North Brooklyn Runners: A Community Running Group Serving Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, and Beyond!


McCarren Park 5K 2016 – Call for Volunteers & Racers! by nbrwebjohn
May 2, 2016, 5:31 pm
Filed under: Club Points Racing, Inspiration, Members, NBR Goings On, Volunteering

Saturday, May 7, 2016
9:00AMmccarren5k_full_color-01-272x300

McCarren Park (By Ericsson Playground, on Leonard St btwn Manhattan Ave & Bayard St)

Getting the word out about one of our upcoming team races, the McCarren 5K on May 7.

For those new to the club or unfamiliar with this particular event, the McCarren Park 5K is OUR RACE, that we help sponsor and organize with a community charity partner, St. Nick’s Alliance and NYCRuns. The race takes place on our home turf – we plan it, we throw it, we run it, we WIN it.

While still a couple months out from race day, we are starting the call for VOLUNTEERS to help put on another great McCarren 5K this year. Volunteer positions are available for race marshaling, manning water tables and running an NBR recruitment table. We have our sites set on putting together a fantastic NBR volunteer squad of around 35 people. Please sign-up here to assist:

And for all our 5K racers, registration is now open via this race registration link.  But wait, there is more…

All members of North Brooklyn Runners are offered a discounted $25 race fee – please follow this link to our google group for the registration code. (you must be logged in.)

We look forward to another great team showing and fun race alongside our community in May!

-Race & Volunteer Coordinators

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Functional Strength Workout led by Mike Riccardi and Finish Line Physical Therapy by nbrwebjohn
April 24, 2016, 4:00 pm
Filed under: Injuries, Inspiration, NBR Goings On, Workouts

Rescheduled!
Saturday, April 30
10 AM – 11 AM

Finish Line Physical Therapy
119 W 23rd St, Ste 304, New York, New York 10011

FinishLinePTWorkshopRunners are notorious for skipping strength workouts; after all, if you’re already logging a bunch of miles training for a race, who has the extra time? Here’s the truth: improving functional strength will improve running performance—even if it means sacrificing a few miles per week to work on strengthening. The key is understanding how to incorporate it into your regular schedule.

Mike Riccardi of Finish Line Physical Therapy will take the group through an effective functional strength workout that focuses on running-specific exercises in all three planes of motion. We’ll start with the foundational tools for an effective warm-up [mobility, dynamic stretching, foam rolling, 3D running drills] followed by a strength workout [consisting of 3 rounds of 5-6 exercises] that focuses on the muscle groups runners need the most to generate power during speed and hill work.

  • Meet at the Saturday Morning Bridge Run to do an easy 4-mile run to Finish Line for the workout.
  • If you want to just do the strength workout, meet at Finish Line PT.

Bio: Mike Riccardi earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree from Springfield College and has been part of the Finish Line PT staff since 2014. He is recognized as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Fellow of Applied Functional Science (FAFS) from the internationally acclaimed Gray Institute. Mike has played soccer his whole life — including two years in college — and has been a recreational runner since high school, preferring Tough Mudder & Spartan Races. Call him a distance running convert? Not so fast, although he did finish his first half-marathon in 2015.

RSVP on the Facebook Event.



NYRR Brooklyn Half Training Run #2 – 11 Miles by nbrwebjohn
April 20, 2016, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Events, Group Runs, Inspiration, NBR Goings On, Workouts

April 23rd, Saturday
8:00 AM

Start McCarren Park Track (North Side of Track)

BklynHalfTraining2016TwoAre you training for the NYRR Brooklyn Half or just wanna come for a run with a group of runners? Thanks to NYRR and New Balance we are hosting two training opportunities for everyone! Everyone from NBR to other non NBRs are invited!

We will split into different pace groups, we are offering from 7:00 pace to 11:00 pace. Look for pacers in NBR shirts. We will have a stagered start at 8:00 at the north side or the McCarren Park Track. This is the route for this 11 mile run:

Safety first! Don’t forget to bring your ID, metro card, cash, and water/Gu. Unfortunately, we do not have anywhere to store your bags, so def. pack light!

We are excited to host this event and happy to have you all join us! Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

See you on April 23rd at 8:00AM!   RSVP on the Facebook Event.



NBR McCarren Park Track Classic – Next Friday! by nbrwebjohn

mccarren_park_classic


Fifth Annual NBR McCarren Park Track Classic

*Friday, April 22, 2016
6:00 PM

Register Now!

McCarren Park Track
Driggs Avenue between Lorimer St. & Union Ave.


Visit our McCarren Park Track Classic Page for all details.

* Due to our track meet coinciding with the start of Passover, we will hold additional heats of the mile and relays on Thursday April 21st 2016 at 7:30 pm



NYRR Brooklyn Half Training Run #1 – 7 Miles by nbrwebjohn
April 6, 2016, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Events, Group Runs, Inspiration, NBR Goings On, Workouts

April 9th, Saturday
8:30 AM

Start McCarren Park Track (North Side of Track)BklynHalfTrainingOne

Are you training for the NYRR Brooklyn Half or just wanna come for a run with a group of runners? Thanks to NYRR, New Balance, we are hosting two training opportunities for everyone! Everyone from NBR to other non NBRs are invited!

We will split into different pace groups, we are offering from 7:00 pace to 11:00 pace. Look for pacers in NBR shirts. We will start at 8:30 at the north side or the McCarren Park Track. This is the route for this 7 mile run.

Safety first! Don’t forget to bring your ID, metro card, cash, and water/Gu. Unfortunately, we do not have anywhere to store your bags, so def. pack light!

We are excited to host this event and happy to have you all join us! Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

See you on April 9 at 8:30AM!   RSVP on the Facebook Event.



Athens Greece Marathon Race Report – Heather Irvine by nbrwebjohn
April 2, 2016, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Inspiration, Marathon, Members, NBR Goings On

​Finishing a marathon. Running a sub-four marathon. Breaking three hours in a marathon. Running a marathon in all 50 states or across seven continents. Qualifying for Boston. ​We’ve heard the bucket list items again and again. But the deeper I get down the rabbit hole that is the the running community and the more bucket list items I hear about, the more perplexed I become.

There’s an item missing from the majority of these lists: the Athens Marathon in Greece, more specifically, the one that starts in the town of Marathonas. Literally where marathoning started.

Maybe Greece doesn’t publicize the November race enough. Or maybe it’s overshadowed by the New York City Marathon, which falls the week before and draws worldwide attention. Or maybe people don’t even realize there’s a marathon in the town of Marathon.

AthensMara2015

No matter the reason, distance runners should be breaking down the doors to flock to their mecca of Marathonas. I did, last fall, and it was the most fun I’ve ever had over 26.2 miles.

I could go into specifics about my training (I trained for the September mile and then threw in some long runs and called it a day), my weekly mileage (not many), how I modified my diet in the days we hung out in Athens before the race (stayed away from shaved meat). But this marathon wasn’t about that. I knew going into it this was going to be a fun race, a once-in-a-lifetime race, a bucket list race, and I wasn’t going to be bogged down by my Type A self turning this into another “race the clock” race.

We got to Athens 2.5 days before the marathon. Enough time to tire my legs out walking all over the city, time to drink heavy Greek coffee causing my stomach to ask me, “what the heck?,” and time to experiment with some authentic Greek cuisine, barring the shaved meat.

The temps were warm (low 70s), and I knew it would be a warm race without much shade. But instead of panicking about my time, I thought, you’re here to enjoy it and not end up in the hospital hooked to IVs (again).

The bus ride
On Sunday morning, while Jeff slept in the separate twin bed, because Europe, I made my way to a line of coach buses in the dark. It was cool, and there was a buzz of excitement, but one that was still shrouded in sleep. I sat next to a woman from England who’d run the race at least once before. She warned me that there’s no shade and the road has bits of marble in it, causing the sun to reflect back into your face. But then she told me it took her almost six hours to complete the course, so I worried a little less about my day in the Grecian sun.

Marathonas is about a 40- to 45-minute northeast drive from Athens. The farther away from Athens we got, the more desolate the landscape became. I think the one “thing” to do in Marathonas is the “Marathon Museum.” And it doesn’t get very crowded.

The sun came up and we passed signs for “Marathonas.” Quite surreal, actually.

The bus unloaded 11,000 runners (most of them European men) at a local beat-up track. There were porta potties, not lines of them like at Boston or New York, but there also weren’t many runners. And lots of toilet paper.

The start
There wasn’t much fanfare at the start. Nothing like you’ll see at the major marathons in the United States (or London, Berlin, or Tokyo). Although that wasn’t for lack of effort on the mayor of Marathonas’ part. There was music, and he tried to hype people up by repeating over and over again, “Where it all began! The authentic Athens Marathon!” I think they realize this is a big deal, but Greece’s marketing team didn’t get the memo.

I was toward the front and noticed how few women there were. A few people nodded at my North Brooklyn Runners singlet. I even got a couple “BROOKLYN!” screams from Europeans.

Balloons were released before the first corral took off – a pretty cool sight against the clear blue sky. And we were off, to the sound of the mayor shouting, “You’re about to run the authentic Athens marathon!” On repeat.

The race
I’m not going to break down my race mile by mile. Again, it wasn’t about that. It was about putting an olive branch in my hair at mile three, from a Ya Ya. Stopping around mile five to take a photo of a street sign that read
“<—Athina Marathonas—>.” Pulling over at a porta potty (which over a dozen half marathons and five marathons I’d never done) because I wanted to be comfortable throughout the race.

It was about making some Greek and Norwegian friends on a six-mile hill and literally running with the world. About pretending I was Pheidippides on a mission to deliver a very important (and world-changing) message, as I passed through an underpass to the beat of some very impressive drumming.

It was about smiling at the little girls who pointed at the gold wings on my shoes and about applauding the children who proudly wore fun run medals around their necks. About savoring the ceaseless cries of “brava bella!” from the women in the crowd because there were so few women in the race.

Running from Marathon to Athens was about being in the moment and savoring the history of our sport. It was about stopping just before the finish line to hug my husband who watched me in yet another marathon. And stopping again to take a photo of the finish line in the marble Olympic stadium, and then sprinting down the straightaway, Acropolis in view on the hill several miles away.

It was about crossing the finish line relatively pain-free in 3:39: an unexpected time on a hot day on a hilly course with a relaxed pace.

It was about yelling “nike” as they placed a medal on my neck.

“We are victorious.”

Registration opens Monday, April 4.

-Heather Irvine



West Point Half Marathon Race Report Saturday, March 26th, 2016 by nbrwebjohn
March 31, 2016, 9:19 am
Filed under: Inspiration, Race Report, Races

NBR Stats:

Jen McNamee 1:36:32 2nd in 2529 Age Group!
Philip Chiu 1:37:34 14th in 3034 Age Group!
Jennifer Herr 2:05:26 Hey, I finished!

Today, I ran the most beautiful and challenging half marathon course in my racing career, and strongly believe NBR needs to hear about it. The West Point Half Marathon was opened up to noncadet/civilian participation for the first time this year, and three of us jumped at the opportunity to run it. I enjoyed the chilly morning trek to Upstate New York with my fellow NBRs Philip Chiu and Jen McNamee.

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This race paid homage to the United States military, as only an elite Army University could do.Phil and I warmed up on the Mieche Stadium field as military trained parachuters dove down to welcome the runners (and then helicoptered away.) There were great crowds of runners from the Navy, Team RWB (military veterans,) the NYPD and of course the West Point Army Cadets. Each mile marker on the course identified a “fallen cadet” of West Point, who had lost their life fighting for our country. I witnessed army recruits dropping and doing pushups at each of these markers along the course as a way of honoring these men.

My ultimate reason for feeling compelled to write this race report, however, is THE COURSE. While the route was beautiful and historic, with mountain and river views at a famed elite military school campus… the term “Hilly” does not do it justice. West Point provided a course map on their website which identified 4 areas in red that represented large inclines. (Up to 8 flights of stairs in elevation change, they said.) A few highlights on a map did not in any way describe the realities of the run. The entire course was rolling hills with several steep, mountainous climbs and descents in between.

Runners pass Trophy Point during the West Point Half-Marathon Fallen Comrades Run at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. The Hudson River is visible in the background at left.

Runners pass Trophy Point during the West Point Half-Marathon Fallen Comrades Run at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. The Hudson River is visible in the background at left.

At the start of the race, miles 1 to 2, the decline from the stadium to the austere riverside felt TOO steep to me and a bit uncontrollable. I was mindful of not pounding out too hard on my knees, but by the time I reached the bottom, felt like the cartoon Road Runner with my legs spinning uncontrollably and no ability to stop. The course then flattened out a bit for a pleasant out and back along the river front with mountain views. At mile 4.5, I realized the red marks on the course map indicated stretches which were so freakishly steep and long, they had no business being included in a half marathon course. A half mile winding strip of what seemed to be a 45 degree incline up into the campus may have been the most difficult portion of running I’ve ever done. Only slightly less difficult uphill battles were fought between miles 6 & 7, 8 & 9 and 12 & 13. With three quarters of a mile left to the race, the last hill felt almost insurmountable even as bagpipers and cheering children beckoned us up. About half of the racers around me had nothing left to give and could only walk up. I did my best to trudge to the top and eek out a finishing kick the last flat 200 meters back into Mieche Stadium.

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My mile splits were all over the place. At the “too steep” mile 1 downhill, I managed a best pace of 7:45. My slowest pace of 12:57 came at the final mile 12 hill. Everything in between was a scattered range of low 8:00s to low 11:00s. This lead me to a 2:05:26 finish time, about 9 minutes slower than my personal best half marathon.

The West Point Half Marathon redefines the term “hill training.” I can now look at the Williamsburg Bridge and Cat Hill and laugh. This race was a mountain climb that tested your fitness and determination to the fullest. I chose to zone out and cope with it as best I could.

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At the finish line, I discovered that my warrior teammates, Jen & Philip both hit HUGE personal records on the course, which I didn’t imagine possible. (Jen even finished 2nd in her age group!) They both agreed that the difficulty of the course was like nothing they’d ever experienced, yet they were clearly physically and mentally equipped to tackle the task at hand in a much better way than I was. I am in awe of them and challenge any other strong, willful NBR runner to sign up for this race next year. I don’t know that I’ll ever run the West Point Half Marathon again but as a singular experience, I highly recommend the military strength course to any runner looking for a true test of physical strength and personal will.

-Jennifer Herr

——————————————–

westpoint6So, HILLS. I signed up for this race without looking at the elevation profile. I looked at the profile a week or two before the race when someone mentioned how hilly it was and when I saw it, I thought “Oh no, Ive done no hills this year.” HILLS! I had no idea what an understatement it was.

Based on the elevation profile and where I am physically, I was not expecting much. The first mile was downhill and a bit crowded: 7:29, “ops, going a bit fast.” Mile 2: 7:20, Mile 3: 7:03, Mile 4: 7:16, Mile 5: 7:20, Mile 6: 7:18, Mile 7: 7:34. As the miles went by, I was clicking off splits below my PR pace and I was feeling in control. I was powering through those monster HILLS early on and passing people easily. By mile 7, I was worried a blow up was imminent because I was going way too fast for what I thought my fitness was but I felt in control still. In my head, I was repeating an old favorite, “God this hurts so good” at every HILL and it was working.

Mile 8: 7:03, Mile 9: 7:32, Mile 10: 7:04. The miles continued to click off at paces I thought were unbelievable. I was flying up the HILLS and was still feeling in control. Suddenly, around mile 10.5, the wall hit me like Semi Truck. My legs got heavy and refused to turn over. Mile 11: 7:48, Mile 12: 8:15, Mile 13: 9:33, I was in a world of hurt and those HILLS I was not afraid of earlier in the race became cruel and unusual punishment. HILLS, HILLS, HILLS, they were steep beyond belief and seemed to go on forever in those last few mile. After correcting a wrong turn I made, I was able to have a little left to kick to the finish. 1:37:34, a 27 second PR.

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I was an Army Infantryman years ago. When we learned an officer graduated from West Point, we looked at him with a higher expectation. As a soldier, West Point is this holy place Ive always wanted to visit and so when I saw this race pop up, I knew I had to do it. West Point lived up to the hype. The buildings at West Point were truly a sight to see and the mountain range along the Hudson was stunning. On one hand, I want to do this race again but on the other hand, HILLS!

-Philip Chiu