today was my sixth brooklyn half marathon. my finish times have ranged from a 1:30:15 in 2005 to a 1:43:16 last year. it's, without a doubt, my favorite road race. having grow up in brooklyn and spent a good portion of my life living there may have influenced that ranking - haha. also, this particular race combines locale with my favorite type of course, point to point. the layout makes it seem like 3 separate race: the out and back on the boardwalk, the ocean parkway straighaway, and the loop of prospect park. on a good day this is easily a pr course.
each year my wife, pat, drives me down to the start in coney island and then meets me at the finish in prospect park. she and my daughter combine this early morning visit to brooklyn with a brunch in park slope while i run the race. most years some friends ride down to the race with us. this year, emmy and rob joined us. it was rob's first brooklyn half. emmy, though she couldn't make the race last year, has made gone with us in prior years. my daughter didn't join us today because she had to get ready for a trip that afternoon.
one of my favorite views on the course is the parachute drop at steeplchase park. this iconic symbol of coney island looms in horizon as we make the intial 1+ mile run down the boardwalk, past it and to the turnaround. another favorite is the turn off the boardwalk alongside yet another coney island landmark, the cyclone! even with the overcast skies threatening rain, i couldn't help thinking about summer days here. once we swing onto surf avenue and make our way over to ocean parkway, it's back to ordinary road racing.
from a social perspective, we ran into a bunch of friends at the start. tom, art, and tony from the taconic road runners. tony directed the sybil 50k last weekend, and tom was there as well. i also ran into my friend sue from central park track. my good friend mike, from prospect park track, and a regular at this race - either running it or out supporting his teammates - missed it this time because of family commitments. i also caught sight of a few blue wtc singlets out on the course.
from a running perspective, i hoped to run under 1:40. i put in only 18 miles (6 mile runs on tues, thurs, and friday) during the week. i'll recap my training week in full tomorrow, but doubt i'll log more than 40 miles. next weekend is the long island greenbelt trail 50k. it's a bit of unfinished business from last year's racing season. i want to run that race a lot faster than i finished last year (and skip the bonus miles as well).
my splits today were:
7:36 pacethe constant headwind on ocean parkway caught up to me by mile 9. after a pair of progressively slower miles, i ran my slowest mile, 8:04, on the hills in prospect park. then i caught a second wind and dropped the pace for the final two miles. that was good enough to finish under 1:40. rob finished up just behind me, in 1:40. and even better, emmy, who had caught and passed me in mile 5, finished in 1:35 - good enough for 4th place in her age group!
here is a link to last year's race report.
next up is the long island greenbelt trail 50k.