Hello NBR Family and Friends!
March 30 at 8:00 AM
McCarren Park Track
Are you training for the NYRR BK 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 12:00 pace. Look for pacers in NBR shirts. We will have a stager start (start with 12:00 to 7:00) so everyone finishes the run around the same time:) This is the route!
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 defintately 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 March 30 at 8:00AM!
North Brooklyn Runners
Destination races are often posted on the NBR list-serve. Every once and a while, for some unknown reason, one race gains momentum, and a mass of NBR descends upon some distant locale sporting NBR gear head to toe. The locals wonder, who are these North Brooklyn Runners and should we be scared?
And so it was when Randy posted about the Merge 25K happening in Durham, North Carolina. Liam and Charles said to themselves: Hey, I have family there! Charles didn’t need much more of an excuse, but Liam – being a bit more strategic – reviewed race elevations to determine if it had the specifications for an optimum pre-race in preparation for Boston. What he learned was the following: it was a point-to-point race with a net downhill, and a generous amount of up-hills on that descent, just like Boston. Plus, it got bonus points for being a smaller race (800 registrants) and thus having the potential of podium time. Others of us were drawn to the fact that Merge Records is the home label of some of our favorite bands and promised a rocking after-party. Personally, I signed up for warm weather and greenery, and because I like the 25K distance.
Five of us were on the same small plane to North Carolina, while the others made their way on their own. I still prefer the 15-passenger van road trip, but it was a blast to share the cab and flight. We got started with some oversized draft beers at the airport since we arrived early – as we’ve learned to do for races – and were convinced that it would not interfere with our race performance. After a barbeque dinner and a trip to Whole Foods for breakfast provisions, we retired early to large, comfortable Southern hotel rooms as big as our Brooklyn apartments.
Race morning, we made our way from Durham to the start in Chapel Hill on shuttles and then amassed with our fellow NBRs around registration talking about our plans and paces. Our “fun run” people promised that they were just jogging this one, it was not a goal race, and they had not trained for this distance…YEAH SURE. Most had not run this distance before, and this was Elise’s longest distance to date! Shane was acting as a pacer for Meredith. (Shane also had a pocket full of Hammer Fuel for anyone that might need some, because Shane is always prepared and helpful. Odds are that he secretly volunteers at a homeless shelter too.) Liam was working on getting psyched up to destroy the local competition (which truth be told, looked dauntingly fit) and donned his game face. I used the McMillan app to see the recommended pace for a 25K based on my NYC Half time. The recommendation was 7:28/mi, but I felt I could manage the prior weekend’s pace (7:23) since it was far from my PR. No one else was willing to discuss pace, nor did they accept my offers to let them use the McMillan app. Meanwhile, Cherie and her ultra running coach Ray were trying to determine if they should double back after the race for some extra miles.
It was a beautiful morning and as the sun came up the NBR squad was just happy to be there and not in NYC. The men went and peed in the bushes just because it was pretty and open, and we wanted to mark our newfound territory (Okay, maybe that was just me).
Walking up to the start line, which had no corrals, we found Liam again warmed up and standing alone at the starting line. All of the other participants were still hanging back as if they were waiting for some unseen elite corral to take their place in front of them. It was an odd sight.
We stood there casually for a few minutes as others slowly started to walk up to the line, then Shane or Liam said, “I guess they’re not going to announce clearance on the…”
“Go!” (No gun, no horn, no clearance on the roadway, not even a “get set.”)
Wha!? And we were off.
Shane, Meredith, Charles and I started off at a pretty good clip, but we still lost sight of Liam in a minute or less, since it was a bit rolling and curvy. As we crossed the first mile we made another turn, and because of a gentle grade down, we could see Liam way out front. We lost sight of him when he turned, and we knew that that was the last we would see of Liam until the finish line.
We got back to focusing on pacing, since we had started a little fast. We might been tempted to ease up too much, but Shane kept us honest at 7:20-25. We were enjoying the road, when first in puzzlement and then in apprehension, we recognized that the NBR jersey stopped on the shoulder in front of us was Liam. We slowed to see if he needed help. He let us know that he wasn’t racing; he had just run ahead so that he could cheer the rest of the team on. That’s why NBR wins Team Spirit!
Shane was immediately overwhelmed by Liam’s commitment to team spirit and fell into a side plank.
Shane had no idea those back country roads from Chapel Hill to Durham would be that hilly, so he was grateful for the good conversation and laughs for the almost two hours of running with Meredith, Charles Atherton and myself. Shane lit up when we got shout-outs for New York; people couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about welcoming us to the South. One highlight for Shane was the dinner on Saturday night with Iman’s parents and the rest of NBR. Finally, Meredith and Shane got to run around Duke University on Sunday morning before the rain and were mightily impressed. If Shane decides to go back to school, this may be the place.
Charles is no stranger to the area having lived there for 13 years including his college years. He was ready for some perfect spring weather, a beautiful hilly course, and a great group of NBRs to run and party with. Or what he calls, “pretty close to a perfect weekend!” The novelty of a point-to-point race through wooded neighborhoods, along country roads lined with trees bursting into bloom, that ended at a post-race party with great live music, and traveling with NBR makes for a pretty cool weekend.
Bomina remembers one of her favorite movie quotes of all time, “life is better with company.” The only time during the weekend that she didn’t get to share our company was during the race, and even then, we were all together in spirit. The NBR jersey brought her the company of strangers, as so many of them asked, “You’re one of those North Brooklyn Runners?” That NBR jersey stands out, and gets you special treatment (like a free Bloody Mary bought by another runner’s dad) at the after-party! When you’re traveling to a race, life is better with NBR!
Elise was anxiously waiting for the start of the longest distance race she’s run. She’d completed two half marathons, and a Sunday-Funday Run that was just under 14 miles. On top of that, she’d sprained her ankle five weeks earlier, and wondered if she would she totally break down and hobble across the finish line in last place. A starting line shortage of port-a-potties (there are never enough, are there?) had Elise running past the first few markers reading 1K, 2K, and 3K but still with no port-a-potties in sight. Finally she sighted one, but wait: It wasn’t for racers, it was for the road crew. She decided she could wait. The hills’ relentless undulation, like a perverse magic runway carpet in cement grey, could have been lethally boring, but Elise tagged onto an older woman with a steady cadence. She would gain then lose this race friend the whole time. Bystanders cheered: “You can do it! Just. One. More. Hill!” and “I promise you this is the last one!” and “It’s ALL downhill after this one!” It was one encouraging lie after the next. Elise ran faster than her previous half marathon paces, and finished first for the NBR women.
Christine commented that the race organizers chose a really cool area for the finish and after party. The vibe was very Brooklyn. Not surprisingly the managers and some of the staff of the host bar Motorco were all bearded, and have visited Williamsburg numerous times. I think they had plans on kidnapping Christine.
Liam traveled with Angela and Roebling to visit family, and with a grand NBR spirit strategy. He wanted to be at the start and along the route to get us pumped up, but there was no subway. The only way to execute his master plan was to get out on the field and take off like a shot in front of the fastest runners. He then dutifully cheered us on the course. He positioned his son Roebling 400m off the finish line with an exceptionally loud baby rattle that he would shake and blurt “mmnbbrer” as loud as his chubby cheeks could muster. (He’s still working on enunciating.) Then there was Angela at the finish line congratulating us… and somewhat concerned as to where her husband was.
Cherie posted her experiences on her blog (http://worldofcherie.blogspot.com/) In summary, for Cherie, it was all about the music. (Little known fact: She doesn’t actually like running.) Superchunk has been a favorite band of hers since high school, and she was hoping to meet some of her favorite musicians. The first band playing at the after-party was Cosmic Punk, and they were phenomenal. Bomina and Cherie both wanted to buy their CD only to find out that they don’t have a CD, because they’re still in high school. And they’re THAT awesome? Yes!
Stephanie made a spontaneous decision to come down for the race, both to take advantage of what turned out to be a much shorter than hoped for gap between jobs and to revisit her college town of Durham. She was pleasantly surprised by Durham’s continued evolution, even if it made her feel old when she didn’t know where she was half the time. Stephanie was still shaking off the “NBR Plague” that claimed multiple people during the week after the gala (she’s still trying to find and blame “Carrier Zero”), so she spent the race itself alternately enjoying the course and standing off to the side of the road hacking convulsively and scaring other runners. She also solved the mystery of why people kept asking us, “Are you from the Brooklyn in New York?” when an admirer informed her that there is a “cool” neighborhood in Raleigh that is nicknamed “Brooklyn.”
Many thanks to Merge Records for putting on a great inaugural race, and to the friendly folks of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill for making it such a welcoming experience for a gang of misfits from the mean streets of North Brooklyn (New York).
Filed under: Events, Inspiration, Members, NBR Goings On, New Members, Volunteering
On why you should volunteer
Let me start by saying this is not a sponsored post by the volunteers group. I’ve written it voluntarily, without even being asked: how’s that for volunteer spirit? So these are just my thoughts now my fingers and toes have thawed out from this morning’s efforts at the NYC half marathon water table.
The facts are simple – we showed up at 6am, it was stunningly cold. We set up tables, and flags, and gatorade banners, the wind howled, the cups blew around (no kidding at one point there was a howling cup vortex blowing round the legs of the lead runners), we got very wet pouring water (and sticky from gatorade), we froze, we cheered, we cleared everything up, we went home and slept for hours and thawed out gradually.
Was that fun? Am I about to tell you that was fun?
Well. No. It’s not specifically fun. There are fun parts – like when Mo Farrah runs past, or when Jose yells through his megaphone, or when there’s a big cheer for a passing NBR runner, or when you can encourage those at the back of the field and point out the mile 12 marker. But that probably adds up to about 10 minutes of fun in the 6 hrs that you’re out there. This isn’t a pitch about ‘volunteering is so fun, you should give it a try’.
So why should you volunteer?
OK I think it’s like running. I mean how much of running is actually fun? Not the social stuff, not the hanging out before or after, or the commenting on facebook – I mean the actual running part of running? What’s the ratio of grinding, panting, painful, one foot in front of the other survival running, to the free as a bird, ah the joys of movement, look at me I’m alive, running? It’s about 90:10, right? I mean you endure the hard stuff to get to the good stuff, you do hill repeats in the dark on the stupid W’burg bridge, because at some point you’re on vacation and you want to run up a big hill and look at the ocean, you do core because… ok I don’t do core. But it’s good for you, you should do core.
But on the fun side, there’s so much great stuff. We belong to what I think we can all agree is the best club in NYC – an amazing community of great people. And as a community look at the good times we have – the gala, the bridge runs, the brunches, the hanging out, the community gardening days and so on. So – mathematical proof coming up – if you flip the ratio above, then that’s the 90%. The remaining 10% is the volunteering in the cold, and the wet, and the gatorade.
Volunteering at the NYC half, and the NYC marathon, and the Brooklyn marathon is us paying our dues to the community of New York running. It’s not fun in and of itself, but it’s worthwhile, and we need to do it as a club. I haven’t done the maths, but if everyone volunteered once a year (that’s in addition to doing your +1 volunteering) we would have way more volunteers than we actually need. So in fact you only need to intend to do it once a year, and then do it every 18 months say, and then you’ve done your bit.
Also, best way of meeting other people in NBR bar none. Not kidding on this one. On the runs you only meet people who run the same pace as you, that’s about 5% of the group. FACT. (OK, I realise there’s a lot of bogus maths in this blog). But at the water table, all are equal. Except Jose – he has a megaphone.
So volunteer. It’s really great. Not fun. But great.
Filed under: Club Night, Club Points Racing, Events, Inspiration, NBR Goings On
Oops, we did it again! We smell like Team Spirit! Our second NYRR Team Spirit Freddie in four years. Oh, what a night! What a feeling! Well deserved and congratulations to all members.
As previously known, NBR took home two racing Freddies. Once again, we won third place in Open Women A division and fifth place in Open Men A. Our ladies were presented their crystal on the Hard Rock Cafe Stage, while the men were, very unceremoniously, handed the crystal in the hallway.
A fun time was had by all. Thanks to all attendees.
Who is Gary Muhrcke? Winner of the First New York City Marathon.
Let’s keep the spirit alive! Here’s to a great 2014. See you all at Gala!
As you have no doubt already heard, NBR won the coveted Team Spirit Award last night at NYRR’s Club Night awards ceremony. This was a wonderful surprise, and I could not be more proud to be a part of NBR right now.
This award is not handed out for mere fabulousness (although I think we would do just as well, if that were the case). It takes a lot of planning and hard work to get a team of this size to come together and make all that noise and show all that support for not only our teammates, but the entire running community at large. With that in mind, let’s extend a huge thank you to our Volunteer Coordinators: Jose LaSalle, Michael Finelli Brown, & Erica Silbiger. Their dedication and hard work have helped keep this team focused on community spirit, and the fun that comes with it. Please keep your eyes open for upcoming opportunities to volunteer/voluncheer with the team.
In other fantastic news, the amazing NBR Women took home the third place award for Open Women’s A Division, and the NBR Men took home the fifth place award for their Open A group. Congratulations! Considering the intense level of competition in this city, NBR’s accomplishments are really incredible. We are also so proud of our very own Lauren Perkins, who was nominated for Runner of the Year (Women 30-34).
This year is already gearing up to be one of continually improving times and personal bests for a lot of you. Go get ‘em.
It was a great night for NBR. Congratulations to all, and let’s keep up that momentum!
Ok, see you at the bins.
Director, North Brooklyn Runners
Purchase your 2014 Gala Tickets! On Sale here Now!
NBRs Fifth Annual Anniversary Gala: 00NBR
Friday March 14th
8PM – 12:00AM
$20 per person online / $25 per person at the door
(Plus TBD After Party)