Sure, the ING thing was nice, but Brooklyn now has its own marathon!

The Brooklyn Paper
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Who needs all five boroughs — Brooklyn finally has its own marathon!

More than 300 Spandex-clad runners will sprint through Prospect Park on Nov. 20 for the borough’s inaugural 26-mile race — and unlike the more-famous race that just clogged city streets all day on Sunday, no one will get turned away from this historic jog.

“More than 100,000 people get shut out of the New York City Marathon, so there’s a market for more of them,” said Brooklyn Marathon organizer Steve Lastoe. “We’re interested in putting on a really good home-grown marathon that will grow into five figures in a few years.”

The race is entirely within the friendly confines of Olmsted and Vaux’s masterpiece, but it is certainly no walk in the park.

Marathoners will slug out six full loops and three lower loops — and have to battle Brooklyn’s own “Heartbreak Hill” on the Crown Heights side of the park, a 200-foot mound that slowed down the British in 1776 and hasn’t gotten any easier since.

Lastoe hopes to map future courses across a dozen neighborhoods from Greenpoint to Marine Park, but police-issued street permits are difficult to acquire since the city changed its permit policies last year, shortening many parades.

Still, Brooklyn’s fit masses are experiencing a runner’s high.

Each entrant will receive a medal, a T-shirt, plus bagels, donuts, and bananas at the finish line. And there will be celebrities galore!

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), who ran the Brooklyn Half-Marathon in 2:04, will fire the starter’s pistol; and our own editor, Gersh Kuntzman, who ate the Half-Marathon in just over two hours, will lead the first pack of runners on his bicycle.

“We’re trying to get local celebrities involved in the race — but Gersh will do,” said Lastoe. “We’d dump him for Jay-Z in a heartbeat.”

Brooklyn Marathon (starts and ends on the Center Drive in Prospect Park), Nov. 20, 8 am. Cost, $75. Register at

Reach reporter Aaron Short at or by calling (718) 260-2547.
Updated 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Geoff from Park Slope says:
I would like to note that I do not intend to wear Spandex on November 20th. I will not sprint - neither will I jog. And this Brit has no significant concerns about the hill up through Battle Pass - I run it almost every day. That said - thanks for the coverage, and i look forward to chasing down Gersh on his bike!
Nov. 8, 2011, 2:22 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Ha, I was going to point out that most runners don't wear spandex to race in (unless it's cold and you count tights) --you're probably thinking triathletes for the spandex.

Anyway, nice write up. I think it's great we have another marathon in the city. With all the unhealthy obesity, it's great that there are more ways people can stay fit and hopefully motivate others!
Nov. 11, 2011, 2:54 pm

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