Mark your calendars. Registration for the 2014 Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 17 opens this Wednesday, January 22 at 12 p.m. EST.
The Brooklyn Half Marathon may not be as famous as the New York City Marathon or NYC Half, but it should be. The event, also put on by New York Road Runners, is a world-class race on the verge of becoming very big, indeed. Mark my words: the day will come when this event is popular enough to have its own lottery. For 2014, NYRR is expecting its biggest field yet.
Once again, I’ll be on the sidelines with NYRR’s “On The Run.” I had a blast working on the 30-minute show about the 2013 Brooklyn Half that aired on ABC in New York:
The Brooklyn Half Marathon has a special place in my heart. It was my very first proper half-marathon in 2010. Insanely enough, I’d already run three marathons, but never a half-marathon. Since 2010, I’ve been to the race every year: either as a runner, cheerleader, or broadcaster. No matter what my role, it’s always a highlight of my year.
It’s also safe to say that it’s my husband’s favorite race. He’s run it twice and is planning to run it again this year.
The race has changed a lot over the years. In 2010 when I first ran it, there were just 7,015 finishers. Last year, there were 21,427. And for 2014, they’re expecting their biggest field ever.
The course has been tweaked a few times too, and each time it just gets better.
Now, the Brooklyn Half starts outside the Brooklyn Museum and takes runners on a tour of the southern half of the borough. Runners see Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park and finish on the boardwalk in Coney Island. In warmer years, you’ll find many a runner splashing around in the ocean while running teams have parties on the beach. Nathan’s Famous hot dogs is open for business early in the morning to serve runners and the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster runs all day long.
But perhaps may favorite part of the event happens before the race even begins: the Pre-Party presented by New Balance, featuring Brooklyn bands, food and beer, which takes the place of a traditional race expo. The Pre-Party debuted to rave reviews last year.
Between the Pre-Party, the borough and the race itself, I feel safe saying the Brooklyn Half is worthy of destination race status. This year, NYRR is even putting together an elite field for the event and a program called Run the City, which gives runners and their families discounts at restaurants, bars and businesses all over Brooklyn.
Plus, it’s got a great medal and your choice of men’s or women’s cut tech shirts by New Balance. I love a race with women’s cut shirts.
If you didn’t get into the NYC Half but still want to race a big half-marathon in New York this spring, the Brooklyn Half Marathon should be it.
Yes, I freelance as host of “On The Run” for NYRR, but they never ask me to write about or plug events. I’m doing this all on my own. I love the event so much that I want people outside of the New York metro area to know about it. It’s flown under the radar for so long.
No more. I’m serious, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s as hard to get into as the NYC Half in a few years. So take advantage and run it now.
Best of all, the race is a steal at $55 for NYRR members and $75 for non-NYRR members. For half-marathons, this is about the best bang-for-your-buck you’ll find anywhere.
The race will sell-out. So mark your calendars and register early. I’ll see you out there!