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


F.A.Q.s

NBR Frequently Asked Questions

1. General

1.a What is NBR?

1.b Can I join?

1.c What does it cost to be in NBR?

1.d How often do you run?

1.e How do I find you?

2. Racing

2.a How do I sign up for these races you guys keep talking about?

2.b Do I have to run a certain pace to sign up for a race?

2.c How do I run a race under NBR?

2.d Should I wear an NBR shirt to a race even if I’m not in the Top 5 
runners?

2.e What’s the deal with these “Club Points Races” and “Top 5 scoring 
runners” things?

2.f What is a “corral”? And what’s up with these bib colors?

2.g How do I get my race number?

2.h Can I get a refund if I don’t run a race?

2.i Can I sell my race entry to someone else if I can’t run the race?

2.j Why should I run a race that I’m not going to win?

2.k I’m not ready to run a race, what should I do?

2.l What do I do before a race?

2.m What do I do after a race?

2.n What should I eat before a race?

2.o What do I eat after a race?

2.p What should I wear for a race?

2.q What do I do with my cellphone, metrocard, and other stuff while 
I’m racing?

2.r How do I train for a race?

2.s I’m still worried about my first race, does NBR have anything else 
to help new racers?

3. Injuries

3.a I have this injury….can someone please help?

3.b Where can I find professional help?

4. Training programs

4.a Are there any training programs available for me? Are there others on the team that I can run with?

4.b How can I work out what my training pace should be?

4.c What’s a fartlek, and do I have to?

5. Gear

5.a How can I get a singlet or some gear?

5.b What is a pre-order?

5.c When will I get my pre-order?

5.d How long do I have to pick-up my paid-for gear?

5.e How can I sign up for shipping?

5.f If I order a size that doesn’t fit, can I exchange it?

5.g Can I print my own NBR Gear?

5.h Can I print an NBR logo on my own hat/pants/tech-tee/arm warmers/grandma?

5.i I don’t have a PayPal account. Can I pay with cash/check/gold doubloons?

6. Money

6.a How is the NBR money monitored?

6.b How can I donate funds to NBR?

7. Non-running stuff

7.a Does NBR do anything else besides running?

7.b I’m injured/out of shape/no longer running and/or just like to hang out with runners. Can I still be in NBR?

8. The Google Group

8.a How does the Google group work? Can I contribute?

8.b What are the guidelines for the NBR Google Group?

8.c I’m bored at work, how can I spark an argument on the Google group (within the guidelines of course)?


1. General
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1.a What is NBR?

NBR is a supportive, low-pressure community based running group. Our runners are beginners and experienced, fast and slow– and everything in between. We are focused on promoting a running community in North Brooklyn through weekly group runs, track workouts, club races, and social events.

The group is for ALL pace groups and experience levels. Whether you are a Division III All American, or someone who wants to occasionally stretch their legs, NBR has something for you. You can learn more by checking the website where you can view a current workout schedule and learn about upcoming races. Or just show up for one of the runs!

We are not competitive in the sense that we take ourselves so seriously. There are some of us who are competitive by nature and enjoy races for that energy, but mostly it’s because we’re competing against ourselves as singular individuals to push hard or reach a PR. But if you’re not competitive, that’s okay too, everyone is welcome and much encouraged to run with us during the week and at races, no matter your motivation. We’re just here because we like to run. With you. Back to top

1.b Can I join?

Yes! We want to run with you! No matter your pace or experience level–or even if you just want to help out (timing, volunteering, planning events, etc.) whatever you’re here for is great. We’re also not picky about where you live – while the majority of our members live in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Bushwick, we have members in Long Island City, Ridgewood, Park Slope, Bed-Stuy, and a handful of proud satellite members outside of the metro.

There’s no official form or anything to join. Just start showing up to group runs, races, and our other events. You’d be best off also signing up for the Google Group to keep in the loop with all of our discussions, etc. and you can join the Facebook group too, if you’re into it. To get in our database and/or to address any of your questions or concerns, email Katie & Helen, our Membership Coordinators. Back to top

1.c What does it cost to be in NBR?

Nothing, nadda, $0. We do not charge any membership fees, and we hope to keep it that way! In exchange, we do hope that our members will give back to the group or the community by participating in volunteer opportunities, events we host, or taking on varying kinds of leadership roles. Aside from occasional, optional purchases of t-shirts, singlets, and the like, we’d rather you kept your money for race fees, running shoes, and rent. Back to top

1.d How often do you run?
There are lots of organized runs every week. Each run has a specific purpose (speedwork, distance etc) and target pace. You can see the schedule here, and through the week the leader of each run will post a reminder and the route / workout they’re planning on the Google group. Other ‘non-official’ runs also get posted onto the group, or people looking for workout partners for that evening etc.

The Saturday morning bridge run is a great place to start with the group. We run over Williamsburg Bridge and back, and then go for coffee somewhere in Williamsburg. All paces are welcome and (unless there’s a race going on somewhere) there’s usually a good turnout. Back to top

1.e How do I find you?

In real-life: most of the runs meet at the recycling bins at the north end of the track in McCarren Park. The Saturday morning runs which meet at S5th & Driggs, and there are also some runs around Prospect Park that get posted on the google group, and they meet at Grand Army Plaza. The Thurs morning run meets in Greenpoint. There is a map here with all the meet-up spots.

On the web: we are all over the internet. The Google Discussion Group and our Facebook group are the best ways to stay in the loop. We also use Twitter or you can always Email Us: talk to you soon! Back to top


2. Racing
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Sound advice courtesy of Anna McCusker, one of NBR’s fastest runners and an experienced racer.  Back to top

2.a How do I sign up for these races you guys keep talking about?

Most NBRers run races in Central Park through New York Road Runners (NYRR). We do this because we are a recognized Division A team by them and can compete against other local teams. You can find their entire race calendar on the http://www.nyrr.org website. For those of us who like to venture out of the park, there are several other organizations in the Metro area that hold races (Long Island – www.glirc.org, NYC – www.nycruns.com, The Rockaways – http://rockapulcorun.com, The Bronx – www.theholidaymarathons.com, are just a few) . The best thing to do is go to http://northbrooklynrunners.org/ and click on “Race Schedule/ Sign In” link on the left under “Membership”. This will bring you to the team spreadsheet where you can see what races other runners are running, find the links to the races, and put your own name down under a race. Back to top

2.b Do I have to run a certain pace to sign up for a race?

Nooooooooooooo!!!!! You can never be too fast or too slow to run 
under NBR in a race. You can never hurt the team with a slow time. Back to top

2.c How do I run a race under NBR?

When you are signing up for a race on the NYRR website, choose “NBR – 
North Brooklyn Runners”, it’s as simple as that! **If you’ve been 
running on another team, please run “unattached” for at least 90 days 
before entering a race under NBR, USATF rules! Back to top

2.d Should I wear an NBR shirt to a race even if I’m not in the Top 5 
runners?

You should be wearing an NBR shirt everywhere you go, including races,
job interviews, weddings, and court appearances. Back to top

2.e What’s the deal with these “Club Points Races” and “Top 5 scoring 
runners” things?

NBR is recognized as a Division A team by NYRR where we compete 
against other local teams. NYRR holds more than 50 races per year, 
and 12 of those races are “Club Points Races” where they will add up 
the finishing times for the Top 5* Men and Top 5* Women on each team 
and give us points according to what place we came in. Our Men’s team 
is currently in 7th and our Women’s is in 5th. There is NO way you 
can hurt the team with your race time since they only count the top 
finishers. You can find out more info here.  
[*NYRR scores the top 10 Men and Women for the Team Champs race, and 
the Top 3 Men and Women for the NYC Marathon.] Back to top

2.f What is a “corral”? And what’s up with these bib colors?

Since most NYRR races have at least 4000 runners in them, NYRR places
runners at the starting line in order of their pace. There will be 
more than 8 sections (corrals) at the starting line and each one is 
given a different color based on your fastest minute per mile pace for 
any race over 3 miles. The race number you receive will also 
correlate with the bib color and will be further sorted by your last 
name. So, if your pace is under 7 minutes per mile you will most- 
likely be in the A Corral (first corral) and if your name starts 
with “A” your number will be 100something, if your last name starts 
with Z, your number will probably be 800something. You don’t have to 
line up according to last name, just by bib color. The corrals are now in alphabetical order. There are no set pace guidelines for these 
corrals, it all depends on how many people are in a race and how fast 
everyone will be running, so your bib color can change from race to 
race. Back to top

2.g How do I get my race number?

For NYRR Club Points races, we usually have a volunteer go to NYRR and 
pick up everyone’s race numbers and souvenir tee shirts. Rob Fritz 
will send out an email to the Google Group asking who wants their 
numbers picked up, respond to this email and your race materials will 
magically appear at the McCarren Park track on Thursdays @ 7:30pm, and 
at The Turkey’s Nest @ 8:30. For all other races, check the race 
website for instructions on how to get your bib. Most races have 
several pick up times, including race day pickups. Back to top

2.h Can I get a refund if I don’t run a race?

No. Back to top

2.i Can I sell my race entry to someone else if I can’t run the race?

NO!!!!! Do not sell your race entry. Do not attempt to sell your 
race entry. Some races let you transfer bibs for a fee (the Cherry 
Blossom 10 miler in DC, and the Philly Broad Street run are two races 
that let you). NYRR generally does not let you transfer race entries, 
but they do make exceptions sometimes, to find out more about this 
contact the Race Coordinators Alex Walsh and Rob Fritz).

NBR even has an official policy on this as follows:

1) NYRR can reassign bibs, but it has to be done at least two weeks
 out from the race and the new athlete must pay the entry fee. You must contact NYRR to do this. And this does not save you any money, it’s really only worthwhile for races that are already full.

(2) Running “bandit” (without bib/timing chip) not only badly represents our team, but also threatens your own permission to run future races with NYRR, including the marathon.

(3) Effective June 18, 2011, using the NBR forum to attempt to sell or hand-off your bibs will cause you to lose NBR Google Group privileges. Back to top

2.j Why should I run a race that I’m not going to win?

Because it’s fun to run races! Some people run to win Age Group 
awards, some run to PR, some run to raise money for charity, some run 
because they like to run a 10k before their friends have even woken 
up. Whatever the reason, running races with NBR is way fun. Back to top

2.k I’m not ready to run a race, what should I do?

In my opinion you’re always ready to run a race! Two weeks ago I ran a 
race on Long Island to benefit Lymphoma research. If everyone who 
wasn’t “ready” to run a race didn’t show up, then no money would have 
gone to the cancer research. With that being said, if you are injured 
or can’t otherwise run, then pleeaaaasssssseeeee volunteer at the 
race! We always need more volunteers!!!!!! Go to http://northbrooklynrunners.org/ 
and click on “Volunteer Schedule/ Sign In” link on the left under 
“Membership” to see some volunteer opportunities. Back to top

2.l What do I do before a race?

NBR likes to travel to races together, so check the Google Group for 
meetup times and locations. Back to top

2.m What do I do after a race?

A lot of races have raffles so stick around and you might win something! Immediately after finishing a race, NBR usually meets up 
by the baggage check area after a race so hang out by there and you 
will find some other smelly runners to take the train back to Brooklyn 
with. Our Social Coordinators also organize Team Brunches for all 
Club Points races, so check the Google Group for time and location. Back to top

2.n What should I eat before a race?

There is no right answer to this question. The only things I can eat 
before a race without getting sick are potatoes and Gu Chomp Blocks. 
I’ve seen people have bacon, egg & cheese on a bagel before a 
marathon, bananas before a 10k, electrolyte tabs, etc. Different people can stomach different foods, you should test out your race day
foods during practice during the week. Back to top

2.o What do I eat after a race?

Studies have shown that eating or drinking something with a carb to protein ratio of 4:1 aids in muscle recovery. These studies have only 
been done on male bikers and preliminary studies on women have shown that this combination has no better effect than just eating carbs. 
The most important thing is just to eat within the first 45 mins after 
a race, this will help to restore glycogen levels and aid muscle 
recovery. I recommend potatoes, Jameson, and Guinness. Back to top

2.p What should I wear for a race?

Your NBR gear of course! If you don’t have any, then wear whatever 
you feel comfortable in. Try not to wear brand new clothing for a 
race unless you like chafe-marks. Cherie Yanek holds “what should I wear” seminars a few times a year. She runs Ultra Marathon Races of 
50 and 100 miles, so I consider her an expert on this topic. She
totally made me hate winter running less after I attended the cold 
weather running seminar. Back to top

2.q What do I do with my cellphone, metrocard, and other stuff while 
I’m racing?

Most races have a baggage check where you can leave your bag and pick 
it back up after racing. Back to top

2.r How do I train for a race?

That depends on the race and what your goals are. One of the first 
things you should do is start a daily running log so you can keep 
track of your mileage and paces. Step 2 is to either start going to 
Speedwork (we have a few of these per week) or get a training plan 
like the Pfitzinger plan, Daniels plan, Fitzgerald plan (all available 
at Barnes & Nobles in the sports section). Back to top

2.s I’m still worried about my first race, does NBR have anything else 
to help new racers?

Contact our race coordinators:, training coordinators, or new member coordinators if you have any additional 
questions.

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3. Injuries
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3.a I have this injury….can someone please help?

NBR consists of runners of vast experience and, consequently, injuries. Odds are, if you are suffering from a common running injury, we have talked about it in the Google Group forum. Do a quick search and absorb the discussions that have amassed, and feel free to post onto the group if there is additional information you would like to have regarding your injury. Remember, all runners are different, and injuries usually accompany us based on our personal training habits- how many miles we run, the shoes we wear, how fast we run, the types of workouts we do, past injuries, diet, etc… Back to top

3.b Where can I find professional help?

There is a list of resources on the NBR website here: http://northbrooklynrunners.org/links/ with recommended local doctors.

Some of these professionals are members of the google group and they post on injuries sometimes so that’s another good resource.  Back to top


4. Training programs
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4.a Are there any training programs available for me? Are there others on the team that I can run with?

Many of our members train for and run marathons. Because of the high demands of marathon training, the best thing you can do is try to meet other people who you can run with several times per week.

We have three scheduled long runs (12-20 miles) a week: the Mourning Doves on Wednesday, the Sunday Funday Runday, and a run on Thursday mornings from Greenpoint led by our resident ultra-runners. For all of these runs the leaders will post the meet-up time and the planned route on the google group in advance, so keep an eye there. It’s perfectly acceptable to join for part of the run. For Sunday Funday Runday in particular they aim to have a variety of pace groups, if you want to run at a specific pace you can always reply to the run posting to find running buddies. Back to top

4.b How can I work out what my training pace should be?

Only you know what your goals are, how many races you’re planning to run and so on. The McMillan training calculator: http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm helps you translate your race goals into training paces over different distances. There are several speedwork sessions a week that can help you get faster. Back to top

4.c What’s a fartlek, and do I have to?

Don’t worry, a fartlek is only a fun, Swedish word meaning “speed play.” And it is fun, actually! Essentially, it’s an unstructured training method that has you speeding up and slowing down at random intervals during a run. We incorporate this into one of our weekly workouts to increase our aerobic capacity, and work on both endurance and speed in one workout! You don’t have to, but try it, you might like it. More on fartleks. Back to top


5. Gear
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5.a How can I get a singlet or some gear?

You have a few options.

1. Check this website to see if the gear you want is in stock. If it is, go ahead and order it! We’ll get it out to you as soon as possible.

2. If your size/color/preferred item is not in stock then, simply wait for the next pre-order to see if it will be available to order again. Singlets will always be available to order during the pre-orders. Other specialty items (hats, jackets, a certain color of American Apparel t-shirt) may not.

3. A few times a year, the gear team announces they will be holding a pop-up shop to sell leftover gear. We will announce these on the google group and on Facebook. They usually take place at large team events or after certain workouts. Back to top

5.b What is a pre-order?

A pre-order generally happens twice a year (in the fall and spring) and it’s when NBR members can “pre” order various NBR gear on our lovely website. It’s called a pre-order because NBR members order gear during a specific time window (usually 10 days) that the gear team THEN orders from our supplier. Since we do not already have the gear in stock, we call it a pre-order, because in essence you are ordering the gear before the gear team has ordered it. We do this to make sure we don’t over-order gear that will just sit around and collect dust in someone’s apartment. This does mean that you may have to wait a bit longer for your beautiful, one-of-a-kind NBR gear than if you were ordering clothing from a commercial retailer, but we thank you in advance for your patience!. Back to top

5.c When will I get my pre-order?

Pre-Orders take about 4 weeks from the end of the pre-order. We have to order from our supplier who then orders from the manufacturer and then they are printed. Sometimes there are backorder or additional issues and it may take a little longer. We will do our best to make sure you get your pre-order items as soon as we are able. Back to top

5.d How long do I have to pick-up my paid-for gear?

All gear orders must be picked up within 90 days of purchase. If you are unable to pick up during this period, please pay for shipping and we will gladly ship your order to you. After 90 days, the items will be returned to inventory. Please keep in mind that we cannot offer a refund after 30 days of purchase.

We currently have orders that are over a year old. We will make sure that these orders make it to their rightful owners, but we will  keep items moving or let someone else have them. Back to top

5.e How can I sign up for shipping?

Go to northbrooklynrunners.miiduu.com site and click on “shipping” under “categories” on the left sidebar. Select “Oops I forgot to pick up” and add it to your cart, then proceed to checkout and fill out your information. The amount of your “purchase” will be $0, but when you reach step two, it’ll add a shipping charge of $6, which will be used to ship your order. Please note, we do not ship to addresses outside of the United States. Back to top

5.f If I order a size that doesn’t fit, can I exchange it?

We’ll try our best to make it work for you, but we can’t guarantee that you’ll definitely be able to exchange it for a different size. We usually do order a few extras, so once the shipment comes in, we’ll know better what sizes we have left. The best thing to do is to try your singlet on at the pickup and it doesn’t fit, we’ll take a look at the inventory and see if we have something that fits better. Back to top

5.g Can I print my own NBR Gear?

Maybe. Please be aware that NBR gear sales constitute a significant portion of fundraising for the team. Since ours is a free, open-to-all organization, team members printing their own gear are essentially circumventing one of NBR’s only fundraising efforts. The funds raised via gear sales are used for our awesome team events and volunteer initiatives that benefit all members and the community. We’d also like to be able to ensure quality control and consistency with the logo, team colors and the uniforms or gear being printed. That being said there are some circumstances where you may be able to go through the gear team to print specialized singlets for a certain race. Please email gear@northbrooklynrunners.org for more information! Back to top

5.h Can I print an NBR logo on my own hat/pants/tech-tee/arm warmers/grandma?

Unfortunately, at this time we are not able to offer logo printing on clothing items not sold during the pre-order. We do sell NBR tattoos in the gear shop, however, so that might take care of your grandma. Back to top

5.i I don’t have a PayPal account. Can I pay with cash/check/gold doubloons?

You don’t need a Paypal account to make a purchase at the online gear shop, just a valid debit/credit card. Once you click on the “Confirm Order” button in the gear store, it’ll bring you to the PayPal site. There is an option (underneath where it asks you to sign in to PayPal), that says “Don’t have a Paypal account?”. Click on that link and it will take you to a secure page where you can simply enter your credit card info without having to sign into Paypal. The only time we are able to accept cash is when we are selling leftover inventory at the various pop up shops we hold throughout the year. We do not accept checks or gold doubloons, sorry. Back to top


6. Money
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6.a How is the NBR money monitored?

A monthly report is sent to Aja and co-treasurers for review and can be requested by any curious members.

An annual report will be presented at town hall meetings. Back to top

6.b How can I donate funds to NBR?

If the donor desires a tax deduction the donation must be sent to OSA and include a memo that it is for NBR. Then OSA will hold those funds and reimburse NBR for activities that benefit the park and community.

If the donor does not need a tax deduction and believes in NBR’s mission they can donate by check, cash or through paypal. There is a convenient link on the NBR website. Back to top


7. Non-running stuff
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7.a Does NBR do anything else besides running?

Yes! In addition to our weekly group runs and participating as an NYRR recognized team at road races, we have regular social activities (picnics, brunch, bar meet-ups) and are committed to community service and action in the neighborhood– we’ve participated in Williamsburg Walks, It’s My Park Day, NB Compost Project, and support locally owned small businesses.

In the last year our social events have included a prom, a scavenger hunt, and workshops on injury prevention and ultra-running. We have twice yearly ‘town hall’ meetings to discuss the club and we also volunteer at races such as the NY marathon where we ran a water table. All these events are posted on the website and on the google group, and we have a volunteer coordinator who keeps things up to date.

Our Facebook page has plenty of photographs so you can see us in action. Back to top

7.b I’m injured/out of shape/no longer running and/or just like to hang out with runners. Can I still be in NBR?

Absolutely! We have opportunities for members and friends to help out with various things on a regular and occasional basis– from timing us and encouraging us on speedwork days, to support with volunteer projects and events, to cheering us on at races, we can always use extra hands. Email us if you’re interested in something specific or have some ideas. Back to top


8. The Google Group
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8.a How does the Google group work? Can I contribute?

The NBR Google Group is intended to encourage communication between members – ideally communication that is running or NBR related. It is not the voice of NBR, and it is not a moderated forum. Messages aren’t approved or reviewed before they are posted. Each message reflects the opinion or thoughts of the individual writer.

The NBR Google Group has > 1,000 members. With so many members, there will be a big range of opinions & personalities. Chances are some of the posts – even runs and race meetup info – will not be relevant or of interest to every individual in the group. You may disagree with some.

You can run with NBR without belonging to the Google Group. Or you can belong to the group and not consider yourself part of the team. Some are active in the Google Group & the team, but race with another club..

As a loosely structured organization, we’re not setup to censor or moderate the Google Group beyond some simple guidelines. Back to top

8.b What are the guidelines for the NBR Google Group?

There are a few guidelines for using the group:

  • You cannot use the Google Group to post things that violate NYRR rules. For example, no selling of race bibs or offers to race with multiple d-tags. Some may view this as harsh. There are differing opinions about NYRR. But as long as we participate in NYRR races as an official team, we have to abide by NYRR rules. Please remember, no NBR member is obligated to run NYRR races. We need this rule to prevent NBR from getting banned as a team from NYRR races.
  • No spam. This is spam in the strictest sense. Posts about buying handbags or designer shoes with a link to a website.

Violating guidelines 1 & 2 will result in an individual being banned from the group

  • Be respectful. That doesn’t mean no debating or disagreement. But no personal insults.
  • Be mindful of the fact that your messages go to over 900 people. When appropriate, reply directly to the author.
  • If the volume of emails is overwhelming for you, switch to a daily digest by changing your google group settings
  • Off topic posts. This is a tricky one and honestly there isn’t consensus on whether non-running posts should be allowed. It’s a good example of how the group continues to evolve. If you feel your post about an apartment, party, event, job post etc is appropriate, please make an effort to put OT in the subject.  Back to top

8.c I’m bored at work, how can I spark an argument on the google group (within the guidelines of course)?

Easy. Mention barefoot running, heel-striking or running with headphones and just sit back. Back to top

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