Brooklyn Half Marathon: A Comprehensive Review

The Brooklyn Half Marathon isn’t just another race on the calendar. It’s a breathtaking 13.1-mile journey through Brooklyn’s vibrant soul. The race starts in the peaceful surroundings of Prospect Park and culminates on the bustling Coney Island Boardwalk. For marathon enthusiasts, the Brooklyn Half Marathon is an event not to be missed. Here’s a closer review of this half marathon’s experience, from the nervous pre-race moments to the exhilarating finish.

What you are going to learn in this post:

  • Pre Race Experience
  • Race Day Experience
  • The Course
  • Race Organization & Support
  • Pros & Cons
  • Recommendations

Pre-Race Experience

For registration, the online process is seamless and user-friendly. The real thrill starts with the packet pickup at Pier 2, which offers mesmerizing views of the Brooklyn Bridge against the Manhattan skyline backdrop. Along with the race bib, participants receive a shirt and a medal. Though some reviews suggest the shirt’s design could be better, the joy of holding a medal never fails to inspire.

One reviewer mentioned, “The view from Pier 2 during the packet pickup was an experience in itself. It set the tone for the marathon!

Stellar communication is a hallmark of this event. Participants receive frequent emails to keep them informed about everything – from the route map to the race day schedule.

Race Day Experience of the Brooklyn Half Marathon

Arriving at the venue is hassle-free, particularly for those opting for public transport. The subway lines L to Bedford Avenue or G to Lorimer/Metropolitan come highly recommended. However, for those considering driving, a heads up: road closures and parking constraints might present challenges.

At the starting line, the atmosphere is electric. Enthusiastic announcements, coupled with energetic music, make it an adrenaline-packed experience.

Brooklyn Half Marathon Course

The course is a visual treat, split into two primary sections. The initial stretch meanders through the serene Prospect Park. Once past the park, runners head straight down Ocean Parkway, concluding their journey at the Coney Island Boardwalk. Notable attractions include views of iconic bridges like Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, and the vibrant neighborhoods of North Brooklyn, including Fulton Street & Flatbush Avenue.The RBC Brooklyn Half’s course is nothing short of an urban runner’s dream, and it’s an immersive way to experience Brooklyn’s diverse landscapes.

The race kicks off in Prospect Park, a lush 585-acre urban oasis filled with winding pathways, gentle hills, and serene ponds. The park’s scenic beauty serves as an uplifting backdrop to the initial miles, making it easy to forget the challenges of the race. As runners navigate the park, they’re treated to the sounds of local bands and the cheers of supportive Brooklynites.

Exiting Prospect Park, participants make their way onto Ocean Parkway. This straight, flat stretch is an opportunity to find a steady rhythm. Lined with historic homes and a wide, tree-lined median, Ocean Parkway offers runners a glimpse into Brooklyn’s residential charm.

But perhaps the most iconic and exhilarating part of the race is the final stretch. As runners approach the ocean, the distant sound of waves and the salty scent of the sea intensifies. The course concludes on the famous Coney Island Boardwalk. Here, participants can relish their accomplishment while soaking in panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the vibrant amusement parks, and the nostalgic Parachute Jump Tower.

Throughout the journey, runners pass through distinct neighborhoods, each with its own flavor and energy. From the bustling markets to the historic avenues, the course not only challenges but also entertains, offering a rich tapestry of Brooklyn’s cultural and architectural heritage. The sense of community is palpable, with locals cheering, holding signs, and even offering high-fives. All in all, the RBC Brooklyn Half’s course is a vivid portrait of Brooklyn, making it more than just a race – it’s an experience.

Despite the unpredictable weather, which could sometimes get humid, the energetic crowd support ensures runners stay motivated throughout. 

A participant shared, “The crowd support was the best part for me. Every time I felt I was lagging, the cheers gave me an adrenaline rush.

After the race, the post-race amenities are impressive. Everything caters to the participant’s needs, from medals to a diverse range of snacks and drinks. The post-race party is the icing on the cake, allowing everyone to relax and celebrate.

Race Organization & Support

Brooklyn Half Marathon Spectator Map

NYRR, the organizing body, exhibits impeccable professionalism. Everything is top-notch, from timing and result processing to the unyielding dedication of their volunteers. Their environmental awareness deserves a special mention, emphasizing waste reduction and the use of sustainable materials.

Pros & Cons


  • A picturesque route capturing Brooklyn’s iconic spots.
  • Unmatched crowd support.
  • Seamless organization and communication.
  • Commitment to eco-friendly practices.


  • Potential logistical issues at the start line.
  • The unpredictable weather.
  • Some feedback suggests the race shirt and medal design could be enhanced.

A runner remarked, “The eco-friendly initiatives were a pleasant surprise. It’s good to see marathons taking such steps.

Final Thoughts & Recommendations

Is the Brooklyn Half Marathon worth a shot? Most reviews resoundingly say, “Yes!” A few hiccups aside, the overall sentiment is overwhelmingly positive. For future participants, it’s recommended to make the most of available training resources, stay prepared for variable weather, and, most importantly, immerse in the journey.

In essence, the Brooklyn Half is not merely a race – it’s a tribute to Brooklyn’s spirit and diversity. Those seeking a memorable marathon experience should definitely consider this. 

Brooklyn Half Marathon Summary

The Brooklyn Half is a captivating 13.1-mile race that captures the essence of Brooklyn, starting from the serene Prospect Park and culminating at the lively Coney Island Boardwalk. With a seamless registration process, unparalleled crowd support, and breathtaking views of iconic Brooklyn landmarks, it offers runners an unparalleled experience. Organized by the NYRR, the event exemplifies professionalism and commitment to sustainability. While there are a few areas of improvement, most participants and reviews advocate for its unique charm, making it a must-try for marathon enthusiasts.