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

McCarren Park Track Classic 2014 – Race Report by nbrwebjohn
May 6, 2014, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Events, Inspiration, NBR Goings On, Races, Volunteering


If the McCarren Park Track Classic could be summed up in two words they’d be “Get Involved.” Whether it be filling in as a last minute addition to a 4 x 400 team (thank you, Radford, Masha & Jen!), transporting a few sandbags, taking photos, ringing a cowbell at the 300 meter mark, or sponsoring a young runner, tiny acts of volunteerism turned a few 5 to 15 minute races into a community-wide event, reaching participants from all 5 boroughs, and igniting the interest of the Williamsburg and Greenpoint community, who, for one day a year, get to see us really do our thing (that thing being running fast, not dodging soccer balls and yelling, “Track!”).

Though it was a relatively small event, NBR was able to either give free entry or gain sponsored entry for two community teams – Back on My Feet and the young women of the Urban Assembly School for Criminal Justice in Borough Park, where I teach. To be able to give my students the competitive athletic outlet for which they yearn, but don’t often get, meant so much. They competed in the mile, and later three of them and I competed as a 4 x 400 team. While we came in last, I was blown away by their grit and determination. When our anchor took off at top speed, Charlie (I think it was Charlie?) and I both said, “Oh, she’s about to learn a very important lesson in pacing herself” (one I had learned in my own mile race earlier in the night) and just waited for her to inevitably slow down after the first curve. She didn’t slow down until about the 300-meter mark, and then she saw Masha up ahead nearing the finish, sped up again, crossed the finish line, and collapsed (the good kind of collapse) onto the ground, beaming with pride.

What I hoped my students would take away from this event was a respect for competition, a new understanding of perseverance, and a drive to accomplish more. Over the last week, I’ve compiled photos from the many amazing photographers at the event and sent a whole bunch of them to the students. I asked the anchor which one was her favorite, and the one she picked was of her, just after crossing the finish line, completely stunned, exhausted, and yet fully focused and contemplative. In that moment I knew she understood what it means to be a runner. Thank you, NBR, for helping her and her schoolmates see that.


Some of the members of the Back on My Feet team

Similar feelings of accomplishment were felt from the Back on My Feet team. Katy Baldwin, Program Director of BoMF writes, “One member, Antwan, who ran his first sub-6 minute mile, said, ‘Even though I wasn’t trying to compete with the other guys in the race, it was amazing to me how much faster my time was at the track meet. I feel great about that time, and didn’t know I had it in me.’ He was still beaming when I saw him today. I so appreciate all the NBR folks who were kind and encouraging and supportive to our runners, 5 of whom were racing for the very first time.”

Now for the rundown of events: NBR came in 2nd in the NYCRuns mile, with Samantha John posting a 4th place 5:54.52 for the women and Xander Woolverton a 3rd place 4:32.82 for the men.   A new rivalry was born in the masters group: Quinn Batson vs. Malcolm Gladwell, author and fluorescent yellow shirt owner, while Ed Murphy reached his own “tipping point” in the men’s 4 x 400 race.  The NBR relay teams showed their dominance, with Crouching Raymund Hidden Chu placing 2nd in the competitive men’s DMR, the numerically-inclined NBR 73 and Ezekiel 18 placing 2nd and 3rd, respectively in the Men’s 4 x 400.  NBR Co-Eds and NBR Women placed 1st and 2nd in the combined co-ed / women’s DMR heat, but last in the creative team name category.   And I have to give a shout-out to my 4×400 co-ed teammate, Sean Laude, for, to parrot his favorite phrase, galloping toward the finish like a magnificent stallion and winning the relay by less than 2 seconds. In doing so, he managed to forever cement ‘Revenge of the Newbies’ as the fastest co-ed relay team that existed in NYC at approximately 8:45 on April 25, 2014, AND established himself as the subject of the greatest picture taken at the McCarren Track Classic.

Congratulations to everyone who ran and a huge thank you to everyone who lent a hand in any one of the million ways that made this event so special.

Also: thank you to our sponsors Brooklyn Running Company, Brooklyn Winery, Finish Line PT, Urban Rustic, Peter Pan, Greenhook Ginsmiths, and Hosh Yoga.

-Anne Barry

(photo credits: Michael Essig (1), ? (2), Larry Sillen (3) )

NBR Spring 2014 Town Hall Meeting by nbrwebjohn
April 27, 2014, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Events, Inspiration, NBR Goings On

TownHallApril 29th, 2014
Tuesday – 8:00 PM

Greenpoint Reformed Church
136 Milton St., Brooklyn, NY 11222

Everyone in NBR is welcome & encouraged to attend our Spring Town Hall. Join us for updates on the “state of our union”, plans for the next few months, upcoming volunteer opportunities, or present your own ideas.

Remember, NBR is a community based running club. All the awesome things we do as a team happen because people volunteer their time & energy. We’re always looking for new people to help out. Learn more about NBR and let us know what you’re interested in. There’s some open run leader spots opening up after the Brooklyn Half.

See you on the 29th!

Be sure to please fill out the NBR Member Survey by Saturday, April 26th.

Facebook Invite.

Recycle Your Old Shoes with NBR by nbrwebjohn

NBR Now Has a Shoe Recycling Program in Place!

Help get the word out: We will start collecting shoes at the McCarren Classic Track Meet this Friday, and continue to collect them at Brooklyn Running Company!  North Brooklyn Runners is partnering with Soles4souls and Brooklyn Running Company to collect and donate your used shoes.



Q: WHO should recycle their shoes?
A: Everyone! All NBR, your friends, and your family are welcomed to help!

Q: WHAT kinds of shoes can be recycled?
A: All shoes can be recycled (regardless of condition or shoe-type).

Q: WHEN does this start?
A: NBR will have an official collection at the Track Meet (4/25 @ 7:00 pm), and will announce the program again at the town hall meeting.
However, members are welcomed to drop their shoes any time they want (see below of location)! This is an ongoing program with no end!

Q: WHERE can shoes be recycled?
A: Shoes can be dropped off at Brooklyn Running Company during regular store hrs (Mon – Sat : 10:00 am – 8:00 pm Sun : 11:00am – 6:00 pm). They can also be dropped off (for a limited time) at the Track Meet.

Q: WHY recycle your shoes?
A: It’s Better for the environment – and eliminates waste. It’s Better for people – Recycling shoes benefits those in need. Click here to learn how.

*NBR thanks Brooklyn Running CompanySoles4souls for their helps and support of the North Brooklyn Community!

Questions? Email

Third Annual NBR McCarren Park Track Classic AfterParty by nbrwebjohn


Third Annual NBR McCarren Park Track Classic AfterParty

Friday, April 25, 2014
after All Events

Roebling Sporting Club
Roebling St at North 8th St


Community Report: Deirdre Brill on Volunteering at the 2013 NBR McCarren Park Track Classic by nbrwebjohn
April 23, 2014, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Events, Inspiration, McCarren Park Track Classic, NBR Goings On, Volunteering

mptc14aIt is fitting that the North Brooklyn Runners voted the McCarren Park Track Classic it’s “Best Race of the Year.” While NBR organizes the event, it’s also the perfect metaphor for the group – a place where great runners not only coexist, but also participate in the North Brooklyn community.

For example – most tracks cannot handle a mix of slow and fast runners. This is not the case when NBR uses the McCarren track! Here, it is possible to watch NBR athletes do 4 x 1600 while good-naturedly dodging soccer balls and pacing children on bikes. These are fairly dangerous liabilities for a runner. But somehow, NBR turn these liabilities into a weekly source of energy and inspiration. I have observed this in action by following more seasoned NBR veterans on a workout.

The crowdedness of the track is a gritty reminder of who and where we are. As members of NBR, we train in the middle of a heavily populated urban area–surrounded by a community center, several subways stops, many bars, and other popular gathering places. This is a stark contrast to other running destinations–like Eugene, OR and Mammouth Lakes, CA. In these places, elite athletes train on semi-isolated tracks that meld into perfectly groomed running trails. And while beautiful, that’s kind of enviornment just doesn’t represent NBR the way that McCarren Park does. Because here in Brooklyn, we have a desire to be a part of something greater — to be linked to this vibrant community.


On to the track meet! In early March 2013, NBR and McCarren Park once again came together in an almost magical fashion. The day before the track meet, snow descended upon the track—and so did a couple dozen NBR volunteers with shovels. Led by Katie and Ben, the volunteers worked to setup for next morning’s meet. By sunrise, the track was clear, barriers were set up, and runners were warming ups. Lauren, an NBR expat, commuted in from New Jersey to support her friend, a new-comer named Becca. This was Becca’s first time helping with an NBR event. The collaborative spirit didn’t just end with the volunteers. Early race entrants were gracious about seeding their pace, to spur on runners from various levels and ages. Those wavering on competing were met with heartfelt encouragement. Perfect strangers pooled together to form impromptu teams so they could all compete in the relay event. After a shortage, runners even shared their safety pins! People really came together for this event.

mptc14bThe McCarren Park Track Classic had all the coordination, planning, and logistics of a major racing event (including electronic scoring). And while the event was competitive, it was also fun. There were donuts and races for children who ran with their parents while eating freeze-dried ice cream snacks. Racers from other running clubs in Manhattan came to compete and then stayed as a spectator. Some joined the organizers at an after party to celebrate the success of the event before heading back across the East River.

Undoubtedly, the stars of the 2013 McCarren Park Track Classic were the members of the Flash 4 Team. This team truly embodied the epitome of dedication and highlighted how inspiring a community track meet can be. The Flash 4 Team included two members of the Perez family (ages 9 & 11) and their young friends. The entire family travelled from Newark, NJ to compete, cheer, and thrill. And that is exactly what they did! The team’s most dramatic showing came during the co-ed 4 x 400 when Flash 4’s first two runners led the field at sub-four minute pace. The team was barely edged out in the last two laps, finishing as a strong second. But given their age, heart, and courage they won all the cheers. Hopefully, the Flash 4 Team will return for the 3rd annual McCarren Park Track Classic, along with similarly courageous young athletes.


After the event, the NBR volunteers gathered up their equipment, leaving the space snow-free and pristine. Part of what makes both the event and NBR great is its roots. We are group that grew from this Brooklyn community. This is a special place where many of us live either in body or spirit. We are neighbors. And there is something about the space and who we are that makes this event special and exciting. And arguably, it is that same excitement that draws people from near and far for this event. Hopefully, it will become a tradition we can all continue to participate in and share.

-Deirdre Brill


Editor’s Note: Deirdre Brill is a volunteer, experienced athlete (IAAF), and an avid member of the North Brooklyn Runners. She lives in Brooklyn and when not running, she works for a group that advocates for educators in the New York Metro area.

**This year’s Track Classic will be hosted by NBR at McCarren Park on Friday, April 25th @ 7 pm. For information about the event, including volunteering and racing, please CLICK HERE



Third Annual NBR McCarren Park Track Classic – Register Now! by nbrwebjohn
April 20, 2014, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Events, Inspiration, McCarren Park Track Classic, NBR Goings On, Volunteering


Third Annual NBR McCarren Park Track Classic

Friday, April 25, 2014
7:00 PM

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

Register Now at

Online Registration closes Thursday at Noon, April 24th. Sign-Up Now!

There will be limited race day registrations at $15.


Third Annual NBR McCarren Park Track Classic – Register Now! by nbrwebjohn
April 18, 2014, 12:41 pm
Filed under: Events, Inspiration, McCarren Park Track Classic, NBR Goings On, Volunteering


Third Annual NBR McCarren Park Track Classic

Friday, April 25, 2014
7:00 PM

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

Register Now at

Online Registration closes Thursday at Noon, April 24th. Sign-Up Now!

There will be limited race day registrations at $15.



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