Saturday, November 24, 2012
A couple of dates to note:
*Jan. 5: Joe Kleineman 10K (Central Park)
*Jan 27: Manhattan Half (Central Park)
*Feb. 23: Al Gordon 4-Mile (Prospect Park)
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012
Above is the statement on the NYRR site. Mixed feelings here after the demise of the 2012 NYC Marathon, though I think they made the right decision in the end. Not going to rehash the reasons to do so pro/con, though if you want a sampling, head to the NYRR Facebook page. I will say that at work today (involving non-runners and casual runners), the majority opinion was that the race shouldn't be held this weekend. A lot of potential tipping points - the coverage of the Staten Island children who died? New York Post coverage (hugely against the race). Who knows.
So what's next? Going to be interesting. Much of the revenue and expenses NYRR has involving the race are so-called sunk costs. Money has been spent by runners to get here, pay NYRR; in turn, NYRR has shelled out a fair amount in race preparation. While I'm sure there's insurance involved in the event of some calamity such as this, I wonder how much it will cover. I also wonder what this means for the 2013 local races put on by NYRR - will there be any change in cost? What about the national TV contract?
As much as I think some runners are disappointed and frustrated from the decision, others are fine with it. A number of my friends and colleagues were conflicted by the race, whether they were planning to run or volunteering. I have no direct skin in this game, though was facing potentially similar issues earlier this year with Boston with the heat - do they cancel? Should I defer?
One suggestion for NYRR as they deal with the fallout (because there will be significant from both sides - the ones who wanted the race to be run, the ones who didn't and wondered why it took so long): Be open and honest with your thought process, and discuss how the organization wants to move forward. There are huge schisms in the New York running community when it comes to NYRR and its focus, whether it should be local or national.
Today's process was a bit ugly, but it also can be used to help move things ahead. We run. We discuss. We debate. We forgive. We heal. How?
Thursday, November 1, 2012
The arguments for:
*Generates lots of money for the city
*Would provide a ray of hope at a time the city is in need
*The city infrastructure will be fixed (more or less) by Saturday, meaning that Sunday's race would cause undue hardship
*Much of the course goes through areas relatively unaffected by the storm
The arguments against:
*Drive through lower Manhattan right now
*Police, fire, safety officials would be pulled away from the people in need
*The city shuts down for the marathon; it's already shut down now in many places
*Transportation issues will make it difficult Sunday for many people to reach the start
I'm boiling down a bunch of the main arguments into bullet points, so forgive me for missing the nuances. And there may be others.
Here's another question: If you were planning to run Sunday, but believe the race should be canceled, will you run? Will you defer?
The runner-grandiose part of me says yes, let's have the race. We can persevere. We can overcome. I ran home from mid-town on Wednesday and thought - yeah, the race can do it.
The realistic part of me just took a bus home through lower Manhattan. I'm a lot less sure of it now. At a time where people don't have basic necessities (working toilets, water, food), the city should put all its efforts into helping them, rather than staging a race. There are other years, other times. *It's just a race.* There are National Guard on the streets distributing food and water. Geez.
Some other coverage:
*New York Times: Marathon Presses on as Backlash Builds
*Runners World: NYRR unveils recovery fund, promises transit info
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Then from the Promenade, I was watching down in the Brooklyn Bridge Park area and seeing mini-sandstorms attack runners as they headed north.
Frankenstorm hasn't even started, and we're already seeing the effects. In general, runners tend to think differently than others (why else would we voluntarily put ourselves through the pain and anguish of training for, and completing, a marathon ... and then do it again!) At the same time, this is the time to be thinking smart.
Parks are shutting down the afternoon - and be smart about this. Yes it might be fun to go running in Prospect Park tomorrow morning. It's also likely to be extremely dangerous.
Running on the Brooklyn streets, even where there aren't a lot of trees also face additional peril from construction (I'm reminded of the death near Kane and Clinton streets during a recent storm - that's right along one of my running routes).
We've seen some amazing weather in Brooklyn at various times. Now's the time to stay safe.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Saturday, September 1, 2012
As I write this, 64 days until the New York City Marathon (which means you still have plenty of time to figure out how to get your baggage to the finish line in Central Park.) I wonder if Meb and Ryan are having this problem ... :-)
Lot of good races kicking around this month, including the following:
*Roosevelt Island 5K and 10K on Sept. 3
*NYRR Bronx 10-Mile on Sept. 9 (sorry, no half this year)
*Fitness Mind & Body 4-Mile (Central Park) on Sept. 15
*Yonkers Marathon/Half Marathon on Sept. 16 (hilly and challenging)
*Fifth Avenue Mile on Sept. 22
*Newport Liberty Half on Sept. 23 (great, fast, flat half marathon, reachable on the Path train)
*Music That Heals 5K (Prospect Park) on Sept. 30
*Henry Isola X-Country (Van Cortlandt) on Sept. 30 (not sold out despite what NYYR Website says)
A full race calendar is here at NYCRuns
And, for those of you with Boston Marathon 2013 on your mind, the rolling entries start on Sept. 10
Hope everyone has a great weekend and can take advantage of the "extra" day to get in a second long run!
Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
- The Marathon Finish Line Poncho, a water-repellent, hooded, and fleece-lined garment to be handed out to every finisher
- Establishing NYRR "Call Home" stations at the start and post-finish so runners can communicate with friends and family
- A new and improved Family Reunion area near the runner exit
- Increasing the number of wave starts from three to four to reduce runner density along the course and at the finish line.
The ostensible reason is to ease post-race congestion in Central Park. But ... you've got to be kidding me.
*If you're traveling from out of town, now you're going to bring clothes specifically to throw away at the start of the race
*And you have to have clothes - Staten Island can be cold/rainy and you're sitting around for hours already
*What about those of us who like a little music to pre-psych up your running muscles? Now you have run with it.
*Umm, was the weekend before last year's race that NYC was hit by a freak snowstorm?
*Keys? Train passes? Money?
The Facebook posts are hilarious at this point (and mostly bitter), though there are a few supporters:
One of the worst ideas ever. A lot of the runners doesn't came from Manhattan and they have to return without opportunity to change shoes or clothes.
RIDICULOUS! I am supposed to finish 26.2 then get on the train back to Jersey freezing my butt off? This is what I waited 3 years for?
LOL nyrr, LOL. I try and give constructive feedback to your common mistakes but this time I just can't. I am SO glad I'm not running this year and this seriously makes me wonder if I ever will again.
Buy stock in the company that makes Spibelt now!
Also, just from a business standpoint, the time to tell us about decreased services is BEFORE 45,000 people have paid their non-refundable entry fee of nearly $200.
(BTW, note that there are now four wave starts - that may have already been in place).
The full post is here:
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
(Yes, you can go ridiculously early and just watch the second half of the race .. but ...)
Anyone know of a bar ... er I mean breakfast place that's deliberately showcasing the race as an enticement?
Fears that the swim portion of the NYC Ironman Triathlon would be canceled because of a sewage discharge in the Hudson apparently have been assuaged.
Notes this article on Bloomberg.com
" Organizers for the 140.6-mile (226-kilometer) race, which combines swimming, cycling and running, said the Hudson River passed a water quality test after an overnight discharge of 3.4 million gallons of chlorinated raw sewage. "
Good luck everyone who is participating. Gonna be humid out there tomorrow - and definitely potential of some thundershowers, so above all, play it safe.
Cruise from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park (or vice versa) along Lafayette and Park. Great opportunity to try a different running route (and go early enough to avoid those dreaded walkers ... of course, you could be a walker yourself, so disregard that comment a second ago :-))
Monday, July 30, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
I started today in Brooklyn Heights, tho the map I'll post is running from Grand Army Plaza at Prospect Park. And, as always, there are a lot of ways to do this - a common way, however, is to run down Union to Court, take a right and head toward the Brooklyn Bridge. Court turns into Cadman Plaza and there's water at the southern end of the park before you head onto the bridge.
Once over the bridge, cut across the mini-plaza and there's a water fountain at about mile 4, right near the subway entrance. From there, just cut straight down Warren Street over to the West Side Highway, and cross. Head over to the pedestrian paths, and hang a left - from there, it's a nice loop over the lower tip of Manhattan before coming back up the East Side. There's ongoing construction as you near and pass Fulton landing, so just be careful. From there, cut back up to the Brooklyn Bridge, cross over again, and head back.
There are a few bathrooms available on the route, including Cadman Plaza (mile 3), an amazing public bathroom at the corner of Murray Street and River Terrace (about mile 4.5) and at Battery Park near the Statue of Liberty terminal (mile 6). And plenty of water all the way around
If you do this run on the weekends in the summer, go early - we were running into tourist problems even crossing the bridge at 8:30am.
Find more Run in New York, NY
That's changing, in part because of a run I had this morning with a guy running his first marathon this fall (not coincidentally New York.) This guy, K I shall call him, very fast, just started running a year and a half ago. He's never run a full marathon, though has begun to map out his schedule over the next few months. We had a good talk, as he peppered me with questions about my experiences and we talked about training. Stuff that had been appearing on the blog.
So ... time to resurrect this thing, and see if I can help out folk in the coming months. As a way of reintroducing this, I'm going to focus on the following:
*Local Brooklyn runners and clubs
*New York-area races (tho for a pure calendar, please see NYC Runs) and results
*Running articles of interest
*Training ideas/running routes, etc.
There's going to be a fair amount of New York Marathon discussion going on - I will say, however, that my focus this fall will be on X/C races, so expect a fair amount of that as well (my next marathon hopefully will be Boston in 2013.)
So, welcome back. Hope I'm able to help :-)
Saturday, May 12, 2012
I realized the other day that I probably have run the actual reservoir loop once - and the carriage trail (a bit more unstable footing, but a lot more room) dozens of times. Either are a nice change of pace from the six-mile road loop in the park.
I did the same thing this morning and have to agree. It's not the most exciting course in the world (though the alternative was running two loops in Prospect Park, instead of one). But the fact is, you don't have to pay attention to the undulating parts of the park, you get three serious downhills (including two in the first three miles of the race) and only one bout with Zoo hill.
Yeah, it's definitely a PR course if the weather cooperates. (And right now it looks like probably low 60s with very mild wind from the East.)
Let me break the race into three components: Pre-Prospect Park, the Park loop, and Ocean Parkway/Coney Island.
*Pre Prospect Park - about 3.75 miles. Starting on Washington, you get a nice downhill for the first half mile-plus. The turn back up Flatbush is steadily uphill - but it's an easy uphill. Running Union Street to the Park, or running the Brooklyn/Manhattan/Williamsburgh bridges are a lot tougher. And then you get to run it downhill., before it turns into a flat route heading into the park. I gotta say - I was definitely able to zone out on these parts. One part of the course is in the shade pretty much the whole time -- I can actually see folk running this part too fast.
*Prospect Park - about 3.3 miles. You've done the loop before, you'll do it again. Don't kill yourself on Zoo Hill, remember to run the tangents (especially on the hills - both up and down). Use the 1/4 mile marks spread out at various parts in the park to keep your pacing under control - in my run today, the mile that included Zoo Hill was 23 seconds slower than the second mile (which included the downhill) - and I thought my effort for both miles was about the same.
*Ocean Parkway/Coney Island. It's about 5.5 miles to the Coney Island boardwalk, there won't be much shade, and it's boring as heck. And these are the good things I have to say. I hate training on this stretch anyway, but it's a necessary evil. So keep focused on the fact that it's be a good day to take a dip in the water afterward/fixate on your favorite fantasy/start giving yourself Harry Potter quizzes. Oh, and if it's windy, find someone tall to run behind.
The last time I was on the boardwalk (about 6 weeks ago), the boards were in the usual terrible condition. It may have improved, but something to watch out for. At that point, you've got tired legs, but your adrenaline pumping and you can see the finish. Just don't think about Nathan's Hot Dogs at this point.
And then you're done!
Monday, March 26, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Running back and forth, in and around the park before the Coney Island route, suggests a whole bunch of things:
*NYRR didn't get permission to start the race in the park because of Googa Mooga, if they even attempted to do so.
*NYRR was trying to do another, more glamorous route (maybe Brooklyn Bridge?), and got turned down.
*NYRR still doesn't have all the permits (note the Community Board meeting next week). This could be an issue given the number of street requested to be closed down.
*This line in the NYT article doesn't quite make sense because it doesn't really matter how many people are running.: "Last year, 5,921 runners finished. Road Runners could not increase the field and include two 3.35-mile loops because the faster runners would lap the slower runners. "
*This 2012 course will never be run again. I can't even imagine running it as a training route.
*The $45 price for NYRR members isn't surprising given all the costs at hand, just disappointing at this late date.
*15,000 runners allowed in *should* help the entry crunch on Monday.
I suspect there were a lot of attempts to get the course set, get permits made, etc. etc.
Here's my main issue (among many): As much as the NYC Marathon and the NYC Half are high profile races, the Brooklyn Half is one of the city's top local races - if not the top local race. Over the years, runners have been jerked around by date changes, course changes, lack of information. People make it a destination race for the spring. There's a reason why the NYRR Facebook page has been overrun with complaints about the lack of registration details.
Because people care.
So, one simple request: Start planning now for 2013, 2014, 2015. Lock the dates in place. Lock the course in place. NOW.
And stop messing with us.
Of course, it hasn't yet been approved, but here's the course posted on the NYRR site:
You’ll start on Washington Avenue, just south of Eastern Parkway, and head south to Empire Boulevard, where you’ll turn right. You’ll take another right onto Flatbush Avenue, run to Grand Army Plaza, and do a complete counter-clockwise lap of the plaza’s outer circle. You’ll turn right onto Flatbush Avenue again and take that to Ocean Avenue, then turn right onto Parkside Avenue and enter Prospect Park at Prospect Park Circle, just past the 3.5-mile point. You’ll run one full counter-clockwise loop of Prospect Park (3.35 miles) and leave the park (just past the race’s halfway point) via the main exit near Prospect Park Circle. Continue straight through to Park Circle, run around the north quarter of the circle, and turn right onto the Ocean Parkway/Fort Hamilton Parkway entrance ramp. Bear left onto the Ocean Parkway entrance ramp and merge onto Ocean Parkway, on which you’ll run five very straight, flat, and fast miles to Surf Avenue. You’ll bear right and run in Surf Avenue’s eastbound traffic lanes (keep the traffic median on your right), then turn left (south) onto West 10th Street and continue to the end of the street, where you’ll be directed up ramps onto the Boardwalk. You’ll turn right and head to the finish, which is on the Boardwalk near Henderson Walk/Stillwell Avenue.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
1. Representatives for the New York Road Runners Club will inform of their plans to expand the Brooklyn Half Marathon from within the confines of Prospect Park to neighborhood streets. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 19th 2012. Proposed street closings include: Eastern Parkway; Washington Avenue; Empire Blvd; Flatbush Avenue; Grand Army Plaza; Ocean Avenue; Parkside Avenue. The route also includes Prospect Park; Ocean Parkway to Surf Avenue to Coney Island Boardwalk. Also invited to address any related questions that may arise are representatives from the Dept. of Transportation and the Police Department.
Wow, so exactly what *has* been approved? NYRR has said the race is on May 19. Now the question is: Where?
Well, we'll find out March 27.
Monday, March 19, 2012
I originally thought there wouldn't be a problem (hey, the Brooklyn Half starts at 7am), but 40,000! people estimated in Prospect Park? (It's a broad number, but even half that causes issues)
A quote from the article:
"The food, drink, and tunes fest is expected to bring 40,000 people to the park’s Neathermead field May 19-20, and even though the event is gratis, wannabe concert-goers must register beforehand due to capacity restrictions. "
Oh yeah ...
P.S. Keep in mind, this is pure speculation at this point. The delay in the Brooklyn Half registration could be something else.
P.P.S. At least we're not Queens ... this year
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Brooklyn Half Update: The date is confirmed May 19. The distance is confirmed, 13.1 Miles. The registration is first come, first served. Registration is not open yet, and we know everyone is anxious and waiting. We will give at least 48 hours notice before we open and we are working frantically to make that happen soon.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The latest questions center around "Googa Mooga" - a two day food/band festival taking place the same weekend. Could that interfere? (One wouldn't think so ...)
The latest from NYRR (in response to the daily queries on its Facebook page):
"We still have no update on Brooklyn Half registration. We know you are all anxious to apply, so please be patient."
Hey, maybe it'll become a 10K like Queens ...
Friday, March 2, 2012
The Red Hook Criterium (RHC) is an unsanctioned race held at night featuring a fixed gear criterium and a 5km running race held over multiple laps of a short technical circuit. The field consists of elite athletes, track stars, amateur runners, professional cyclists, bike messengers, and urban cyclists. The RHC was born in the post-industrial Brooklyn neighborhood Red Hook. This unique event combines the underground art of street racing with the intensity of high level competition in a spectacular urban environment.
The running portion of the race is at 8 pm on Saturday, March 24 - and there is an after-party! Field is limited to 200 runners, so if you want to do it, do it now.
Other races that may be worth checking out:
*Parade Day 5K at Rockaway Beach on Saturday
*HODS 3.5 mile race in Central Park on Sunday
*Caumsett 25K and 50K on Long Island on Sunday
*Boston Buildup 25K in Norwalk on Sunday
*No word yet on the timing of the race registration for the Brooklyn Half. If you're thinking about running it - it's 11 weeks from tomorrow, so keep that in mind as you start building out your workout schedule, whether you're a first-timer or looking to bag your 50th half.
Looking at the NYRR Facebook posts - lots of angst given last year's race closed in a couple of days. It does look like there will be at least 48-hour notification before the registration opens - and am sure the news will rip through the running community.
*The New York Mini 10K is finally open
*Running in the morning tomorrow is potentially a washout, though it'll hit the mid-50s in the afternoon and possibly some sun
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
In the interest of safety, and in consultation with NYC Parks and Recreation, the Manhattan Half-Marathon on January 21 will be an unscored (non-competitive) event . All registered entrants who are members of NYRR will receive 9+1 qualifying credit toward their guaranteed entry requirements for the ING New York City Marathon 2013. You do not have to run the race to receive this credit. Runners should use caution in traveling to and from the event, and at all times before, during, and after your run, including dressing for the conditions. NYRR thanks you for your support of our events!
Sunday, January 1, 2012
*Don't send me pictures of the latter - I've seen them on Facebook already :-)
*Lots of interesting articles in the NYTimes recently, including the magazine cover story this week about losing weight, GPS watches not tracking accurately (that's a surprise?), other uses of McCarren Park's track (though where's the NBR mention!!), the challenges of elite athletes finding sponsors, how older runners perform
*My New Year's Day run was on the Brooklyn Bridge from the southern end of the Promenade. Mindful of the GPS inaccuracies, my new Garmin 210 showed that the Promenade is almost exactly 1/3 of a mile, and the run to the end of the Brooklyn Bridge is 1.93 miles.
*Speaking of which, song of the day that powered me (mentally) over the bridge, since I don't wear earphones outside: Gavin DeGraw's "Not Over You"
*NYRR Manhattan Half is closed, out, but still plenty of spots for the Joe Kleinerman 10K on Jan. 7
*For the speedsters among us, don't forget the indoor track races upcoming
*A reminder: 2012 Olympic marathon trials are in Houston this year. Brooklyn's Kelly Chin will be among those running.
*The Jets are done and the Pats clinched home-field advantage (cool). Good luck Giants tonight.