Race Report: 2017 Brooklyn Mile

by Meg Boushie

"On your marks. Get set..." Then the sound of a gun.

These are cues far too familiar for most runners. However, no matter how many times one competes in any race distance, it seems they are also some of the most anxiety provoking words one anticipates on race day.

I cannot recall the actual call outs prior to the 2017 Brooklyn Mile. Nor can I recall if we actually had a gun, or a horn, or even a kazoo. All I recall is my heart pounding in my throat, my breathing suddenly residing in my brain, and my legs feeling like Jello. Everything in my body seemed out of place as the rat race started for the iconic distance even non-runners can conceptualize.


Let's back it up for a second. My relationship with running has had roller coaster ups and downs over the past decade. In high school, I ran track to keep in shape for soccer. Track workouts gave me stomach aches just thinking about them. Confidence in my abilities was non-existent. How could my coach see so much potential and believe in me when I could not even believe in myself? Every single race, I knew where I would fall: second to last place. The Mile, in my mind, was something that would never be conquered for speed or time goals. It was something I just "had to finish". I had no idea this mentality was what set me back at the time, and that this caused me to be my own worst enemy.

Flash forward. The first time I stepped onto McCarren Park for Thursday Night Track in June 2017, the heart palpitations started, just as they did eleven years before. Even though I had been running (and actually enjoying it) for about six years (after a three-year hiatus post high school, of course), standing at that starting line was like staring my biggest fear in the face.

This time though, something was different. Having fellow NBR-iors by my side, I no longer felt alone in my running relationship. I had support, advice, cheers, and smiles that pushed me, but also taught me what I was lacking in the past: to trust myself and my abilities.

Soon, speed workouts became a part of my weekly routine. I found myself looking forward to these workouts, and to giving everything I had for each and every sprint. Because this time around, it was not the track that was crushing me, but me that was crushing the track.


At bib pick up before the race, a race sponsor encouraged all participants to take a Polaroid, write their name on it, along with their goal time. Then, after the race, racers would cross out the goal time and write the actual. Internally competitive (and probably more externally than I care to admit), I knew that writing that goal time was something serious. It meant I had to commit to it.

A fellow NBR-ior and friend had convinced me to sign up for this race in February. He also was picking his bib up, and writing his goal time. He was not only a seasoned runner, but a seasoned Mile runner; literally the complete opposite of me. Still, supportive human he is, he asked what goal I would be setting for myself.

Not batting an eyelash, I told him exactly where I thought I should be on race day. "6:04," I told him. "But in my heart, all hopes and dreams point to maybe, just MAYBE getting closer to 6 minutes flat."

He looked at me like I had two heads. "No", he told me. Clearly a hard "No", too. "5:59", he said.

The alarms and firecrackers and bells and whistles started going off in my brain again. It was my turn to return the raised eyebrows. In my mind, I was still 16-year-old Meg who would never be able to fathom getting that kind of time.

Then, something just clicked.Twenty seven-year old Meg had that light bulb DING DING DING moment. I had worked for this, I had the capability, and HECK YES I was going to break 6. I grabbed the black Sharpie on the table without a second thought and wrote the famous last words (number): 5:59.

"On your marks". There I was, steadying my breathing, quickly visualizing in my head what it would feel like in just a few minutes when I would cross the finish line and break this goal. Here, on race day, things were no longer out of reach. Here was the opportunity 16 year old Meg had always dreamed of, and reality set in, where 27 year old Meg was going to take it. Full speed, no regrets, and hey, if I crashed in the process, it was only a few minutes of crashing and burning. What was the worst that could happen?

The gun (or whatever noise machine it was) went off, and the rat race began. Before I knew it, I was already at the quarter mile mark: 1:23. Wait, I'm sorry; what? Then, the half mile mark: 2:44. Come again?

Now, from this point on, I am pretty sure I blacked out, but I do remember one thing: the screaming cheers from the NBR cheer section (because they are awesome and amazing), and keeping two specific runners within a few strides of me. Then, suddenly, it was over and I stopped my watch. It was over. As quickly as the rat race began, there we were at the moment of truth. I glanced at my watch. 5:50. Fighting back tears of joy (and pain), I had done something I truly never thought possible, and I could not have done without the overwhelming support that NBR is.

When the final times were released, I knew my time would be slightly off, so I was ready for anything within about three seconds of the time I had clocked. I also would have been happy with any time I received at that point. I waited for my smartphone screen to load the results, and almost fell off my chair when I scrolled all the way to the right for chip time: 5:48.

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Even though Meg at 16 is a very different human than Meg at 27, one thing has stayed the same: running will always be something that challenges me. NBR entered my life at a very specific time for a very specific reason, and I will be eternally grateful for that and all it has given me. With that, I may now be a Mile-loving convert, and may even fall in love with running all over again.

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Team Spot Check-in: Greg Doerk

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1. Tell us a little bit about how you came to be involved with NBR. What was your first run? How long have you been involved? 
 
I moved here from California in fall 2015 after a long hiatus from running.  By Spring 2016 I was hoping to recover some speed and make some friends, so a running club seemed like a good idea.  After looking at several clubs online, I showed up at the Saturday morning bridge run – a bit out of the way since I live just outside NYC on Long Island.  Still, I couldn’t have found a better club so I haven’t looked back.
 
2. How is marathon training going? Are there any specific workouts that are really moving things along for you? Tell the world a good NBR long run story. 
 
It is going reasonably well.  I had been focused on triathlons for a while, so I was doing a lot of cross-training, and increasing my weekly running mileage has turned out to be harder than I remember.  The Narwhals long runs on Saturday mornings have been crucial to helping me here. 
 
Actually I have been joining Narwhals runs since last year.  I remember the first time I ran through Summer Streets on a Narwhals run; on another run through Queens on a blazing hot day, a playground with a spray shower near the turnaround was a godsend!
 
This doesn’t count as a marathon training story or a long run story per se, but the Lake Wawayanda Ragnar relay was unforgettable.  Doing it with NBR folks turned 3 days of non-stop rain into a great experience – and props to Chris Wheeler for bringing us pizza even though he was too injured to run.  
 
3. Which NBR runs are you attending regularly to train? Are there any NBR members who inspire you to train hard (er)?
 
I am attending Narwhals regularly, and I go to Thursday night track as much as possible.  Track is great for getting my speed up, though the post-race routine of pizza and beer are also helpful motivators ;-)
 
It’s hard to say which NBR members particularly help me train harder, since I’m sure I’ll be leaving some out.  I can say that trying my best to keep up with Carlos, Etienne, and Sean certainly makes me faster, while others like Quang (“Q”) motivate me by the example of their dedication.
 
4. What does it mean to be chose by your peers for a coveted NBR marathon team spot? 
 
Honestly, it’s a huge honor! I love training with NBR and the NYC marathon is one of the most exciting events of the year for NYC.  NBR has helped me make friends, adjust to life on the east coast, and get in the best shape I have been in for years, so I think there is a lot than I can (and should) give back. 
 
5. What do you plan on eating post-marathon? What about the nite before? 

After the race, I will eat all of the food.  >2600 calories is pretty much carte blanche… The night before, I won’t be too creative or adventurous so likely pasta with chicken and tomato sauce – which I will be eating the whole week.  I’ll probably skip the single beer I usually have with dinner on the night before.

6. What inspires and motivates you to run this year's NYC marathon?
 
I tried to run a marathon almost a decade ago, but I got a stress fracture.  Since then, I’ve been pretty nervous about trying it again on my own, but I feel that it is something I can definitely accomplish with NBR.  Plus having a group of people in NBR who are so motivated is the best peer pressure one can have, especially when many are training alongside you for the NYC marathon, or Chicago.
 
7. In your head, what celebrity do you think you most resemble when you're running?
 
When I’m running hard, I usually doubt that I look my best.  So while I’d like to think I would resemble Ryan Gosling or similar, I feel more like Zach Galifianakis.
 

Team Spot Check-In: Nate Diaz

1. Tell us a little bit about how you came to be involved with NBR. What was your first run? How long have you been involved? 

Coming from Colorado, it took me a while to get used to the idea of running in the city. I work with Lauren (Tarte) and knew she was a runner. I asked her if she knew of any good clubs and she recommended NBR and Max's Wednesday night form run, calling it her "gateway drug". I went to my first Wednesday night run late last summer and have been hooked on NBR ever since.  

2. How is marathon training going? Are there any specific workouts that are really moving things along for you? Tell the world a good NBR long run story. 

Training is really kicking my butt. I hate the Williamsburg Bridge hill workout at Tuesday Night Tempo, but I'm starting to see the results. It's getting to the point in the season where it's hard to maintain a social life outside of training. Fortunately, with NBR you have a lot of people in a similar boat who understand your crazy early bedtime and need to always be eating.

Last Saturday may have been the best day of running in my life! I ran up to meet Saturday Narwhals for their run through the amazingness that is Summer Streets to Team Champs. Quang (Ton), Vito (Aiuto), Emily (Hafner), and Greg (Doerk) dragged me to 16 miles. We made it to Central Park in time to catch the end of the men's race, grab a quick coffee, and cheer for the women. Afterwards, Logan (Yu), James (Gray-King), Danielle (Sussingham) and I leisurely Citibike'd back through Summer Streets. I then bumped into Ricardo on the subway home. He helped get me started on the second run of my double. Then, after a quick lunch and shower, it was back to the tiki party to celebrate the awesome performances at Team Champs.

3. Which NBR runs are you attending regularly to train? Are there any NBR members who inspire you to train hard (er)?

My training with NBR revolves around attendance at runs featuring food. Emma and Kalli's Donut Run is a favorite. Thursday Night Track (and post-track pizza & beer) is the workout I attend most often; I can't count the number of times Jose, Madeline, Logan or Ken have encouraged or pushed me when I've felt like quitting. Recently, Becca and Anna finally prevailed on me to join them and Michael and Sean for tacos and the #PMREVOLUTION at Tuesday Night Tempo. I also have really enjoyed the monthly volunteering NBR does at the food pantry. 

For speed workouts I've been lucky to run with and pushed by a strong group of mostly women, who are way faster than me. Becca (Ades) before she re-found her speed, the late Anne (Barry) before she moved to Texas, Madeline (Hanley), Sophie (Tholstrup), Tom (Essex), and of course Quang "Q" Ton.

Bev (Walley) has been my Just South buddy since the beginning, keeping me going when I was just getting back into running.

4. What does it mean to be chose by your peers for a coveted NBR  marathon team spot? 

It's very exciting!  It took me a while to get involved in the running community in NYC but I'm glad that I found the great people of NBR. I'm so happy to have the chance to train and race alongside (and behind) all of you. It's humbling to be part of such an inspiring, knowledgeable, friendly and supportive team.

5. What do you plan on eating post-marathon? What about the nite before? 

All of the food! Doughnuts, beer, ice cream - come to think of it, that's not much different from how I'm eating now…

The night before the marathon you'll find me with a bag of Trader Joe's Honey Wheat Pretzels Sticks in one hand, bottle of water in the other.

6. What inspires and motivates you to run this year's NYC marathon?

Those days when it's hard to get of bed or leave the office knowing that I'm going to have to put the running shoes on, it makes it so much easier knowing that there's a group of (crazy) people ready to pound out the miles with me. Seeing the hard work and dedication everyone on this team puts into running is very inspiring. Having your teammate hurting right next to you and yet still pushing you for just one more lap, one more hill, one more mile, or one more doughnut is incredible motivation. I can't wait to see everyone on Staten Island and at mile 12 on race day! 

7. In your head, what celebrity do you think you most resemble when you're running?

I imagine when I run, I look like if you were to combine Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Robin Williams from his Live on Broadway special. You'd be left with one awkward, sweaty-ass man.
 

NBR Beginner & Drills Clinic

Thanks to everyone that came out to North Brooklyn Runners' Beginner & Drills Clinic on July 15th, and thanks to Shawn and Karina for giving us all some great training advice! If you missed it, here's Karina's notes from the clinic!

Drills for Distance Runners: Training Neuromuscular Pathways

Most of us are training for longer distance road running, whether we are trying to set a new half marathon PR or running for the fun of it. Adding up those miles, we are constantly developing our aerobic system – how well our body can use oxygen. 

But there is another component to running that doesn’t usually get a lot of attention – the neuromuscular system. A few signs that you need to work on your neuromuscular fitness: you feel sluggish in speed workouts, you feel weak running uphill, or your breathing is under control during tempo runs, but your legs feel heavy. Sound familiar?

The neuromuscular system refers to the channels of communication between the brain and muscles. A primary goal of neuromuscular training is to develop new (and better!) connection to the muscles involved in running by practicing the components of efficient running form. This helps us as runners in all sorts of ways.

  • Practice makes permanent. It has been said that practice makes perfect, but that isn’t quite true. Actually, practice makes permanent. In that case, we should really say: perfect practice makes perfect. When we do drills, we exaggerate motions of an efficient running form in order to develop those neural pathways. It will help send the necessary signals to the muscles that need to fire to maintain that good form. Practicing good form through drills will build the neuromuscular foundation for good form in the rest of our training.  
  • Resisting Fatigue. Training our neuromuscular system helps us run more efficiently and keep that good form even as we tire during a race or a long run. 
  • Get fast.  You need to be able to move fast to run fast. Drills train our feet to move quickly, without all the demands of an interval workout on the track. Sprinting itself is a neuromuscular workout (no surprise why these drills come from sprinters!), but we can practice quickness through drills while still focusing our training to the specific demands on longer distance racing. 
  • Build strength and coordination. Drills help develop muscles in your feet and lower legs, improving agility and power. Greater strength and mobility may help us resist injury from overuse and poor form. 

Dynamic Warm up and Running Drill Progression:

The best time to do most running drills is when you are warming up for a run, particularly before any kind of high intensity effort. You can also do drills as a cool down from an easy effort. Something important to remember: practice makes permanent. If you are too tired to do these drills with proper form, you will actually be defeating the purpose of the workout! Once you notice that you’re not able to maintain proper form, it is time to stop. 

1. Dynamic Stretching Warm Up

+ Knees to Chest

+ Walking quad stretch

+ Cross leg hamstring stretch

+ Walking stretch lunge

+ Arms circle back, knees up to chest

2. Form Drills

+ A Skips

+ High knees

+ Butt kicks

+ Quick feet

+ Strides 

Articles for further reading:

Brooklyn Half Marathon Course Strategy

Last Saturday, NBR members and USATF level 1 certified coaches Angela Ortiz and Karina Christiansen led our members through a training run with tips on half marathon racing and pro tips for the Brooklyn Half course. Even if you missed the training session, you can read their great tips here!

 

Brooklyn Half Tips:

* Give yourself plenty of time to get to the start. You'll have to go through security, and bag check for each wave closes 50 minutes before the wave start(!). Corrals (usually) open at 6am, and corrals close 20 minutes before the wave start (as of last year).

* There are bathrooms in the corrals, so you don't have to worry about using them before you settle into the corral.

* There are water stations in between the mile markers until mile 8, at which point they appear at every mile marker.

* There is a PowerGel station at mile 8, but unless you are ok with surprises, don't try anything new unless you've been training with these.

* The stretch along Ocean Parkway is long and unshaded, so if it's sunny, some find it helpful to wear a visor or sunglasses.

* Afterwards, join us at the NBR Beach party! Details TBA.

Course Notes/Strategy:

* If you are new to running or half marathons, try to run based on effort. In the first 1-7 miles, you should be moving at an effort that feels mostly easy, saving your energy for those final miles. Ideally, you should be able to speak a full sentence and have a conversation while moving, without gasping for breath.

* If you know your pace, or are going for a PR, you should still work with a conservation mindset in the first half. Energy spent running under pace in the hills, is energy you won't have at mile 10, when you'll need it most. Once the hills are out of the way, then, depending on how you feel, it's time to shift into another gear.

* The only big hill in the course is at mile 4.5 and goes up for a little over 800m (about 70ft of elevation gain). Focus on leaning into the hill, driving your knees high, and pumping your arms. After this the course is mostly downhill!

* Use the big downhill just after mile 6 to mentally recover and reset for the last half of the race.

* Right around mile 7 there is a tiny uphill going up the on ramp to Ocean Parkway. It doesn't even register on the NYRR elevation map, but it can take the wind out of your sails if you're not expecting it!

* After mile 7, if you are moving based on effort, you can think about kicking it up a notch, if you feel it. Your effort should still feel controlled, but your breathing cadence will be quicker, and you should only be able to speak a few words at a time.

* If you know your pace, you should maintain your pace as closely as possible until mile 8, and then try to think about dipping underneath, using the energy stored from not going out too fast in the first half.

* Miles 9-12 are where you'll need to focus most. Keep your head and gaze up, shoulders down, arms pumping back and forth (not across your body), knees lifting, pushing all the way through your foot and off the toes, using your glutes to power you to the finish. Focus on someone ahead of you and reel them in. Look into the distance for the Belt Parkway overpass and the subway overpass. Once you see these you're close to the finish!

* In the last mile you'll want to kick it into your final gear. Your effort should still be controlled, but your breathing will be quick and you shouldn't be able to speak more than a word at a time. Think about finishing strong.

* The ramp leading up to the boardwalk at Coney Island is made of wood and therefore can be springy and uneven (it can also feel very long even though it's probably not more than 10-15 meters!). Be sure to lift your knees/feet.

* Once you make the right turn onto the boardwalk, give it your best effort until you cross the finish line. Look up and smile for your finish line photo! You did it!

Click here for Runners World's guide on how to pace you first half-marathon

Click here for a guide on planning your pacing mile by mile.

Race Report: Mogadishu Half-Marathon

by Sophie Tholstrup

While you guys were registering blistering times and smashing PRs in Central Park this weekend, NBR's lesser known Just East chapter was moving at a significantly slower pace in temperatures hot enough to melt metal at the Mogadishu Marathon. 

The first marathon to be held in the country since the outbreak of civil war in 1991, this was the creation of a couple of young British military guys stationed here, who run for London's Midnight Runners back home. They wanted to celebrate Somali running talent and try to break the narrative of drought, IED attacks and conflict with a more hopeful story. The marathon is also helping to raise much-needed funds for the drought response - more on that below!

The race is named after Samia Yusuf Omar – a Somali Olympic runner who  competed in Beijing and dreamed of doing the same in London in 2012. Tragically that was a dream she never got to fulfill. She drowned in 2011 making the hazardous crossing to Europe as a refugee.

More than 200 runners from over 30 countries competed over a 5 mile, 15 mile and 26 mile course inside the protected international area surrounding Mogadishu airport. Diplomats, peacekeepers and even Olympians braved the extreme conditions, scrambling over sand dunes, navigating barbed wire fences and fortified compounds, one particularly important military colleague even running with his own armed close protection team. 

32 Somali runners - including members of the Olympic team - competed, and proved that even when the rest of us are complaining that our faces are melting, SERIOUS speed is possible. Particular props to the Somali women, who smoked the competition in the 5 mile race wearing long yellow polyester trousers and modified headscarves.

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I probably shouldn't mention this, since there were only about 6 women running and I covered several miles at more of a death-shuffle than a recognizable running pace, but since this is likely the only time in my life I will ever get to say this.... first female half marathon finisher in the house!

This race was the textbook definition of type two fun. It was unbelievably hot. The friendly water table volunteers had, I later discovered, been briefed to ask borderline-looking runners questions to check whether they were delirious. Military medical crews kept a beady eye out from the back of ambulances for runners whose brains had started cooking. Several runners were told to stop, but I think each and every one of them disobeyed orders and trudged to the finish. At one point I spotted a man with a hose spraying filthy graywater onto the ground and dived underneath it for a moment's relief. But it was WONDERFUL! I ran with Ugandan peacekeepers, Italian diplomats and Ecuadorian aid workers, high-fived Olympic hopefuls and race walkers in full makeup. An Indian soldier critiqued my running form, and I fangirled deliriously at young Somali women in head-to-toe yellow polyester  running faster over 5 miles than I could manage over 100m.

I got asked to deploy to Somalia to go and help out with the drought response while - and I say this with shame - skiing in the Alps. I jumped on a plane with a suitcase full of ski gear, had a four-day crash course in avoiding/ surviving kidnap, how to stop blood loss if someone's leg gets blown off and what to do if you find yourself being horrible to your colleagues (drink more water), and then turned up for work in the UN's Drought Operations Centre. The operations centre is full of aid workers on laptops, scrabbling for data on who needs what where, what's being delivered and where the gaps are, trying to ensure aid get to those who need it most as quickly as possible. I sit next to the water guy, behind the protection lady and am constantly bothering the food people. It's a strange deployment, in that we sit in an air conditioned shipping container in a walled compound protected by peacekeepers, and we feel a long way from the people we're here to help. Running a race with elite Somalia athletes doesn't change that, of course, but coming together around a love of running was a really powerful experience in lots of ways.

Somalia - already reeling from years of conflict - is in the grips of a devastating drought, with a real risk that the country will slip into famine in 2017. More than half the population - 6.2 million people - are in need of assistance, as failing rains have driven food shortages across the country. The drought has caused massive livestock death, and forced a quarter of a million people to leave their homes and walk for days into urban centres in search of food and water. Nearly one million children are at risk of deadly malnutrition, and cholera has swept across the country, infecting 12,000 people since the start of the year. In 2011, famine killed 260,000 people across the country, and aid organisations and the newly-installed government are working frantically to avoid a repeat of history.

I know there are a million calls on your goodwill and hard-earned cash, but this is a real case where every dollar makes a difference. It costs around $90 to feed a family of seven for a month, and around $100 to provide lifesaving treatment to a seriously malnourished infant. All money raised will go directly to the organisations making the most impact here on the ground. If you're looking for a direct and efficient way to help avert famine, please do give what you can: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sophie-tholstrup

Here's hoping that there are many more marathons in Mogadishu's future and that, as the situation here improves, these will move out of protected compounds and onto the streets, with anyone and everyone free to participate.

I'll be back in the Greatest Borough soon, and can't wait to see you all. 

NBR love,

Sophie

NBR Represents in the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon

by Kevin Grevemberg

This weekend myself (Kevin Grevemberg) and fellow NBR'ior Fernando Feria flew out to the City of Angels to run the LA Marathon. Neither one of us had a particularly stellar train-up leading up to this - in fact we both would freely admit that we were woefully underprepared for the endeavor. Fernando and I discussed at length during our "too little too late" Narwhal 20 milers what strategy we would follow in order not to die out there. We settled on going out slow then shooting for a 4:30 finish time – seemed doable.

We met up in LA and stayed with NBR alum's Todd and Chantel aka the Chantodd™. They were incredibly gracious hosts. Since I had abandoned any notions of a PR or a BQ long before, I didn't experience the jitters I had while picking up our bibs at the marathon expo. In fact, the warm weather and sunshine had me excited! We basically did what you shouldn't the night before – aka drank too much alcohol and too little water which was only offset by the amazing pasta dinner that Todd prepared for us.

We left a bit late and arrived at the shuttle bus pick-up 10 minutes too late and were told the last bus was gone. Fernando then asked the transport captain "Well what do we do now?" Before he could answer, a handful of other stragglers showed up as well as another bus. The transport captain told the driver in broken Spanish to take us to such and such point and that we would have to walk the rest of the way to Dodger stadium. The driver nodded and we took off. Whether he hadn't understood the instructions or didn't care, he proceeded to take us all the way which, was great as we would definitely gotten lost and missed the bag check.

Fern's late sign-up for the race put us in the very very back in an open corral. This was good, as it kept our speed in check for the first two miles until we picked up Todd, who had agreed to pace us Bandit-style the whole way. Todd was basically a combination sherpa/tour-guide giving us little tid-bits about what to do and where to eat in each of the neighborhoods we padded through. Mile after mile peeled away and I was struck by how enjoyable this was turning out to be. We weren't in a hurry and not worried too much about splits. I started to get a bit of an IT warning shot across the bow around mile 17, but after a good stretch during a bathroom break I shook it off. Looking at our split times post race we had basically started to negative split after the first 25k and kept that up for the duration. We ran into an awesome Cheer squad led by Chantel and their running team Republic somewhere in West Hollywood. The photo speaks for itself - we were actually still having fun deep into running a marathon!

As we passed mile 20-21, we conquered our last big uphill climb - the rest was cake. When we hit mile 23 we did something I have never been able to do in a marathon - we started to drop the hammer getting faster and faster. The last mile we clocked a 7:20 pace - a far cry from the 10's we had been doing in the beginning. Todd, who had been taking short vids right behind us the whole way, hilariously stuck with us almost to the bitter end until course volunteers standing next to signs that basically read  "bandits GTFO!" finally drove him off 100 meters from the finish.

We did it. We didn't die. I finished my 3rd marathon and more importantly Fern finished his marathon marathon - his 26th. Not only that – we "crushed" our goal time crossing the line at 4:17:38.

Can they all be this fun? NYC marathon see you in November...

The SRC Blue Point Brewing 10-miler: My Hometown Run

by Pete Schwinge
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Growing up in Patchogue was nothing extraordinary, it was a decent sized town with not much excitement on Main St. (7-11 and Gino’s pizza were the only late-night stops, and Swezey’s is where every mom bought their kids clothing). We mostly we spent our teenage years driving around to Port Jefferson or Huntington - where the action was.

Fast-forward to today. In the last 5-8 years, Patchogue has exploded with nightlife, restaurants on-par with the city, and has turned into a destination town midway between the city and Hamptons with access to Fire Island. Blue Point Brewing (technically in Patchogue) started in 1998 and quickly reached high levels of recognition (The award-winning Toasted Lager is a personal favorite). The Sayville Running Club (SRC) and BPB teamed up in 2010 for the inaugural 10-mile Run to the Brewery, and in the last few years have gone from numbers in the low hundreds to over 1,300 runners this year.

The run is a “USATF sanctioned event over a USATF certified course covering a flat and pleasant 10 miles through the suburban roads of Patchogue, Blue Point and Bayport.” There’s no pomp and circumstance to kick off the race. Words emitting from the portable bullhorn was barely audible and the air horn sounded the start. “Oh, I guess we’re starting!”. There’s no corrals, “Where is the B corral? I’m on the B-squad...ya know, I’m on JV track!”  So naturally, you found the NBR crew all congregated toward the front of the pack!

The vibe is energetic, and the runners are competent - all levels - but mostly there to run (and eventually, drink!). It was a quick pace throughout the flats with only a minor uphill around mile 8. Unfortunately, at mile 9 it was where I found out my childhood dreams were crushed when I noticed they had closed the tiny restaurant shack known as Flo’s. All I could think about my innocent years of playing on the beach and eating grilled cheeses. A little part of me died inside. Ok, I’m over it now. That was also the time I caught up to Orlando and yelled “1 mile to go. Woo!” in which Orlando glared at me with the ‘who-are-you-and-why-are-you-yelling-in-my-ear’ Then he smiled and took off. I never caught back up to him.

The after-party consists of a cover band playing your favorite hits of the 80s and 90s “Don’t Stop, Believin’” while under ‘semi-heated’ tents with some post-race food, snacks, and most importantly...Beer! The NBR crew totally commandeered one of the heaters and huddled around telling campfire stories while ingesting plenty of liquid barley and hops fresh from the kegs. Overall, a fun and successful event!!

Notes: Remember to drink lots of water before you start on the beer. Helps prevent the dehydration headache (speaking from experience). The bib pickup is not as efficient as many of the runs we’re used to - and only later that night will you realize Madeline Hanley is not a 35 y/o male named Matty Hanley (sorry about that, Madeline!). Plan ahead and carpool or stay at an Airbnb the night before. The Patchogue train doesn’t get there early enough.

And finally, why NBR is comprised of such an amazing group of people. Carpools for everyone either going out the night before or morning of. Caitlin gets major props for coordinating the Airbnb for the people going out the night before - next time though, put Large Hot Tub with 80s neon lighting on the front page of the brochure. The group dinner was wonderful and chill night out that comprised of burgers...and more burgers...and great conversation (“Our table is where the Magic Happens!”).

Blue Point Brewing was recently acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev and moving to a much larger space in town and are planning on more events. Therefore, this run could only grow from here. I would gladly take the lead in seeing how we could add this as an official destination race for the crew and see if we could possibly get some guaranteed spots, and whatever else is involved. It’s worth the trip, with a great crew of people.

P.S. I noticed a few November Projects there, but only one Dashing Whippet.

P.P.S When I said NBR while picking up the bibs, the woman responded with, “Oh, I know the group, I’ve run next to your jerseys many times!”

P.P.P.S. I PR’d by 58 seconds...go me!

NBR's 2016 Racing Year

by Logan Yu and Danielle Carrick

It's been another great racing year for NBR! In 2016, we had 508 (275 men and 233 women). runners cross the finish line at New York Road Runner races.

nbr race finishers

NBR raced year round and the most popular distance was the half marathon with 572 finishers.

nbr race finishes by distance

5505004504003503002502001501005001.03.14.05.06.29.310.013.118.026.237.3Number of NBR FinishersRace Distance

The Brooklyn Half led the way as the most popular race followed by the NYC Marathon.

2016 races with nbr runners

Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon 2016NYC Marathon 20162016 NYRR Staten Island Half2016 New Balance Bronx 10-Mile2016 Scotland Run 10K2016 United Airlines NYC Half2016 Front Runners New York LGBT Pride...2016 NYRR Ted Corbitt 15KNYRR Washington Heights Salsa Blues ...New Balance 5th Avenue Mile2016 NYRR Al Gordon 4M2016 NYRR Five-Borough Series: Queens...2016 Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run2016 NYRR Team Championships: Men 5MNYRR Retro 4-Miler2016 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K2016 Jingle Bell Jog2016 NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10K2016 City Parks Foundation Run for the...TCS New York City Marathon Tune-Up (18M)2016 Gridiron 4M2016 NYRR Team Championships: Women...2016 Run as One (4M) Presented by...2016 Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K2016 Boomer's Cystic Fibrosis Run to...2016 Japan Run 4M2016 France Run 8k2016 Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff (5M)2016 Memorial Sloan Kettering's Fred's...NYRR New York Mini 10K2016 Race to Deliver 4M2016 NYRR Spring Classic 10K2016 New Balance Bronx 5K2016 MORE/SHAPE Women's Half-MarathonNYRR Queens 5K2016 NYRR Staten Island 5K2016 NYRR NYC 60K2016 Achilles Hope & Possibility (4M)NYRR Flushing Meadows Summer Classic2016 NYRR Pete McArdle Cross Country...2016 NYRR Harry Murphy Cross Country 5K2016 Kurt Steiner Cross Country 5K2016 Henry Isola Cross Country (4M)NYRR Fred Lebow Cross Country...050100150200250300 301 166 121 120 113 107 92 92 81 80 72 68 68 63 58 49 44 43 42 41 40 40 40 39 36 35 32 31 30 30 26 22 16 13 7 6 6 6 5 4 2 2 1 1Number of NBR Finishers

NBR had tons of runners with 7+ races.

most frequent nbr racers

james lulogan yucaitlin shukevin kalbjohn mcgovernreginald stacoserene brownhannah dotyadrienne markowskijennifer colonlindsay florasara heegaardneil ruffellgrace lumaria elena pombojohn slaskiteresa curtingregg baldingerjennifer herrbrinda ayerangela ortizdaniel simsmichael hillciaran o'donovanwataru iwatajames kingsteven gonzalezquang tonandrew arthuraldo ceresabruno esrubilskycarmelo parisjose lasallemartin friedrichsalexander stolermanashley davidsonshawn youngorlando cruzchristopher wheeleralvin chubruno buzzettielizabeth floodpeter mendersonlauren perkinsbryan keanestephen tranterbomina yuangel guiloffmadeline hanleychristian fischerpolly joneschristopher berndtjessica boucherlou figueroavalerie floramarcin polakbeverly walleyalison berkowitzlauren tartepeter schwingejohn breenabby pribbleseth pompanantje kristin watermannkalliope whiteeric powellkarina christiansensophie fabbrimichele berardijoe chandrew reynoldsross luebeanthony thomassophie tholstrupstephanie ferrellmatthew schenkerjesse gerstinfred martellerica silbigeralexander walshmarie figueredobrandon wustanley leecarlos salazar riverajeffrey smithselaelo ramokgopacaitlin leejane wattsnicoletta lakatossarah murphyattila maczakolan kenneallylane rettigisaias lopez cobohugh mcdonaldalexandra ceronmatthew stevensarlena yuennatalie ellercarolyn laikatherine stapletondavid gosslanie van heerdenalun williamsjeff poindextercraig kochislisa zhuanna spinnerksenia kagneryotam barkairoma van der waltsylvia fengbrent doylealexander woolvertonfernando ferialorenzo simionatomathew krothian macdonaldfrancesca wedemeyerdamian romerorebecca adescynthia tobarnathaniel hobelmanabbie pughmeghan duffygabriel castanodavid bullardcristina cartagenaalexis kimdelcy winterschristian escobaremily lawnicklas holmluis deliasmeaghan fitzpatrickdaryl valeriorobert schrettltoni mayoross freilicheunice coronamarie barnettkristoffer hedstromnicolette st lawrencejennifer danielsmichael mestrandreagene soboldavid hartstoneemma raubcarolina herrerabrian morganlillian wolfsondana longanthony petrillosean laudekara fanellinick peggmatthew eberhartbom (diane) parkrebecca hirschklaustephen boyd02468101214161820Number of NYRR Races

NBR finishes varies by age group, with the 30-39 year old range being the largest chunk.

nbr finishers by age

NBR saw a lot of runners reach 70% AG in their best race this year.

112 NBR runners had a finish above 70% AG.

70%+ ag finishers

ned boothquinn batsonciaran o'donovanangela ortiztim jeffreysjames chualexander walshben leesestephen tranterlauren perkinsbecky schaumbergkalliope whitelaura cooganmarie barnettnicolette st lawrencelogan yusean mickajoe chanalun williamsjustin parkerdrew reynoldschristopher wongsteven fahmieadam berrybill walkowiczalexander woolvertonblake arnoldlucie beatrixnoah mccolllillian wolfsonjeff poindexterandy kiferjennifer danielsmichael hillpavel marosinconrade welchlindsay harkemajohn montesgregg baldingerevan cooperjohn mulvaneyanthony watkinspaul robinsontaeya konishi schogelsara heegaardcraig kochissean lauderyan shanleysamantha johnstephen stoweelodie pinotjoshua hatcherseth keanheather irvinemartin branch-shawjim isemananne barryalexander stolermanrebecca adestien-tien yumatthew eberhartjennifer mcnameewataru iwatajefferson gatrallrebecca turnbullmeredith mahoneyjason hanrahanannick lamarjoseph whiteben nilsestuenbearden colemanlinda danielskevin drummondadam smithemma raubetienne sabatiertim holleyjordan harrisonmiriam beyercamilla hamptonshane clarkecolin dungannicoletta lakatoskenneth allenkate connollystephen bonicabrinda ayeranthony thomasharold poolemichael stermermelody feoshawn youngelizabeth floodjessica bouchermatthew schenkerroma van der waltmax frumesmichael kimelmankarina christiansensarah murphyderrie davismeghan duffymasha portianskyandrew wanliss-orlebarthomas virziconnie friedmadeline hanleyjeffrey skaarbruno buzzettithomas boardmansteven kvalheimerica silbigerdelia springstubbalvin chu7072747678808284868890 84.98 84.58 83.49 82.37 82.3 82.12 81.93 81.19 80.69 80.57 80.48 80.45 80.19 80.15 80.1 80.1 79.55 79.3 79.27 79.06 78.94 78.87 78.83 78.81 78.65 78.47 78.38 78.26 78.13 77.85 77.82 77.7 77.59 77.55 77.37 77.28 77.19 77.07 76.33 75.92 75.86 75.83 75.82 75.64 75.41 75.23 75.16 75.15 75.09 75.04 75.03 74.97 74.88 74.81 74.76 74.54 74.53 74.48 74.36 74.17 74.11 73.99 73.88 73.84 73.76 73.73 73.71 73.62 73.53 73.46 73.45 73.45 73.43 73.38 73.34 73.33 73.15 73.13 73.11 73.03 72.99 72.86 72.71 72.63 72.53 72.36 72.34 72.29 72.11 71.87 71.43 71.35 71.32 71.26 71.21 71.01 70.99 70.92 70.85 70.76 70.68 70.67 70.62 70.59 70.56 70.47 70.44 70.39 70.37 70.37 70.3 70.12 70.1 70.07Best AG% in 2016

Congratulations to all. We're looking forward to many more miles in 2017!