Police budgets are being squeezed, they may have to charge full freight, and that's going to mean higher race fees and/or more races being run in Central and Prospect parks.

Somewhat embedded in the article is the sense that we won't see the fees increase tremendously in 2011 - but 2012 could be brutal.

Contrast this with the commentary on Let's Run about Meb and the Boston Marathon (he didn't get offered a slot in Boston, with the obvious speculation that it's about the race fee that he might command.). If Boston paid him $100,000 appearance fee (I should say, I have no idea if this is close), where would it come from? Higher race fees? His blog is linked here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Brooklyn Half Still Open

The race is *still* open, despite being near capacity for the past 24 hours. NYRR site says it will likely close today, so stragglers still have a chance.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Brooklyn Half "Nearing Capacity"

This according to a tweet from NYRR's Mary Wittenberg.  I'd bet at this point, it closes out today, given that there will be a ton of people who register this evening when they get home from work.

Registration Open for Brooklyn Half

It opened about 10 minutes late. Some reporting problems with the site recognizing whether they are a member or not, though the applications are going through, it seems.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

If You Get One Thing From This Blog ...

And I'm talking just *one* thing ...

Be ready for the Brooklyn Half signup at noon tomorrow (Monday).

Why will it fill up faster than any other race on the NYRR calendar that's open to first-come, first-serve entries?

*It's been deemed a club points race, and NYRR specifically sent a note out to clubs alerting them to the need to sign up early.
*It's part of the "run 4 of 5 halfs, get an entry to 2012 NYC Half"
*Too many Brooklyn residents got hosed last year because they waited too long; those who remember, won't forget this year
*It's a great half.

I'm assuming the NYRR servers can handle the influx of entries that will hit at noon; if not, expect to see a ton of angry Facebook messages (the messages will most certainly come later after the Brooklyn Half closes out.)

Last year's race had 7015 finishers; expect a cap somewhere around there this year as well (though we won't know until much later).

I don't think it's outside the realm of possibilities for Brooklyn to be filled tomorrow. I'd be shocked if it doesn't close this week.

Sign up *tomorrow* or get a friend to do it for you.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Brooklyn Half Registration Opens Feb. 7 at Noon

Actually, it opens for all April-June races. Make sure you're near a computer that afternoon.

Brooklyn Half Registration Nears

While it's not directly linkable, and you can't apply online yet, it looks like the application is close to ready.

Check out:

I should stress - you can't apply online yet - those links don't seem to be working. But it gives you an idea of what's coming.

Of note: The course looks more or less the same. It also looks like the race registration is first-come, first-serve. And the race starts at 7 a.m.

Note the link above was working at around noon, so if it's been taken down or modified, apologies.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trail Training in Brooklyn? Where Should One Go?

Got this note from a reader - opening it up for any comments:

"Came across your blog while researching training for the upcoming Leatherman's Loop. I'm running it this year and am trying to find local trails to train on. I know there are some on Staten Island but do you know of any place to train in Brooklyn?"

My response in part: I've jury-rigged stuff in Prospect Park, though ultimately it's not close to the kind of training you need to do for trail races. So, head to Westchester County/Bear Mountain. Van Cortlandt is great as well. Also consider parts of the Greenbelt Trail in Long Island. Other places?

Empire State Building Results

Ryan Jorgensen ran, stumbled, climbed, gasped, and then sprinted into 27 degree temperatures at the top of the building in 13:08, garnering the top Brooklyn male honor. Among women, Emily Kindlon finished in 15:06. Results are here.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Brooklyn Half: Some Answers

*Yes, the Brooklyn Half is Saturday, May 21, at 7 a.m. After all the waiting, this isn't much of a surprise. But with this race, no surprises are a good thing.

*No, despite some confusion caused by NYRR, which initially posted the race with the double red asterisk, the race is *not* closed. Hasn't even opened yet.

*Soon, is when NYRR has said the application for the race will be posted (several other April and May races also don't have race applications yet, so this isn't a huge surprise.)

*Hours? Days? A couple of weeks? Not sure what the over/under is for how quickly Brooklyn will close out once the application is posted. It will close out for sure, and probably will close out quickly. Not only do you have the rabid Brooklyn running community (many of whom were closed out last year), you also have the new motivation (run 4 of 5 halfs to gain entry to the NYC Half in 2012).

And of course, it's always cool to be out on the boardwalk in late May, especially if you get a wonderful day.

*16 weeks (minus a couple of days) is the training plan you want to start looking at if you're serious about running Brooklyn. Start gradually increasing both the weekly miles as well as the long runs. Especially with the snow and ice, training in Prospect Park isn't a bad plan, given that the first half of the race is there. And if you're already able to run 13 now, think about ways you can get faster - mix in tempo runs, fartleks and some training on Zoo Hill (or your hill of choice).

Brooklyn Half Is Now Listed for May 21

No details, or application (and it helpfully indicates that the race is closed already, which it obviously isn't). It actually looks like a cut-and-paste job from last year - Continental isn't still a sponsor, is it?

Anyway, here's the date: May 21.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Think It's Cold Here?

Check this out. And no whining about the road conditions.

Run Three in Brooklyn in February

While running endless loops in Prospect Park today, I was told by one of my friends that she doesn't like leaving Brooklyn for races (she does, of course, but I agree - the early morning adventures on the subway are just another added stress.

Thankfully, we can put three (and there may be more) races on the calendar for February. The one downside is that they are all in Prospect Park, where many of us are finding solace after the storms.

*Valentine's Day 5K, Feb. 13 (Brooklyn Road Runners)

*Cherry Tree 10-Mile/Relay, Feb. 20 (Prospect Park Track Club)

*Al Gordon 4 Mile Race, Feb. 26 (NYRR)

And if you don't run - I guarantee all three are looking for volunteers!

No prize for running all three, but I bet you see a lot of the same people out there.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Odds for NYC Marathon Entry

NYRR has disclosed some data about how tough it is to get into the marathon on a non-guaranteed entry

Reminder: If you're seeking to do the 9+1 route in 2012, you *must* be a NYRR member as of Jan. 31. Otherwise, won't happen.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Millrose Games Tomorrow

For those looking for a fun Friday night activity, the Millrose Games are tomorrow

Tickets start at $15 and are still available.

Snow Update

Wow, that was a pleasant surprise (or not, depending on what you think about a 15-inch snowdrift sitting at your front door).

Sidewalks seem more or less runnable (though the street corners and slush puddles are lurking). If you can get there, Prospect Park is clear (though it will probably ice up tonight). Small path on the Promenade, suitable for running if you're the only one out there. Haven't been up to the bridges, so don't know whether skiing or running is the way to go.

Now where are my snowshoes ...

P.S. Still no word on the Brooklyn Half

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is Brooklyn Half on May 21?

There's an e-mail circulating around that lists the 2011 Club Points races (that in itself is not surprising since there was a NYRR Club Council meeting on Wednesday). That list as of this morning had not been posted on the NYRR site.

What is surprising: It lists the Brooklyn Half on May 21.

Please note, this is totally unconfirmed - this may be a placeholder date, though it's the same weekend as it was last year (and makes sense based on the calendar). Was anyone at the Club Council that can confirm this and put this in perspective?

Take it with a grain of salt for a few reasons:

a) Even if the list is genuine, until NYRR posts the race (and even after the fact), that date's not set in stone. We've seen it move before, we'll see it move again.

b) Perhaps more interesting: If the Brooklyn Half is a club points race, then there's got to be some plan in place to handle the entries when the race opens. Too many people got closed out last year by surprise, which means there will be an initial upsurge when the race opens. Brooklyn won't close out as fast as Boston, but look for it to close out relatively quickly unless handled correctly.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Packer's Eddie Owens Wins Manhattan Half!

He's one of the top prep runners in the country, and dropped down to mix it up with the adults with a 1:10:25 half. More analysis/results in a bit.

Races for Your Marathon Training Calendar

This weekend marks the 12 week countdown to Boston, 14 weeks to New Jersey/Long Island, 15 weeks for the North Face/Long Island endurance trail races (fill in the blank for your own target race).

There's a lot of training still to be done, though one thing that can be done is running "target" races that help to determine where you're at.

Here's a list of local races that may help. Use them for training and/or racing, or simply make them your own target race. Especially with the halfs, you can use them as a base for a 20-22 mile run. The Brooklyn Half remains a possibility before May 1, though the longer there's no confirmed date, the more it seems likely to be after prime spring-marathon season.

One key to this: Set your goals for these races beforehand, and stick to that goal. If you're planning to make it a targeted training run, don't race it. I've also tried to pick some races that are outside of the city: Don't get hung up running loops in Central or Prospect parks - there's a whole world out there!

Plenty of other shorter races in the area exist for those who want to run a 5K/4 miler; check out a calendar here and here (scroll down). BTW, a tip of the hat to the PPTC calendar guru, who compiled these on his much more extensive list.

*Prospect Park Cherry Tree, Feb. 20: This can either be a 10-mile race, or join as part of a relay team (and run two legs hard).

*Caumsett Park 25K/50K, March 6: I'm thinking the shorter race is more appropriate here. Run 5K loops in the park for 15.5 miles. Or run an additional couple of loops to make it almost 22.

*NJRR Half Marathon/Relay, March 13: Take a stroll over to Asbury Park, and run on the four-loop course.

*Celebrate Life Half Marathon, March 13: Should you fancy a ride upstate, this race on the rolling hills of Sullivan County might be more your cup of tea (especially for those of you who are running Boston, and would get some elevation into your race).

*Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon, March 26: How can you pass up an opportunity to run in the land of the Headless Horseman (or perhaps more apt, run from)? One note of caution: This is the first running, so don't be surprised if there are some glitches.

*13.1 Marathon New York (in Queens), April 2: A rare non-NYRR half marathon within the city's boundaries (look, they can be done!). Quick quiz: Click through to the course map, and try to figure out if it has more or less turns than the NYRR version later this year.

*VCTC Urban Environmental Trail Challenge (10K), April 3: Not your typical 10K, this is run on the grass and trails of Van Cortlandt. As an added bonus: the conditions can make this one of the most challenging races of the year (try it in a driving rainstorm!)

*Hudson Valley 15K, April 9: This course has hills! The race is a little late for Boston for anything more than a training run, though this marks a nice challenge for those running a later spring race.

Other suggestions welcome. Good luck training, and stay warm!