This morning I got myself out of bed a little before six, and headed over to meet Bonnie at the south end of Prospect Park. We stretched out and around 7:45 made out way over to the start. Now, the Nassau County Half Marathon was very well organized, but they weren’t strict on pace. They had signs (5 minute mile, 6, etc.); NYRR (who managed the race today, which is part of the Half Marathon Grand Prix, with one race per borough) also had signs, but they were color coded to your bib (you had to put your pace down when you registered) and you were essentially trapped in your place.
I crossed the start about 15 minutes after the start gun, and did the two loops inside Prospect Park. It was nice running on my home turf, as I knew what to expect. They had water and Gatorade about every two miles starting at mile three; Nassau was much better supported in that regard. In fact, they had water every mile after mile five, I think, and Gatorade every two. NYRR also had this weird situation where the folks seemed to abandon the fluid stations after mile 8 or so, which meant that people were dipping their own cups into these garbage cans of water and Gatorade. Not so sanitary, so I basically went the last four miles sans water. Ick.
I knew that because it would be so much warmer today that my time would be worse than Nassau’s time. My goal was to be under 2:20; I got in at about 2:18+. So that was good!
The best part was the finish – on the boardwalk at Coney Island! It’s a pretty iconic location, with the Cyclone and the Wonder Wheel and the parachute jump tower. I damn near ate it on the uneven boards (and one poor woman behind me did), but I regained my balance and finished strong.
It feels good to have run two half marathons. I know it isn’t a fluke, and I know I can do it in mildly warm weather. The next test? Manhattan in August. Luckily that race starts at 7 . . .