This Saturday, more than 26,000 runners will invade Brooklyn’s iconic landmarks as the largest half marathon in the country takes over the borough.
“This race is truly a highlight on New York Road Runners’ racing calendar as our premier event in Brooklyn, a borough we are present year-round with our free community programs for youth, seniors and everyone in between,” said Ted Metellus, senior vice president of events and race director for NYRR.
The RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon will be held on May 20.
Runners will begin at the Brooklyn Museum before running 13.1 miles through Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park and Ocean Parkway to the finish line on the Coney Island boardwalk.
Sponsored by RBC, the marathon, which was established in 1981, is the largest half marathon in the U.S.
“The RBC Brooklyn Half started back before half marathons were popular on a course in and around Prospect Park, and now it serves as a kickoff to summer for the borough with a celebratory finish on the iconic Coney Island boardwalk,” Metellus said.
The half marathon will be accompanied by a party-like atmosphere with 10 entertainment locations, including local DJs, cover bands, instrumentalists and cheer groups.
This year’s field will include notable names such as actress Ellie Kemper, TV personality Nev Schulman, former NFL star Tiki Barber and YouTube sensation Casey Neistat.
Behind the scenes, event organizers have placed a focus on ensuring the event is sustainable with various initiatives, including:
- All race medals being made from 100% recycled steel
- Using Volvo Cars electric vehicles
- Water and Gatorade cups will be composted at a local farm following the event
Before the race, NYRR is acknowledging Mental Health Awareness Month. The organization is offering a mental health panel series, a virtual run club and meditations, wellness activations and weekly NYRR Open Runs.
There are also several runners participating in the race in support of mental health advocacy, including NCAA Division I lacrosse player Cailin Bracken and Iraq war veteran Zaida Espinoza.
Beginning on May 17 to May 19, runners can stop in the RBC Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Presented by New Balance. At the event, runners can pick up their bibs, shop for race merchandise, listen to live music and dine at local food trucks. The pre-party will be held at Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
At the pre-party, RBC will also have Mindful Motivation powered by Calm City, an audio experience that will talk runners through visualization exercises to help motivate them for race day.
On race day the event will have action for the whole family. Kids ages eight to 18 can take part in the free Boardwalk Kids Run as part of the Rising New York Road Runners youth program.
Participants in the Boardwalk Kids Run will race 1,500 meters on a new out-and-back course that starts and finishes on Brighton Avenue and Ocean Parkway.
At the post-race festivities, RBC will have a photo vignette where runners will be asked to share their race-day photos using #rbcbrooklynhalf. For every share, the National Alliance of Mental Illness, RBC will donate $5.
A virtual race will also be held for runners who are unable to be in Brooklyn to participate. The virtual race can be completed from anywhere in the world until May 21. For additional information, click here.