By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Thousands of runners, including an Olympian, are expected to take part in the Brooklyn Half, a road race covering the distance of half a marathon, on Saturday, May 18.
“We are elated to be back in Brooklyn bigger and better than ever,” said Mary Wittenberg, CEO of the http://www.nyrr.org/ New York Road Runners, the event’s sponsor.
“Race weekend and day will allow tens of thousands of runners and spectators to celebrate some of Brooklyn’s most beloved landmarks, from the pre-race festivities under the Brooklyn Bridge, to pastoral Prospect Park and the legendary boardwalk of Coney Island. Our partnerships with local businesses provide opportunities to explore the boroughs best restaurants, stores, and attractions along this distinct course,” Wittenberg said.
The 13.1-mile route will take runners from the rolling hills of Prospect Park through Grand Army Plaza, to a finish on the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk.
Kim Smith, a three-time Olympian from New Zealand, will headline the field.
The Brooklyn Half is more than just a race, according to officials of the road runners, who said it is part of an entire week of celebrations.
To start off, a celebratory pre-race event called the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party, will take place at the Old Tobacco Warehouse, 26 New Dock St. in DUMBO starting May 15. The famous warehouse is part of http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/ Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The party will also take place on May 16 and 17. The Pre-Party will be a festival of music, food, and shopping. Runners will also be able to pick up their race numbers. The event will feature New Balance official merchandise (New Balance is a race sponsor), an outdoor beer garden featuring beer from Brooklyn breweries, local food vendors and trucks, an acoustic stage featuring Brooklyn singers and musicians, rotating house DJs, and other interactive elements.
On race day, there will be 13 entertainment zones along the course and DJs at the start and finish. As runners finish on the boardwalk, they will find hot dogs, beer, roller-coaster rides, and stilt walkers.
The Brooklyn Half is part of New York Road Runners’ Run the City program, a retail incentive program that supports local businesses and economies in the communities where its races are held.
Runners can register for the race by visiting www.nyrr.org.