And they ran. They ran so far away.
The 34th annual Brooklyn Half Marathon drew 25,500 runners, its largest ever turnout, to tackle the 13.1-mile course on Saturday. The test of endurance organized by New York Road Runners was a blast, a participant said.
“It was just as much fun as it was two years ago,” said Crown Heights resident Carla Biagini, who ran the daunting jaunt in 2012.
This year, fitness buffs started off at Prospect Park and walked, jogged, and ran to Ocean Parkway, then continued on all the way to Coney Island.
Many celebrated crossing the finish line by chowing down along the Boardwalk.
The party started days before the runners went off to the races with a May 14–16 shindig in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 2, which opened to the public for the first time for the occasion.
The pier includes basketball, handball, and bocce courts, as well as a roller rink, swings, picnic tables, restrooms, and workout gear.
The bash featured food trucks serving up cuisine from around the world, three bands each night, and a pop-up barbershop on the pier for revelers craving a neck-shave between sets.
“We were pretty busy and had a few thousand people coming through to our booth,” said Matthew Wire, a scissor-handler who manned the booth for the chop shop Fellow Barber.
The pre-run party exceeded Biagini’s wildest expectations, she said.
“I went Friday evening and was just over-whelemed that it was as big as it was,” she said. “New York Road Runners went all out this year.”