The popularity of the ING New York City Marathon is staggering. More than 148,000 people applied for the 45,000 spots in the 2011 race. Clearly, there are more marathoners who want to run New York than there are races to satisfy them.
Enter Steve Lastoe and NYCRUNS.com. Lastoe founded NYCRUNS in 2009 as an online resource for New York area runners, which includes a comprehensive metro-area race calendar, tools for local clubs, and race registration. (I have been a contributor to NYCRUNS.com since 2010.)
Lastoe and fellow race director Michael Ring dreamed up the Brooklyn Marathon as a “love letter” to the borough, and to meet the demand of the many marathoners who want to race in New York City.
The first running of the Brooklyn Marathon will take place on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 8 a.m. The course follows approximately eight loops of Prospect Park, starting and finishing at Center Drive, and closes after 6 hours. The race will be electronically timed; USATF certification and Boston Marathon qualifier status are pending but expected.
To help runners keep track of their loops, Lastoe is thinking of solutions like a pace bracelet with peel-away stickers for each lap.
There are bound to be grumbles about a marathon held entirely within Prospect Park, but New York Road Runners started the New York City Marathon, which is now the largest marathon in the world, in much the same way in 1970. The race was held entirely in Manhattan’s Central Park until 1976 when the course was finally redrawn to travel through all five boroughs.
Lastoe and Ring hope to take the Brooklyn Marathon out of the park and through the borough streets in the next few years as the race grows in popularity and gains community support. They also hope to move it to the spring next year, Lastoe said on The New York Running Show podcast.
Other plans for the race are in the works, including finisher medals, a shirt or jacket, age-group prizes and a post-race party, pending sponsorship.
The first iteration of the race is capped at 250 runners, and NYCRUNS expects it to sell-out quickly. Race registration is $75, with no extra fees. To run the inaugural Brooklyn Marathon, register here.