Running the Brooklyn Half Marathon 2010

The morning of the race. The sun was just starting to come up as I got ready in my apartment.

You don’t need fancy sneakers to run long distance. This past Saturday I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon in my beat up, old Vans and it was a great experience. Finishing the race with a time of 1:53:33 (8:40 per mile) felt pretty good, too.

I started my day before the sun came up, making my way to Prospect Park just in time to line up for the 7am start. After running two loops of the park, we hit the streets of Brooklyn, going down Ocean Parkway all the way to Coney Island, finishing on its famous boardwalk.

When you run a distance this long, there are inevitably moments when you just want to stop. I usually have music with me to help with those times, but without my ipod, I had to rely on my own intrinsic motivation to keep pushing forward.

I used safety pins to affix the D-tag to my shoelace-free Vans.

Wait…You Ran the Half in What?
It doesn’t matter if you have $200 sneakers or $20 ones, as long as you have comfortable footwear and a good understanding of proper running mechanics, you can train your body to take care of the rest.

With the popularity of barefoot and minimalist running starting to spread to the mainstream, I expected to see a lot of minimalist runners out there. Instead it was the usual sea of Nikes. With the exception of one friend who raced in Vibrams (and a few people I saw in Nike Free’s), everyone else was running in the conventional stuff.

There were a lot of ups and downs during the race, but the best part about the Brooklyn Half Marathon was that I’d already expended a full day’s worth of calories by 9am. I had a lot of fun making up that deficit!

8 thoughts on “Running the Brooklyn Half Marathon 2010

  • By ajcurl -

    Nice…8:40's huh. Good pace. I have a hard time holding 9 min miles in vibrams and a little slower still when I'm completely bare foot. I don't really run distances either. My long run is 6 miles. Good job on the marathon!

  • By Miranda -

    Congratulations Al! I've never been a big runner, but checking out Born to Run and your reading about your enthusiasm for minimalist running has made me wonder if I've just been doing it wrong. It's inspiring to see that you finished 13+ miles in Vans!

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks! Keep practicing and your speed and endurance will gradually improve. My first race (back in 2004) was only a 5k and I barely broke a 12 min/mile pace. Of course at the time I knew absolutely nothing about how to run and I was wearing *gasp* Nikes!

  • By Al Kavadlo -

    Thanks, Miranda! Glad I can continue to be a source of inspiration for you. Anyone can be a runner, it just takes patience and discipline. We can talk more about it after bootcamp next time.

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  • By John -

    I jog with Chucks once in a while. Lots of people wouldn’t dare to do anything sport related in them, as if it’s a crime. I get stared at for running in them and they’re probably thinking, “What is this man doing?”. Real men can run in anything is what I told a friend of mine. I’ve been around Coney Island a few times and I think I might join the marathon one day — with Chucks on.

    • By Al Kavadlo -

      Right on, John!  Keep it real with your Chucks.

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