The AirBnB Brooklyn Half is quickly approaching and it’s one of our favorite NYRR Borough races! Katie and Sirrah have run it a total of 5 times (and will be out there on Saturday too!) and it holds a special place in both their hearts. It was the first half Katie had ever run in its entirety and she’s a HUGE Warriors fan (she’s been known to scream “CAANNNN YOU DIG IT?!?!” and “WARRIORS!! Come out and PLAYYYYYAYYY!” throughout the race). And it marks Sirrah and her boyfriend, Ryan’s anniversary (they ran it together last year and plan to do it again this year. They’re adorable). For your reading enjoyment, JKR’s tips for having the best Brooklyn Half EVER!
1. Pre-Race Party: last year Ryan picked up everyone’s packets, but wouldn’t have volunteered if he knew it was in the middle of no where. It’s marketed as a true Brooklyn style party with craft beers and food trucks, but by the time he arrived (over a swaying rope bridge to hear him tell it) he was disinterested and just wanted to get heck out of there. Be prepared for a little hike or take the ferry. If you need someone to pick up your bib for you, please read the proxy pick up information here. Also, review the course map here.
2. What to wear: it’s May! It’s Spring time! After the winter we’ve had, what do we do with this?! Be prepared to heat up. The first half is mostly shaded by the trees in Prospect Park but the second half is run along a highway, aka asphalt. You’ll get hot with the sun beating directly on you so pack your own hydration if you get thirsty easily or don’t want to have to rely on the hydration stations. Speaking of the sun, WEAR SUNSCREEN! We don’t care how excited you are that the sun is out, be smart and protect your skin. You think chafing hurts? Imagine being chafed AND sunburnt! That’s a whole different level of uncomfortable. Pro-tip: put Chapstick or Vaseline on your eyebrows to keep sweat and sunscreen from dripping into your eyes.
3. Getting to the start/bag check: Get there early! The bag checks close promptly upon the posted times and you’ll need that extra sunscreen and things at the end of the race. Also, pack your wallet so you can chow down on yummy Nathan’s and beer after the race. Once you get in the corrals, get in line for the porta potty. You’ll have plenty of time to kill so might as well be resourceful.
4. Miles 1 through 3.5: You started! Brooklyn is out cheering for you! Don’t be silly and get too excited and go out too fast. There may be some crowded spots in the first miles, don’t waist too much energy weaving in and out of slower runners if you can help it. Follow your race plan and be conservative. You have some hills coming up.
5. Miles 4-7: Inside the park: it’s rolling hills with the worst being The Prospect Park Hill. Remember to keep your head up and your energy propelling forward. You’ve trained for this! Show this hill who’s boss!
6. Miles 7-11.75: You made it out of the park! The rest of the course is mostly flat with a few minor bumps. If you’re tall enough you can see the mile markers getting closer and closer, which makes the race seem shorter. If the sun is shining down on you, move to the left side of the road to stay under the shade of the trees. Be aware though, that the water tables are mostly on the right so leave time to maneuver yourself across the road if you’re running in the shade.
7. Mile 12: CAN YOU SMELL THE OCEAN?! You’re so close! You make a turn and run parallel to the boardwalk for a while. The Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone are in your sights! Keep going! Pro-Tip: This is where your service starts to go out, so if you have a Spotify playlist, make sure it’s in “play offline” mode.
8. 20k- Mile 13: Getting on the boardwalk: you have to run up a pedestrian ramp and the field narrows significantly. This means you’ll need to slow down so you don’t overrun those in front of you. I know this is the last thing you want to do when you’re tired and THAT CLOSE to the finish, but it’s necessary. Also, once you’re on the boardwalk PICK UP YOUR FEET. These boards are uneven and if you’re not careful you’ll trip and ruin your finished photo.
9. YAY YOU FINISHED! Take your medal and turn right down to the finisher area and baggage pick up. Meet at your pre-designated spot because there is no service here and getting back around to the finish line is impossible. I’m not even sure how people get to the beach side before the race closes.
10. Nathan’s: it’s a sweet reward for running the borough. You’ll want rewarding food immediately and you won’t be the only one. The lines always take 25-40 minutes depending on when you finish and which line you pick. What we’re doing this year is to head to a bar/ice cream parlor we found last year on the boardwalk while waiting for the crowd to die down and get Nathan’s as a late lunch snack. Pro-Tip: if you tweet at Joey Chestnut (@joeyjaws) he’ll probably favorite your tweet or reply. Katie’s done it the past two years and still gets excited.
[UPDATE]: Ok guys, I’ve been using all my powers of denial to try to mentally force the rain prediction for Saturday out of here, and it looks like my psychic abilities are only so strong. I still have hope we’ll have a nice day, but it seems possible that there will be some rain at some point most likely at the start. Rain is not the end of the world, but it’s good to be prepared .
- Trash bag – sit on it, wear it, throw it away. A trash bag is your friend. You probably already have one to spare, and it will help keep you dry as you wait to start. If it’s really raining you could cover your shoes in plastic bags too to keep your socks from getting wet pre-race. Just be aware that your feet might be slippery.
- Hat/ Visor- Keep the rain out of your face. A must if you have glasses like Sirrah.
- Change of socks – if you aren’t rocking flippy floppies on the beach after the race, you might want a change of socks in case yours got wet. You might want these anyway if your feet sweat.
- Be Careful on the street!- The painted divider lines on the streets often get slick in the rain and watch for oily spots on the road. Also, not a rain thing, but keep an eye out for pot holes and be nice and let the runners behind you know if there is one right in front of you since they probably can’t see it yet.
- SUN SCREEN – Guys, don’t be stupid: just because it’s overcast doesn’t mean you can’t get a burn! Protect yourself!
Have fun everyone! Rain isn’t the worst, and I don’t even think there will be that much of it, if any! Just remember, Nathan’s doesn’t stop serving fries and beer just cause it’s drizzling so you better not stop either!