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.


Chicken Underwear said...

15,000 runners is the size of each wave of the NYC Marathon.

that is a lot of people and there will be a big, BIG problem getting them on to the boardwalk. The ramp is only about 10 feet wide

David said...

The size of the field is kind of mind-boggling, but I'm happy that more people will have a chance to register (hopefully it means I won't get shut out).

I agree the course is really screwy--up and down the outside of the park and looping back on itself?! Hopefully next year they'll find something that incorporates more of Brooklyn.

As for the price, I don't have any real complaints. Compared to a lot of other local halfs, $45 is totally reasonable. Compared to big name halfs, it's downright cheep. I'm also happy to see members getting a good discount.

I totally agree, though, that it would have been nice to receive all of these details (or even some of them) earlier.

sassafrasssls said...

I don't see why they didn't do some version of Bedford and Marine Park-type course down to Coney Island - if they even have to finish in Coney Island.
I do agree, however, that they need to just pin down the date. The course is less important, in a sense, than the date. The Brooklyn Half is the type of race that people will run, even if they don't love the route.

RunLikeAGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RunLikeAGirl said...

The size of the race is the same as the NYC Half, but I think the size of this course will make it more difficult to fit all those people. I guess we will be the guinea pigs of the race size increase.

Also I agree that the race price is fair, despite all the complaints from other runners. I paid more than $45 for half marathons outside NYC. Especially with all the road closures, I think its a good deal.

Despite my concerns, I'm still excited for this race. Should be fun (and I can get a nice hot dog at the finish).

JKrunner said...

So I am running this race for the first time - with all the course changes it probably can be considered a first for most of you.
I am coming from Putnam county - with lots of people trying to get to the start - what are my options (car/public transportation options to get there race day?
All suggestions welcome and thanks!

Chicken Underwear said...


There is no place to park at the start. You should park and the finish and take the Q train back to the start.