October 9, 2016, Brooklyn.
This was only my second Rock N Roll event, but it was my fourth or fifth half in this area of Brooklyn. The last RnR event I did was also around Prospect Park – it was a 10k in 2013- and had a lot of the same elements. RnR events set themselves apart by having a focus on music on the course and a post race concert .
Last year was the first RnR Brooklyn half, and I’d heard some complaints that largely seem to have been addressed this year. Last year the security check was out of control and the race ended up starting late; this year security was fast – I got there at 6:35 and I was through by 6:40. The bathrooms were all inside the corales which I’m sure encouraged folks to get through security ASAP instead of waiting till the last second. I love this set up (despite the cluster it creates within the corales) because it allows you to get in one last pee right before you start – clutch for us new moms.
I heard that last year there wasn’t much music on the course compared to other RnR events. I can’t compare to non-NYC races, but for a NYC race the quantity of music was great. Other than the NYC marathon, there was the most on course entertainment of any race I’ve run. I think it’s hard to saturate the course with music in the city because you’re never far from someone’s bedroom and these races start early. My only comment would be that they should place the music more strategically. For instance, the acoustic lady vocalist maybe should have been on an easy down hill (if anywhere) and not on a hill around mile 10.
The giant gecko was giving away post race massages!
The expo was a good size for a half marathon. The race merch was super cute, but I restrained myself from buying anything because I don’t have room in my little apartment for more race merch. Someday I’ll have a room devoted just to my running stuff (a girl can dream!), and I’ll go crazy shopping at every expo!
My favorite stand at the expo was a table where you could get an “I run for…” patch ironed on your race shirt. Not only was it cute, it was also a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! Loved this! I hope more races do this in the future!
Race Price: . 5- Registration for this race was as little as $50, which is wicked cheap for a half!
Organization: 4- Good organization! Pre-race directions were clear, and the security and corale entry went very quickly. I didn’t use bag drop so I can’t rate that, but I didn’t hear of any issues. Post race organization was pretty good, but there was a bit of a bottle neck to get out of the finisher area due to friends and family crowding the small space between the exit and the lawn. I’m not very familiar with Prospect Park, so I’m not sure how they could make this better, but ideally the runners would dump into the lawn and meet up with friends there where it’s more open. That way we wouldn’t have a runner traffic jam, which is the worst feeling after you’ve been running for hours.
Level of Communication: 4- Good amount of emails, and clear communication of important information such as bib pick-up requirements and transportation updates.
Race Course: 3- So, the last three miles are the most hilly miles of the race, and you have to either hate it or just embrace it. I hated the thought of it, but like a true running masochist, ended up appreciating the distraction of the hills during those miles when I was pretty tired. The rest of the course was fun – comprised mainly of two out and backs on major roads- there was music at every mile and great crowd support!
Swag: 4- The race bag had some good snacks and a cool stick-on credit card holder, so I’d say a little better than average for a half. The post race food, though, was where they really shined! Water, Gatorade, chocolate milk, cheetos, chips, bananas, power bars, and maybe other stuff – I actually couldn’t carry everything they were handing out! As a food lover, more food than you can carry is the BEST problem to have. Oh! Free beer! Each runner got a free beer. I didn’t take mine, but I appreciate a race with free beer nonetheless.
T Shirt: 3.5- The shirt was fine but nothing special. I think a long sleeved T would have been nice for an October race.
Medal: 4- very cute medal. I like the subway theme and the untraditional shape!
Spectator Support: 5- I was surprised by how great the spectators were for this race. Great signs and great cheering throughout the race.
Overall Score:4 – I’d definitely do this race again.
Read my personal race day recap, here.