The morning started early, I was up at 5:30 and out the door to meet Ari (from Run Ansky Run) who was driving me down to Brooklyn for the race. Neither of us were actually running the entire race, nor were we registered for it. We've both never run as bandits, but to be fair, Steve did offer us free race entry as fellow NY Running Show hosts, so we didn't skip out to avoid paying. Anyhow, Ari and I were on our way down to join our good friend, Joe, as he tackled his second marathon this month. Joe (from Run Big Joe run) ran NYC Marathon on Nov 6th and was on his way to becoming a full-blown Marathon Maniac (see criteria for this title here) and Ari and I offered to join him for part of his journey.
I only ran 13.25 miles of the course, but saw the entire course more than once. The first ever Brooklyn Marathon was held entirely inside Prospect Park due to permit regulations, red tape, etc. Let's not forget that the very first NYC Marathon was held entirely inside Central Park back in 1970 and now look at it!
The morning was sunny and the temps were comfortable in the low 50's when we arrived. It was a bit breezy so I'm glad I left my long sleeve shirt on for hanging out at the start. The starting area had a very, very different feel from most races I've done. There were people milling around, but not thousands of them, and I ran into a handful of folks that I knew and some that I knew of but had never met before. Emmy, a fellow NY Running Show member and friend of friends was there, despite having run the NYRR Knickerbocker 60K on Saturday. Oddly enough, she was one of MANY there who had done that. Wow. I felt like such a bum, I wasn't even running the full race!
Here are a few photos from the start area:
Cool race tee !
Cruising by the lake on one of our first loops
Joe and Ari
I think this is going up THE HILL for the first time (of many)
The guys chasing the chick in the sports bra. It wasn't THAT warm.
We had a really good time, running, chatting, joking and seeing the same cheering faces on each loop. Friends of ours, Claire and Majo, were out there cheering and volunteering and keeping us motivated. We saw Steve, the race director and a friend as he rode by and yelled out the window that I was a bandit in his race. :) Sam (Push Through Philly) was also out there cranking out the miles AND A PR! The first two loops of the race were "smaller" loops of ~2 miles each and then we began the 6 "full" loops which included the big hill on the north side (right?) of the park. Ari and I only did the hill 3x, Joe still had 3 more big loops when we left him.I reached a point sometime during mile 10 or 11 where I started to feel really hungry. I knew I had it in me to run another lap, but not without a snack. I peeled off at the SW corner of the park, ran into a bakery called Connecticut Muffins and snagged a bagel, a cup of water and a banana (for Joe or Ari in case they were hungry). I munched for a minute and then took off into the park with hopes of running a shortcut to meet up with Ari and Joe again for the last of our hills. As I sprinted by the finish area Steve insisted that I grab a race shirt so I snagged one for myself and Ari. Now I was carrying a bagel, a banana and two tee shirts, I was like a sweaty homeless person sprinting through the park. Luckily I met the guys just as they reached the bottom of the hill and I jumped back in with them for the final mile and change. It was SO much fun, but I knew I wasn't up for much more than 13 miles. In fact, the longest run I've done since before my injury in July was my 8 miler in Highland last weekend!
Here is my final photo of Joe as we peeled off and he continued on to his 4th big loop.
HUGE Congratulations to Joe, Sam, Emmy, Frank and everyone else out there on Sunday! I'm totally inspired to run another marathon ASAP (aka in the spring) because of you guys.
Here's an official race photo from Todd Schweikert photography: