Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Race Recap 10/10/15

Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Race Recap
Last Sunday I ran Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll's Inaugural Half Marathon. I say inaugural because you can tell it was a first by how unorganized the race was. The logistics were a mess in the morning but other than that, it was a great run. The weather was perfect and the course was both fun and challenging.

EXPO: I went to the expo on Friday with some friends. It was located at the Brooklyn Expo Center. We got there around 11am and it was not busy at all. It was very easy to get our bibs, however it was harder to find where the shirts were located. The signs weren't very clear that they were outside. No big deal. However, I was pretty disappointed with the size of the expo. Not many booths, not much merchandise. I was hoping to buy something and even browse if there were any shoes, but nada. With a race of this size, I expected more. I've been to other Rock 'n' Roll races and this has got to be the smallest and most disappointing expo of the series. However we still had fun taking some pics. :)
Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
Here is my shirt and bib. Not bad.
RACE DAY: I carpooled over to the race with my friends Minyee and Dana. We left Minyee's around 4:30am (yep bright and early) and got to the parking garage at about 5:40am. So glad we were not one of those that had their parking reservations canceled the night before. I heard that a garage oversold spots by 250. Sounds like craziness to me. Anyhow, the garage where we parked was closer to the finish so we had about a 20 minute walk to the start line. When we got to the start area, we headed straight to the porta potty lines. I was surprised that there weren't very many. The lines were long but not too long when we got there. I probably waited about 10 minutes or so but as I left the lines kept growing and growing. We planned on getting a MRTT group pic by the Soldiers and Sailor's Memorial Arch but many of them were waiting in the long line. We barely managed to get a group photo before heading into the corrals.
I headed out to the corrals earlier than the rest of the group since I was in corral 5. I couldn't believe how long it took just to get to the corrals. Seems we had to walk a half mile from the arch where we took the pic, then through security (which took a while) and then back up to the area we came from. It would have been nice if we had an email or warning of how much time it would take to go through security and get into our corrals. Check out the congestion to get through the metal detectors. They should have had more detectors or another entrance to the corrals with security. It was probably 5 minutes to 7am when I got through security and I still had to get to my corral.
It actually did not matter that I made it right on time in my corral. The race ended up being delayed 35 minutes due to getting all runners through the screening point and clearing the course. 
Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
So we all stood there waiting until finally at about 7:35am the race began. I started my Garmin and for this race I also used Rungo on my phone. It's an app I've been using for a while where you can make your own routes, pick already created routes, or you can just run. As an ambassador of Rungo, I thought it would be cool to have the route created for the half marathon. The awesome folks at Rungo created the route and I'm so glad they did because it helped me out so much during the race! 
Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
The race started out a bit slow due to the crowds but it wasn't too bad. I didn't want to start out fast and waste energy trying to dodge others and weave in and out anyway so I was fine with the start. I really thought it was cool when the Rungo app mentioned when the first water station was coming up and also when I was coming up to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. It was neat to hear some fun facts about the building I was running by and its importance. 
Brooklyn Museum of Art
On the course it was neat seeing people on stilts like the one below. I saw them more than once, I think another set was dressed as rockers.
Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
I loved that it was a beautiful day and the temps were perfect! I felt great most of the race.
Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
Until about mile 10 was when I was starting to lose some steam but I pushed through. We were heading into Prospect Park and I thought to myself only about a 5K to go. I could do it! Thanks Rungo for giving me some words of encouragement. I remember hearing "Never give up" and "Keep going" on my run.
Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
The hills weren't horrible. More like gradual hills at times.
Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
However the hill at mile 12 seemed to go on and on. I loved that the rungo app told me when I had reached the top. I knew it was pretty much downhill from there and looking at my watch had a chance for a PR.
Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon
I tried my best that last mile or so and was so happy to cross the finish line.
So close with an official time of 1:54:05. I was 5 seconds from a PR! I was still very happy with the run and with my time. My goal was to get under 1:55 for the race and I got it! :)
Here are my splits according to my Garmin. I can't believe I had a bunch of fast miles in there and very surprised with my last 1.2 miles. You can tell I was running for a PR. :)
At the finish they had bananas, premier protein bars, chocolate milk (my fave), some cashews, Gatorade, and water. 
Pic with Minyee and Dana.
It was also so great to meet Sandy @syliness and Toni @tonesrn5 fellow #runderfulrunners on Twitter.
Overall, I am very happy with my run. Thanks Rungo for creating the route for me! It helped me run a great race! Loved having my personal run guide point out when the all the water stations and Gu stations were coming up, when we were going to turn around, or when I was at the top of the hill at the end. Plus the "you are a rockstar" at the finish was a great touch! :) Little things like that helped me out lots. Looking forward to using it in future races! As to the morning, logistics could have been better but it was still a great run with some nice bling! 
Brooklyn Rock 'n' Roll Medal 2015
Have you run a rock 'n' roll race?

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