Monday, May 22, 2017

2017 Brooklyn Air Bnb Half Marathon - After thoughts, observations

2017 Brooklyn Air Bnb Half Marathon - After thoughts, observations

Impatient, I woke up Saturday morning at 3:30 a.m. Went downstairs, and in a short time I was able to take care of "business" twice before heading out on the road. I didn't drink coffee before the race, and I have noticed that this reduces the number of times I have to stand on long line for the portable sanitary stations, which helps in avoiding waiting with large crowds signed up for this event. 

I am not sure if not drinking coffee reduces the effects of my performance, but most days when I go out for a run, I usually drink water and on an empty stomach. 

I left the house at 4:40 a.m. and took Sunrise Highway West straight onto the Belt Parkway. I went towards the Coney Island neighborhood and found parking right away on the street, near West 22nd and Mermaid Avenue. Most other runners lined up into the public parking lots. I guess I saved something like $25. Other than runners heading to the train station, Coney Island was already awake, eclectic, interesting, and open to all.

I walked towards the train station, and I asked this Spanish speaking woman collecting empty plastic bottles if I was heading to the right direction. She mumbled something I presumed to be a "yes". When I saw other runners boarding the "Q" train, then I knew everything was going as per plan, though I was cutting it real close to be in my corral, Wave 1, Letter K, on time. When the "Q" train arrived at the platform, there were some people getting ready to disembark. Others, like a homeless set-up with a tent, and some young drunkards, were definitely not getting off this stop. Good thing I didn't leave the house later than 4:40 a.m., which would've been worse, and more stressful. And who needs stress? 

My assigned corral was "full", so I was sent to the next corral behind. This really didn't matter as the runner's time is measured with a time chip, net, between Start and Finish. Wave 1 started at 7:00 a.m., after a few announcements from the sponsors and race organizers. The clock for my timing began 24 minutes from the Start Time. 

Runners were everywhere, shape, size, color, etc. The beginning pace was slightly slow, even as we ran inside Prospect Park for an entire loop. I am very appreciative of all the volunteers taking part of this event. Once we exited Prospect Park onto Ocean Avenue South, the field of runners spread open. 

There were street performers of all different musical genres, all uplifting. There were cheering from organized groups, local residents, family relatives. The most memorable was the pure joy emanating from a woman holding onto her walker, cheering us as we ran past her. Her joy was transparent and contagious. There were political signs that read: You are running more efficient than our government, or, Run like Trump runs from investigations, or, Impeach Trump, and a poster of Trump as The Joker with thick red lipstick saying - I thought this was going to be easy. Other posters read - Worst Parade Ever. 

I ran about nine miles without hydrating, and then at mile 10 I began consuming Gatorade mixed with water. My legs were getting tired. The beauty of a Half Marathon, that it requires physical conditioning and mental discipline to spread your strength for the duration of the run.

Although this year's time was slower than last year, I was able to sprint through the Finish Line. I managed to take photos, before, during and after the race. I managed to get a full bottle of Gatorade that I gulped in one shot. The day was getting overcast and slightly cooler, which doesn't help if one is soaked in sweat. I didn't stay for the After Race Party, and went back to my car. A local neighbor saw the Finisher's Medal hang from my neck and congratulated me. I clearly responded thank you. 

Leaving the neighborhood to take the Belt Parkway wasn't easy, as many of my fellow runners were still going at it. Thanks Coney Island, Prospect Park and Brooklyn.  Written 05202017


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