The Beastie Boys told us “No Sleep till Brooklyn” but my motto today was “no sleep in Brooklyn”. I didn’t “win” the lottery to get into the NYC Marathon at the beginning of November, so I decided to run The Brooklyn Marathon toward the middle of November in its place.
I’m not a “city” person. I graduated with 34 kids in my class in upstate NY. I live in a Town in Orange County with no traffic lights. There is a giant field across the street and cows just a few houses down. I’m not a city person. So when I run a City marathon, I usually stay overnight near the start before so I don’t have to navigate the City traffic. Unfortunately, my weekend was a complex weekend of basketball games and boy scouts so overnighting on a Saturday to run Sunday morning was not happening. So I left the house at 5:30 in the morning and drove and hour and 45 minutes into Brooklyn, parked the car and then ran The Brooklyn Marathon.
My past experience in Brooklyn has been going to the Appellate Division to argue some cases. So going to run a marathon wasn’t something I had even contemplated there (although an enjoyable part of the NYC Marathon, which I did last year, is spent in Brooklyn). The Brooklyn Marathon is entirely in Prospect Park. It consists of 6 loops on the outer part of the park and two smaller loops.
One of the great pet peeves of Marathon runners is people about 3 miles out yelling “you’re almost there”. Three miles may not sound like a lot, but when you’ve already got 23 miles under you, you are tired, and three miles is still typically another 30 minutes to go for slow people like me when you are marathon running. Here, however, on the very first loop, just a couple miles in, there was this guy trying to be funny yelling “you’re almost there” “Keep going” “you’ve come this far, just finish” “the finish line is right around the bend”. Collectively, we all wanted to laugh since it was just a couple miles INTO the race – it was all still fun then. HOWEVER, when he was there loop after loop saying the same thing, it became less funny. I decided on my last loop I would take a “selfie” with him, but alas he disappeared.
Prospect park was beautiful in the fall, the race was well organized. I had only run one multi-loop course before (my “midnight marathon” in July of 2015). This course was much more enjoyable and the crowds were nice. One other thing worth mentioning, there is a long but mild hill – but it IS long, on some part of the course. It was a very windy day today and as three of us were running under a tree, I heard “crack” and a ten foot branch came down. I sometimes wear ear phones in races – today I opted not to. It was a good thing as the other two people next to me had earphones on. I grabbed one who was oblivious and the other was far enough away she was out of the line of fire, but that branch came right down, and I am glad not to have been hit. Scary stuff.
Last comment – the medal (pictured above), has the names of all Brooklyn’s neighborhoods. I absolutely love the medal. The race shirt is very similar. Nice day!