Brooklyn Half Marathon 2017

Brooklyn Half is the largest half marathon in the country and this year the number of participants topped over 25,000.  Whoa!  That’s a lot of runners who want to run Bklyn.  So why is this race so popular and sells out within an hour of open registration?  Everyone has their own answer to that and I’d say if you want to find out then you need to run this race.  

The 1st time I heard of Brooklyn Half was way before I even started running.   While I was gearing up for a Figure competition back in 2004 I started chatting with a friend who as it turned out was training for this race.   I was intrigued.  Fast forward to 2013 when I became a serious and dedicated runner I wanted to test my limits and remembered all about Brooklyn Half.  Unfortunately I underestimated how popular this race had become and missed out on registration.  (I ended up running Staten Island Half that year which was dedicated as a Staten Island Day in lieu of Hurricane Sandy-which ended up being a very emotional race).  So I decided to volunteer at the finish line which would earn me a guaranteed entry to next years race.   

My 1st Brooklyn Half marathon was in 2014.  I was very excited to run thru the different neighborhoods of Bklyn.  The race went well and I broke 2 hrs finishing at 1:55.  I was back for more action the following year but as many of you know not every race, even the same course, goes as planned each time.  While I actually ended up shaving  a minute off my time finishing at 1:54 in 2015 I wasn’t a happy girl.   Once I came out of Prospect Park things just sort of didn’t feel right.   First, I took a gel too fast and it started giving me digestive issues, then I started counting the alphabetical streets on Ocean Pkwy which stated playing with my head.  Ugh!  Ave A, B, C…..omg I got all the way to Z????  This is sooo long!   Then it started raining which was making me blind.  At this point everything was just piling up and my brain was shutting down.  I crossed the finish line not happy.  I decided I’m never running this race again because Ocean Pkwy was dreadful, it was just too many people, and it was hot (I think the temps that day were in 70).  Ok I ran this twice-I’m good.  But I still luv the excitement of Bklyn Half so I volunteered as a leader in 2016.  And as a thank u I got a guaranteed entry for 2017.  

I really wasn’t planning to run this year.  What changed?  To be honest,  it’s the energy of this race.   That’s why it’s so popular and you keep coming back.  With a click of a button I was in and there was no turning back.   Training went well but we were hit with a heat wave right before the race.  Like many of us neurotic runners I checked the weather all week hoping for a relief.  I told myself if it’s gonna be hot I will just concentrate on not passing out.  But, oh happy day, the temps that day were down to 60.  Could it be?  Do I have an actual chance of doing good at this race?   I’ll just have to find out.  

Raining!   What?  Why is it raining? There was no mention of this on my weather app. But as we lined up in our corrals the rain stopped.  The temps were perfect-58F.  Off we went!   One of my fave parts about “opposite” running is we got to see all the elites flying by us.  It was great to see that athleticism.  As usual, running in Prospect Park is one of the highlights of the race.  Yes you get hills but you also get nature and a beautiful lake.  Ok we are out of the park and here comes my Achilles heel-Ocean Pkwy.  But this time I’m ready for you.  I decided no matter what never look up at the signs.  Concentrate on stuff around me.  Look at the runners, their form, what they are wearing, mantra, few ppl who are cheering-thank u!, oh Hokas, crap I just looked up, wait I gotta check my form, shoulders back, chin in, relax, u got this.   Home stretch.  I see 800 meters sign. Pass the cyclone.  Up on to the boardwalk.   People are cheering.   Yes!  I did it!   I feel great!   Seeing my honey at the finish line telling me I might have PRed.  

Everything about this race just felt right.  Crossing the finish line with this being my 9th half marathon I ended up setting a new personal record.  1:48.  I shaved 6 min off my time for this course and a minute from my NYC Half PR. Catching up with friends afterwards atthe after  party in  the baseball field was a topping on the cake.  So if you ever wondered why people love this race you need to run it!

Published by

Yasia Sorbo

Growing up in Kiev, Ukraine I was a super energetic kid so I always was involved in some kind of sports. But I had trouble focusing so ended up always switching sports. But the luv of moving stuck with me. I started out ice skating, moving onto swimming-which actually warranted me being on the Junior Olympic Swim Team, and short distance track running. While being involved in sports helped tire me out a bit the training was boring and didn't have that spark. One day when I was 7 I got a pair of roller skates and man oh man did I fall in luv with those. I loved them so much I would roller-skate everywhere. After immigrating to U.S. I became preoccupied with becoming American and soaking up all the things that I couldn't experience before so my luv for sports fell by the wayside. I tried to exercise but it wasn't consistent. After I was able to get some money I bought myself a pair of rollerblades. We lived in Bensonhurst so I used to go by the promenade and rollerblade there. After getting married and gaining newlywed 15lbs I decided to join a gym and lose some weight. Well, that was it! I fell in love with weightlifting and how it was transforming my body so much that I became a Personal Trainer. One day after scrolling thru Muscle Fitness magazine and Oxygen magazine and seeing these beautiful strong women I became intrigued with the way they look and decided to sign up for a Figure/Bodybuilding competition. I hired a trainer (who later became a very close friend) and embarked on this new journey. The training was tough and the diet was brutal but the rewards were great. I met another trainer with the same passion for bodybuilding who worked at the Reebok Sports Club (now Equinox) and invited me to check out his gym. That was an experience in itself and I was fortunate to be hired. After a couple of competitions I decided to retire from Figure competitions and concentrate on having a family. I had to overcome some health issues first. While rehabbing my body back to health so to peak, I learned about this wonderful school-Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I was so intrigued by their philosophies that I decided to sign up for the course. In the middle of my semester I became pregnant with my fist child. After graduating I decided to dedicate my life to being a mom. Working out all thru my pregnancies definitely helped me stay healthy and strong to deal with demands of motherhood. After My daughter was born I wanted to get back in shape and so I started running. I fell in love with being outdoors and exploring. I ran my 1st race in March 2013, and my fist Half Marathon, Staten Island own, in October 2013. I have been running ever since.