For many first-time visitors to New York, New York equals Manhattan. But just a couple of subway stops across the river lies a whole other delicious world that deserves your exploration. So set aside a day to take a tour of Brooklyn when visiting New York. Having traveled to Brooklyn 9 times in the past year I feel like I could produce their next tourism video.

I’m no stranger to running in Brooklyn. As far back as 2010 I would stay with friends and run around the 5.92-kilometer loop in prospect park. Brooklyn’s answer to Central Park, Prospect Park contains a zoo, an Audubon center and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Its entrance is marked by a large Memorial Arch and it is a mecca for exercise lovers who go running, cycling and to watch the world go by on a beautiful summers evening.

When in Brooklyn I always stay in the same hotel and get up at 5 am so I can catch some of the work day in Dublin before going to meet the New York clients at 9.30. At the moment I’m working on an accessible taxi program for wheelchair users in the city which means long days and tiring taxi rides to all parts of the city. Getting the run in at 5.30 AM is a necessity because it probably won’t happen in the evening due to other commitments and excessive humidity.

The morning of 19 July 2017 was no exception I did my usual 1.5 laps of the laps and back which ticks my OCD tendencies at 12K on the button. Even on a slow day I can cover 12K in an hour sometimes going up to 14 if all cylinders are firing. At 5.35 I was sitting in the client’s office thinking to myself that I may not make this race tonight. Registration closes at 6.30 and I have to go back to the hotel to change.

At 5.51 I hear the magic words “lets pick this up in the morning” I dashed out the door and hailed a ride back to the hotel. Frantically pushing the buttons on the hotel lift I was back on the street at 6.11 leaving the hotel room in an almighty mess. I had almost 19 minutes to cover the 2.3K to the registration point. New York is warm in the summer months and tonight was no exception 94 degrees and very very humid. when the locals are saying how crazy warm it is the pale Irish guy goes overlooked on the start line.

The race itself started off on the only real uphill part of the course. I made a conscious decision to go out on the first uphill mile at 10K pace and it paid off. After 1 mile I felt like I had just run 10K and 10 or guys in front of me already looked to be struggling. With a naturally long stride, I love the downhill and as the course switched from uphill to downhill I started to put the rubber to the floor and coming into the last K there were only 2 guys in front. Pausing for a few seconds to gather myself I started to pick up the pace. At the 600M to go mark, I was on the shoulder of the leading runner with his buddy on the sideline shouting “don’t let him go past you” closely followed by “stay with him”. With 400M to go, I could see the finish line and the time on the clock. I managed to put 18 seconds on the guy in second and run 16.52.

Not a time to remember in years to come but a good win none the less. It’s always satisfying to get your tactics correct and get the win. This was the 5th of 8 in a summer series so I would love to make another on a cooler day. For the most part the race felt like a 10K effort with a fast finish.

After the race it was on to Denver Colorado to visit the running mecca of Boulder and run in the mile high city. An amazingly beautiful place taht I will be sure to visit again soon. After the 4 days of altitude training (slow running) I’m  down to do the national half for the first time in 7 years.   Have that Masters bug!