Monday, March 26, 2012

Brooklyn Half May Close Out Tonight

That's according to a NYRR tweet (also posted on its Web site)

NYRR Says Brooklyn Half Nearing Capacity

Think there's any pent-up demand for this race? Posting is on main home page - if you haven't registered, do it soon.

Brooklyn Half Is Open for Registration

The site is sluggish, but people are able to get through and register, so be patient. With 15,000 entries available, it's not likely to fill up as quickly as last year - though if you're going to run it, I'd register this afternoon to be sure.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Initial Thoughts on Brooklyn Half (and the Course)

I'm looking at the course map, posted here (download the .pdf). And I've read the New York Times article. My initial thoughts are - what a cluster (my second thoughts aren't printable):

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.

Brooklyn Half Opens Monday (3/26) at Noon

Race fee is $45 if you're a NYRR member and sign up by April 9, though it will be closed by then.

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

NYRR and Brooklyn Half at Community Board 9

New York Road Runners is appearing before Community Board 9 in Brooklyn on March 27. Here's the description of the agenda item:

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

GoogaMooga: Uh Oh

No firm details on the Brooklyn Half yet, but check out the Brooklyn Paper article on the GoogaMooga festival that weekend.

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: Or Not

Latest from NYRR on Facebook:

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

Boston Buildup 25K

Here's a writeup on last Sunday's 25K in Norwalk, from Run Dangerously. Results are linked in the story (as well as to some of the other races in this series, which is a dandy. It's a great way to explore parts of Connecticut).

McCarren Track Classic on March 10

Details are here. For those of you who want to get back on track on this North Brooklyn Runners-sponsored event, it's the perfect opportunity.

Coogan's Results

are here. Team results are near the bottom of this link. In general feedback from this year's race - awesome place to run, except the course itself is too narrow.

Brooklyn Half: When Will It Open?

Lots ... and I mean lots ... of speculation racing around about when the Brooklyn Half registration will open. Are the permits in place? Will the course change? Will the (and dare I ask this question) date change?

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

Red Hook Crit Race March 24

From the site:

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.

Races and Running This Weekend

*Coogan's 5K, always a fun event, takes place up in Washington Heights on Sunday. Like most other NYRR-sponsored races these days, it's already sold out (but spectators are always welcome). It's also the first club points race of the season.

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