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Record 20,000 Runners to Race in 2013 Brooklyn Half on May 18

May 08, 2013

Runners and spectators to enjoy pre-race festivities in Brooklyn and scores of special offers and discounts at local restaurants, stores, and attractions


New York, May 8, 2013—Some 20,000 runners—the most in the event’s history—will race in the 33rd annual Brooklyn Half on Saturday, May 18, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

“We are elated to be back in Brooklyn bigger and better than ever,” said Wittenberg. “Race weekend and day will allow tens of thousands of runners and spectators to celebrate some of Brooklyn’s most beloved landmarks, from the pre-race festivities under the Brooklyn Bridge, to pastoral Prospect Park and the legendary boardwalk of Coney Island. Our partnerships with local businesses provide opportunities to explore the boroughs best restaurants, stores, and attractions along this distinct course.”

The race takes runners on 13.1-mile journey through the heart of the country’s fourth largest city, traveling from the rolling hills of Prospect Park through Grand Army Plaza, and a myriad of historical communities to a one-of-a-kind finish on the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk. To add to the adventure, Team New Balance Athlete Kim Smith, a three-time Olympian from New Zealand, will headline the field. 

To start the weekend, a celebratory pre-race event presented by New Balance (the race’s newest sponsor), the Brooklyn Half Pre-Party, will take place at the Old Tobacco Warehouse (26 New Dock St. in DUMBO, Brooklyn). This space is the shell of an historic, 19th century warehouse on the Brooklyn waterfront, right under the Brooklyn Bridge, now a part of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Pre-Party is a festival of music, food, and shopping—centered on race number pickup—that will celebrate the distinct culture of Brooklyn and what makes it extraordinary. The event features New Balance official merchandise, an outdoor beer garden featuring beer from Brooklyn breweries, local food vendors and trucks (McClure’s Pickles, Takumi Taco, and more), an acoustic stage featuring Brooklyn singers and musicians, rotating local house DJs, and other interactive elements. Hours and more information can be found here.

On race day, there will be 13 entertainment zones along the course and DJs at the start and finish. As runners finish, they will find hot dogs, beer, roller-coaster rides, stilt walkers, and more.

The Brooklyn Half is part of NYRR’s Run the City program, a retail incentive program that supports local businesses and economies in the communities where its races are held. The program offers race participants and spectators discounts and special offers at restaurants, stores, and attractions. Nearly 40 businesses in neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn—Park Slope, DUMBO, Ocean Parkway, Williamsburg, Prospect Heights, Coney Island, and Boerum Hill-Cobble Hill—are participating in this year’s program. Discounts and special offers include reduced tickets to the Brooklyn Cyclones, discounted rides on the Cyclone roller coaster, reduced entry fee to Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park and Luna Park, special deals at The Park Slope ChipShop, a free pint of beer at The Farm on Adderly, and many others.

There are still spots available, and runners can register on Participants can also add meaning to their miles by running with NYRR’s Team for Kids program, a group of adult runners from around the world who raise funds to provide free or low-cost health and fitness programs to kids who have little or no access to regular physical activity.

For friends and family who can’t join runners at the race, they can watch the Brooklyn Half show on Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. on WABC-7 New York. NYRR On the Run at the Brooklyn Half will give the inside scoop on what’s happening across Brooklyn, including race-weekend highlights and updates on those recovering from Superstorm Sandy.  

About NYRR

New York Road Runners was founded in 1958 when a small group of passionate runners vowed to bring running to the people. Over the past 55 years, NYRR has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s mission is to empower everyone, of all ages and abilities—beginners and competitive athletes, the young and the elderly, adult professionals and underserved schoolchildren—to improve their health and well-being through the power of running and fitness.

NYRR’s races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth programs give hundreds of thousands of people each year the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to start running and keep running for life. NYRR’s premier event, the famed ING New York City Marathon, attracts the world’s top pro runners and committed amateurs alike while also raising millions of dollars annually for charity and driving economic impact for the City. But NYRR is equally committed to the runners of tomorrow, passionately providing youth fitness programs that educate and inspire more than 150,000 kids in underserved communities in New York City, all 50 states, and around the world.

Headquartered in New York City, NYRR implements a unique nonprofit model that teams contributed and earned income to make all its efforts possible. To learn more, please visit  

Categories: Half Marathon News