In 2022, the annual Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathon will be debuting an all new course starting right here in North Brooklyn near McCarren Park. The race, which used to kick off on Eastern Parkway by the Brooklyn Museum, is also now slated for April 24, as opposed to its previous October date.
The decision for the course change was two-fold, inspired by the NYCRUNS team’s goal to have a route spanning more of Brooklyn while also serving logistical needs. After starting alongside McCarren, the tentative route then follows the water into Dumbo before making its way down to Prospect Park, down Ocean Ave. to Coney Island, and back for a Prospect Park finish. This serves as a contrast to the former race map, which included laps of Prospect Park (described by an Instagram commenter as “tedious”) and focused more on the southern part of Brooklyn
“The goal has always been to have a race that went all the way across Brooklyn. We’ve been pushing the city for a long time — we keep trying to improve the race every year and this was a good opportunity,” Steve Lastoe, founder and race director of NYCRUNS, explained. “I’ve been looking into ‘a starting on the north side, ending on the south side’ proposition for a long time. McCarren Park and then Kent Avenue have a lot of space to work with, which you really require for a race with 25,000 people.”
For prospective runners, the reactions to the change have been mixed, with some expressing hesitance over running on Dumbo cobblestones while others are enthusiastic about the convenience of the new starting location.
“I am so excited about this new course!” Becca Ades, president of North Brooklyn Runners (which organizes daily runs from McCarren Park), expressed.
“Finishing on Battle Pass Hill in Prospect Park is a killer,” local runner and resident Jodie Wong said. “They want you to sweat for that 26.2.”
To Lastoe, the most prominent feeling is excitement, particularly as this new iteration of the race offers another option for runners in the spring.
“I think that one thing people may not be realizing is how great that late-April date is going to be. There are not a lot of spring marathons in the East Coast United States. Obviously there’s Boston [Marathon], but I think we’re going to find a lot of people really targeting this as their spring marathon,” Lastoe remarked. “That late-April time in New York City really looks good. Spring has definitely sprung, and that can really be one of the nicest days of the year. We were a little worried that we concurrently pulled the plug on the 2021 race, but it’s hard to look at this run and not be excited.”
Registration for the Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathon opens at 10 AM on Thursday, July 1. For more information and updates, visit thebrooklynmarathon.com.