“This was a matter of us working with the city all these years, and them getting to know us and trust us enough to be able to do something like this,” Steve Lastoe, the founder of NYCRuns, told the New York Times.
In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic canceled the famed New York City Marathon. That race returns November 7, 2021, taking runners from the foot of Verrazano Bridge in Staten Island through all five boroughs to the finish line in Manhattan's Central Park.
Wait... Wasn't there already a Brooklyn Marathon?
Unofficially, yes. The first iterations of the Brooklyn Marathon first took place in 2011, but didn't take runners on closed Brooklyn streets. Instead, runners completed a full marathon by running laps around Prospect Park's 586 acres.
The new Brooklyn Marathon course has the go-ahead to close streets, winding through Williamsburg, DUMBO, Crown Heights, and Kensington, among other neighborhoods. Runners will have approximately seven hours to complete the race before traffic is re-opened. While Prospect Park is still part of the race, it accounts for a few miles of the course, including the finish line.
What's the Brooklyn Marathon's route? Is it harder than the NYC Marathon?
According to NYCRuns, the new route will start in North Brooklyn, swooping "around the waterfront taking you under the historic Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges while delivering eye popping views of Manhattan." From there, runners head down Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue toward Prospect Park.
"Half Marathoners will turn into Brooklyn’s Backyard Prospect Park at mile 10 while marathoners will continue to 'Sodom By The Sea,' Coney Island U.S.A., before returning to Prospect Park to complete the final 3 miles of the race," NYCRuns' website says. "It’s an epic tour de force of Brooklyn like none before."
While the New York Times shared an official race map, NYCRuns notes that all race details are subject to change.
As for difficulty, runners can expect all sorts of terrain, especially in Prospect Park (where things get hilly), and might even find themselves navigating cobblestones in DUMBO. Whether or not it's more difficult isn't yet known, however, it is more condensed—the NYC marathon is the largest in the world and spans all five boroughs. This race takes place solely in Brooklyn.
I'm in. How can I register?
Mark your calendars: Registration opens for both the full and half marathon on July 1, 2021.
Full details have not been released as to how many spots will be available, start times, and more. While numbers aren't finalized, the race is expected to draw lots of runners and even more spectators. Lastoe told the New York Times that they expect 18,000-20,000 runners to lace-up their sneakers for the race.
If you want to run, your best bet is to sign up for NYCRuns email newsletter here, which will send reminders for registration dates and more.
I'm not much of a runner. Where are the best views?
Based on the race map, it looks like there's a lot of great spots to check out the race (and the views, TBH).
In North Brooklyn, runners are slated to run past iconic BK landmarks, like the Brooklyn Bridge, Dumbo's Water Street, and the Navy Yard. Depending on what streets are open/what traffic is like, this could be the perfect excuse to plan a chic brunch in Dumbo or explore the Promenade.
The neighborhoods surrounding Prospect Park all look they will have epic views, too. The race takes runners through Park Slope, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Prospect Lefferts-Gardens—plenty of room for spectators to get in on the action. Or if you can get there early enough, post-up at Grand Army Plaza, which is just a gorgeous place to be on any day.
Any tips for how to train?
Of course! Whether you're a first time runner or a seasoned race pro, our marathon training guide has got you covered. Here are some of our faves:
For new runners:
- This 20-week training plan can get any runner up-to-speed on their first marathon.
- Here's are 7 super common thoughts to expect during your first marathon, because it's as mentally challenging as it is physical.
- Here's how many miles a day you should be running to gear up for race day, according to a marathoner.
For training schedules and advice:
- The do's and don'ts of training for a marathon, straight from a running coach.
- Six interval running workouts to train your body and brain for race day.
- Your marathon meal plan, complete with lots of protein and carbs.
For gear and what to wear:
- Six editor-tested running shoes to lace up on the big day.
- The best running gear to upgrade your running uniform.
- What pro-runners can't run without, and where you can get them.
Get started with this endurance workout for runners:
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