NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon Course Preview

Brooklyn Half Marathon Tips and Tricks

I originally posted this last year, but I’m reposting because I think it’s still helpful! Who else out there is running tomorrow? 

In two days, I’ll be running the Brooklyn Half for the third time. (2013 | 2014).

The past two years were for total funsies, so I’m really excited to finally race the hell out of this one.

If you haven’t run it before, here’s what to expect:

1. There are two waves. This is kind of insane for a half, I realize. Both years I’ve been in the first wave and jumped back to the second wave. If you’re not going for a specific time, I kind of recommend this. You get an extra 45 minutes of sleep!

2. The course starts by the Brooklyn Museum and heads down Washington, on an out-and-back on Flatbush before heading into Prospect Park around mile 3.5. These first few miles are gloriously flat…but fairly congested. Unless you are winning the race, you’ll probably see people lapping you as you go out on Flatbush and maybe feel a bit dejected. Just remember, you’ll be on the other side soon! (Same for when you’re headed into the park.)

3. You’ll hit some rolling hills, and a big hill at mile 5. If you’re used to running in Central Park, rest easy that this hill is smaller than Harlem Hill. The park is easily the most difficult part of the race, but it will be over quickly. Just around mile 7, you’ll leave the park and head toward Ocean Parkway. You’ll have to go up a ramp for a bit, and this will suck. Know that you’ll face a nice, sweet gradual downhill after this for the rest of the race.

4. Basically, the rest of the race is on Ocean Parkway. It’s long and boring. (Sorry!) The roads are letters of the alphabet, and I keep myself distracted by watching the letters get closer to Z. And people-watching. The last half-mile or so of the race is really fun, though. There’s great crowd support approaching the boardwalk, and it’s just FUN to fly down the boardwalk. (But be careful, especially if you’re clumsy like me.)

5. AND YOU’RE DONE! YOU RAN TO THE BEACH! Go take a beach pic and either find a place around there to celebrate if you’re into the crowds, or pick a place in Park Slope or somewhere further from Coney Island.

My Goals

Do not die. JK. But only kind of.

A Goal: 1:47 or bust. To be honest, this is a 150% ego-driven goal. My boss did 1:47 at the NYC Half, and I originally was like OH HELL NO, I need to beat her. (I am not writing anything here she does not know!) Is my level of fitness there? I’m not sure. It is in the realm of possibility for me, but I’ll have to have a perfect day.

B Goal: Sub-1:50. A 1:4x half would be perfectly lovely and still an awesome PR for me. I am fairly sure this is possible for me so long as I take good care of myself these next two days.

C Goal: Should the wheels start falling off, I just wanna keep things under 2:00.

Jess and I discussed my race goals/plan the other day, and here’s what I’m trying to do: Miles 1-7: 8:05 – 8:15, Miles 7-10: 8:00 – 8:10, Miles 10-13.1: Whatever I’ve got!

We discussed that even if I can tell by the time I leave the park that it’s just not my day, that I should still try to hold on hard and not give up. I decided that that means to try my best to keep things under 8:20 even if I can’t hold that 8:00 – 8:10. If I can still hold an 8:20 pace or under, I can still PR.

So…that’s that, y’all. LOTS of sleep till Brooklyn.

Are you running BK? Is it your first? What’s your goal?

13 comments on “NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon Course Preview

  1. Daria

    Amazing goals!! Considering your sub-2 finish in DC earlier this year, in the rain and with bad shoes/feet AND without training no less, I’m sure you’ll crush this race! Just make sure you wave to me as you lap me….or shave a few seconds off your time in order to pick me up off the pavement should I happen to land there.

  2. Shawna

    this will be my 3rd year in a row running this half as well, and it’s been one of my fave races to date…but my nagging injury has returned as of the past 2 weeks so i’m really bummed. was totally hoping to have a blast and now i’m all meh about it. just want to try to enjoy it as much as i can…would have liked a PR but def not in the books this year.

  3. Marissa

    I’m running Brooklyn as my first half marathon and I am so thankful that you wrote this post. I’ve been battling nerves for the past few days (or, let’s be real, months since I signed up), and your breakdown of what I should expect calmed me down SO much! You also made me feel better about being in wave two–my goal is really just to finish without dying, and that extra forty-five minutes of sleep will (hopefully) go a long way. Good luck on Saturday!

  4. Shawna

    hope you had a great race! i ran it too but kept it comfortable and easy as i had a full day later that day, so no pushing myself — but loved every moment!


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