Monday, May 7, 2012

Previewing the Brooklyn Half

I'm a firm believer in the benefits of knowing a course before you race it. There are tons of variables on race day--the weather, how you're feeling, etc.--so anything you can do to make things more certain is a plus. By checking out the course before race day you can get a better sense of the terrain and adjust your pacing accordingly. You can also get a sense of what the tangents are (more on this in a late post). Obviously, when a race is in another city you may only be able to look at maps of the course before race day. When it's in your own backyard, however, it's worth doing a little pre-race recon.

This weekend I had the chance to run the Brooklyn Half course with some fellow Whippets. Since the race is only two weeks away, this seemed like a good weekend to check it out. I've run this race before, back in 2009, but they've changed the course since then and even if they hadn't, three years is a long time.

After a late night in Queens on Saturday, I hauled my butt out of bed on Sunday morning to catch the train to Grand Army Plaza to meet fellow runners. We had a great turn out--probably around 20 people--so we were able to split up into pace groups. It was a little warm but nothing too bad. If it's warmer on race day I'll definitely pack some beach gear for after the race.

I'm not going to summarize the course since you'll get that as part of my race report when I run the darn thing in two weeks. Instead, I'm just going to offer a couple of observations that might be helpful to any of you running:

  • The only "big" hill is inside Propsect Park around mile 5. Don't waste you energy here because you'll have plenty of downhill later to make up any lost time.
  • Ocean Parkway goes on forever! Don't let that discourage you, just remember that it's actually a net downhill. 
  • There's little to no shade in the second half of the course so sunscreen is a must.
  • The stretch on the boardwalk is extremely short so don't fret if you've never run on that kind of surface before.
  • It takes a long time to get back to Harlem from Coney Island so you might as well enjoy some hot dogs, ice cream, or pizza before heading back.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?