Why You Should Pay Prospect Park a Visit Prior to Running the Popular® Brooklyn Half
Some of the most challenging—and also the most beautiful—miles of the Popular Brooklyn Half are run inside Prospect Park, and with less than a month to go until race day, now’s a great time to get acquainted with “Brooklyn’s backyard,” which is sustained by our partners at the Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that provides critical staff and resources that keep the park green and vibrant.
“We are so thrilled to partner with the New York Road Runners and to welcome the 2018 Popular Brooklyn Half to Prospect Park,” says Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. “No matter what the occasion or season, the park is an avid destination for running, walking, and just enjoying nature.”
Prospect Park Alliance tends to trails as well as paved roads and pathways that transverse hills, meadows, and even picturesque waterways. The Popular Brooklyn Half provides an overview of these landscapes, many of which have been transformed over the Alliance’s 30-year history.
“It’s a good training strategy to complete a long run on a challenging part of the course,” says Steve Mura, manager of runner training & education at New York Road Runners and also an NYRR Group Training coach in Prospect Park. “If you’re running the Popular Brooklyn Half, finishing your last long run in Prospect Park would be a great idea. This way, you’re familiar with the course and the terrain. That Battle Pass hill is a challenge!”
You’ll encounter Battle Pass at mile 4 of the Popular Brooklyn Half, followed by a fast downhill before you exit the park.
“Run by effort,” advises Mura. “Your pace will slow down, but that effort level should stay the same. On the downhill, watch your effort, as you’re still early in the race. You want to stay controlled down the hill and stay in your rhythm.”
After you’ve gotten a taste for Prospect Park during your training for the Brooklyn Half, come back to explore all it has to offer.
“Prospect Park is a great change from the crowded Central Park,” says Mura. “The 3.36-mile loop offers a change of terrain as well as scenery. You can further change it up by cutting through Center Drive or Wells House Drive. There are also some great trails in the park that will loop you around the inner area. Get lost trying to find some historical area of the park, like Lookout Hill (the highest point in the park, with great views of Brooklyn; you might even be able to see Coney Island), Harry’s Wall (which honors Prospect Park Track Club co-founder Harry Murphy), and Cleft Ridge Span (a concrete arch that dates back to 1872).”
You’ll pass these landmarks while following our 3-mile Prospect Park running route. It’s one of 12 NYRR Running Routes designed to help you explore the five boroughs on foot. You can also visit the Prospect Park Alliance's website to download a running map with information on mileage.
In addition to running, there are dozens of other ways to enjoy Prospect Park year-round. Sign up for the Alliance's eNews to be the first to hear about news and events in the park and to learn about special perks that will help you better enjoy the park.
Here are just a few Prospect Park activities to add to your summer 2018 bucket list:
- Shop for seasonal ingredients at Greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza
- See a show at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, an outdoor concert series
- Sign up for the NYRR Brooklyn R-U-N 5K on July 16
- Roller skate or rent a boat or bike at the Lefrak Center at Lakeside
- Grab a bite at Smorgasburg Prospect Park
- Take a free community yoga class