Despite an hour earlier start, the Brooklyn Half Marathon was still a blast. For some reason, the NYRR moved up the start up to 7 A.M. (and probably the earliest start for any NYRR race). The early start didn’t make pre-race logistics easy; but it worked out well to have the race finish earlier (instead of mid-morning). As always, Pat drove me to the start and then met me at the finish. In earlier years, Katie came along as well and they’d have brunch as I ran the race. Now Katie gets to sleep in!
Emmy and Hugo joined us for the commute to and from Brooklyn. The 2010 edition was my 8th Brooklyn Half Marathon - all of which, except for the most recent 2, were run from Coney Island to Prospect Park. I like this course much better than the old one. I had no expectations of racing it this year. My goal of a sub 1:45 finish was in line with a moderately paced recovery run. One of the funnier moments was in the starting corral when Emmy said, “let’s try for some easy 7:30 miles!” My fastest mile of the day didn’t come close (a 7:37 in mile 13).
I told Emmy that an 8 minute pace was probably all I had today - and I wasn’t going to push it in the Park. As it was, a 1:45 goal was a solid 8 minutes off my 2009 finish. We ran the first crowded mile together in 8:02, then Emmy took off (and ran a 1:38 for 3rd in her age group!) when the pack thinned out. I averaged 8 minute miles for the first loop of the park (24:03) and then slowed down a little during the second (24:27) before heading out of the park (mile 7, in 56:39).
Ocean Parkway was the highlight for me. I loved clicking off the (mostly) alphabetical string of avenues as we headed to Coney Island. At first I was a little off as we crossed over the Prospect Express and entered via a southbound ramp (instead of running on via the northbound side). Mile 8 was my slowest of the race (8:26). Since I felt great, I took the opportunity to a string of cut-downs for the final 5 miles (8:20, 8:06, 7:52, 7:42, and 7:37). Still, I missed 1:45 by a whopping 35 seconds (so much for taking it easy in the Park)!
At the finish I met up with Emmy, Hugo, Eliot, Ilana, Greg, and Eric. There was a bit of confusion trying to find Pat, but thanks to Eliot’s cell phone, we tracked her down. While we ran the race, Pat took a decidedly unscientific poll of the finishers and whether the earlier start time was a good or bad twist to the race. Overwhelming, the earlier start time found a receptive audience (perhaps because it was done and over with at that point)! I too, in hindsight, think the earlier start worked.
The Brooklyn Half was the second (after the Manhattan Half) in the Grand Prix Series. Next up is the Bronx Half in August. The last time I ran all five to complete the Series was in 2005. Hopefully, on I can make the remaining 3 and complete the it for 2010!
Here are my race photos.