Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Own Brooklyn Half (Notsomuch)

My run was not really half of anything; is was actually 10.5 miles, but that is irrelevant.. I was planning to run the NYRRC Brooklyn Half as a bandit, but decided not to do that since it would have contributed to the overcrowding of Prospect Park that capping the race was supposed to prevent. If I had jumped in at the back of the pack, I would have been part of the problem for the leaders as they ran their second loop of the park.

I eyeballed a map and figured I would run from Grand Army Plaza to 4th Ave, make a left and continue to the Belt Parkway Bike Paths which lead to Coney Island. It turned out that that is closer to 10 miles than 13. But who is counting?




So I walked over to Grand Army Plaza at a quarter to seven and made an interesting observation. About 100 people were still entering the park to run the race, (witch started at 7!) They were over a mile away from the start and some still had bags to check. At 7:05 I even saw a young man waiting for the Bus on Prospect Park West. He was dressed to run so I asked him if he was OK Had he changed his mind? He said no, he was fine, "But the start is over a mile away and I don't want to walk too much before the race." It really did not seem to bother him that the race had started 5 minutes before.

This is a real change form the past when all races were timed by "gun time" I remember there was a lot of stress about being as close to the starting line (not mat) as possible as the race started. No one would have imagined just strolling up to the starting line 15 or 20 minutes after the races started. That would be called missing the race. I am not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing. Just a thing.




So my route was about 10.5 miles. It made me think that this might be a nice course for the NYRRC to use for their Brooklyn Half. They could add 1 loop of Prospect Park to the start and we could run out into Grand Army Plaza and then follow what I did.

There would be two problems. First, when NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg pointed out when she came to a meeting of the Prospect Park Track Club in 2009, the NYPD does not want to add to the footprint of the race. This race would spend more time on the roads and require more street closures. Oh, well. Second, there are two points where the bike path along the Parkway narrows to about ten feet: at the very end of 4th Ave, and as it passes directly under the Verrazano Bridge. If we cut through Fort Hamilton and use Shore Road instead of the Bike Path this could be avoided. This course may never become official but could make for a nice group run

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