The Brooklyn Half
It's no secret that I like to run. But it's interesting how each race has a different personality. The distance, the location, the cost, the weather — all variables that bring out a different crowd. And if there's anything that I've learned about races, it's that the people make it great. From the runners to the spectators, the Brooklyn Half Marathon is spilling with energy.
This was my second year running this race, and I think it's safe to call it my favorite run. Starting in front of the beautiful Brooklyn Museum, circling Prospect Park in full bloom, and ending with an ocean breeze on the Coney Island boardwalk, this race has an incredible course. And usually scheduled in mid-May, the weather tends to be outstanding. There's even a race pre-party down by the water at Brooklyn Bridge Park. It's a bit of a pain to get to, but once you're there you'll be pumping with adrenaline.
The graphic designer in me can't help but mention that even the event design is done well. Sponsored by New Balance, it's a race that's branded through and through. Everything from email reminders to the finish line signage has that "hit the pavement" feel, usually with a charcoal colored background and white type. The writing is good too. Almost any Brooklyner will smile at the sign that reads "Prepare yourself for 13.1 miles of Kings County featuring: Prospect Park, Grand Army Plaza, Ocean Parkway, Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island, and a whole lot of facial hair."
This year I had the opportunity to run with a friend of mine who was running her first half marathon. It's funny how running with someone else gives you that extra push to do your best. The last six or so miles of the course are along Ocean Parkway. It's a flat, seemingly infinite road where all you can see is the people ahead and the long way to go. By mile ten I was ready for it to be over. But turn that last corner onto the Coney Island boardwalk, with the finish line in sight, and it all becomes worth it. Every. Last. Step