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Brooklyn Half

The Better Part of a Marathon

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There are really two Brooklyn halves, which is mathematically appropriate.

The Airbnb Brooklyn Half on the official calendar of the Road Runner’s Club (the folks behind the New York City Marathon) is a springtime event that celebrates everything independent about Brooklyn. Runners be advised: 2016 tickets sold out in less than an hour, but there are volunteer opportunities which score you points toward entry in future races. The race starts at the Brooklyn Museum, these days one of the biggest institutions for outsider art. The runners’ next turn is onto Washington Ave in Crown Heights, a showcase of either regeneration or gentrification, depending on how you look at it (one thing that’s not up for debate: good brunch). This is also probably one of the only times in world history that there’s no car traffic on parts of Flatbush Ave, as participants, flanked by proud onlookers, make their way to Grand Army Plaza, around Prospect Park, and all the way south to Coney Island. The sponsorship is perfectly provocative, too: Airbnb has already won over Brooklyn hosts and their guests–now it’s the local politicians (who are keen to point out that city hotel laws make the sharing service illegal) that they have to win over. Before and after parties in nearby parks and venues feature Brooklyn artists and some of the borough’s best food trucks.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Brooklyn half marathon, part of a national series, takes place in October. Indie, bigger names, and some groan-worthy throwback bands take their positions along the course. For runners and their fans, there’s a good chance of fall foliage and weather at that ideal point in between breezy and balmy.


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