Yesterday, while walking by the vast cattle pens that serve as security at New York Road Runners’ major races these days, I watched a guy simply hop through where two of the fences met. Anyone who knows me knows how I like to tweet and Facebook everything, especially if it involves an entitled, self-important twat — likely a cyclist from Manhattan, he just had the look — breaking the rules.
I didn’t. Because he wasn’t carrying anything other than his bad attitude. Also, I figured if I did, and someone at NYPD or NYRR saw the tweet, they’d shut the whole thing down — 25,000 people out of a race due to one douche.
But Runner McDouche hopping through the fence just goes to show how ludicrous these security measures are. It’s security theater — a lot of money and effort spent to make it appear people are safe, when in fact they’re no safer than before and in fact may be in more danger.
After the race yesterday, a friend suggested a conspiracy theory that I’m inclined to believe: New York Road Runners subcontracted the Brooklyn Half to someone else.
Because just about everything about it was run smoothly. Huge expo/pre-party (with volunteers instructing Manhattanites how to get from the subway to the venue). Incredibly organized corrals (with port-a-johns inside the corral so no massive lines). Hell, I’d asked a question on the Facebook page and got a response within the hour. (Interestingly, Brooklyn Half had its own Facebook page.) Of course, some people will still complain. Hear a lot of people whining that there were not enough mylar blankets. I was also disappointed to see Red Delicious as the apple being handed out after the race. Red Delicious? Really?! (I’m kidding.) Oh, and there weren’t as many people cheering this year. Probably because everyone was IN the damn race.
The most striking difference between this year and last year was the wave start. I wasn’t convinced it was going to help things–especially after registration was reopened and I’d hear numbers as high as 30,000. But night and day compared to last year. I never felt crowded, not even at that miserable cattle chute at Grand Army Plaza. The Scotland 10K a few weekends ago was much harder to negotiate.
The run itself? No complaints. I would have liked to PR for this one, but didn’t. I didn’t train quite as hard as I did last year. I’m also carrying about 10 pounds more than I did last year, which makes a pretty big difference. I probably could have toughed it out — weather was cool, no sun beating down — but I couldn’t get out of my own head. Or, more accurately, I couldn’t be bothered to find the extra gear. I haven’t run with music in over a year and yesterday was the first time where I actually missed it. (And, no, nice hippie chicks playing an acoustic set outside the park, Hotel California is not suitable music to get runners amped up!)
At any rate, it was a good race. First mile was slowest, last mile was fastest and I always like that. (But it was far from a negative split.)
I’ll set my sights on getting a PR at Hamptons this year.
I spent the first mile of the Brooklyn Half Marathon wanting to murder the organizers at New York Road Runners. (Do a social-media search of NYRR and you’ll see that’s been a common theme over the past year.) I’d had nightmares visualizing what it would be like to have 15,000 people trying to navigate the first couple of miles of the new and “improved” course. It would be a clusterfuck of GoogaMooga proportions. And in the first mile of the race, these visions were coming … well, actually it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought it was going to be. But I was trying to hit a PR and Mile One was going to make things difficult.