The mile is an iconic distance. Unique in its ability to stoke the fire of the most competitive runner, but also in its wide appeal to people of all abilities and experience levels. On Sunday, August 8, participants in Brooklyn’s road mile will run along Kent Avenue through the heart of Williamsburg. The course is fast and exhilarating. Personal bests abound for experienced runners, and a unique opportunity for beginners and back-of-the-packers to experience a unique trip and perspective through Williamsburg’s main artery.
The BKLYN MILE employs a wave start method. The waves and the associated start times are as follows:
9:30AM: Masters Women (40 and older)
9:50AM: Masters Men (40 and older)
10:10AM: Open Women
10:30AM: Open Men
10:50AM: Fast Movers Women’s Mile*
11:10AM: Fast Movers Men’s Mile*
11:30AM: The Quita Francique Friends & Family Mile
*Entrance into the Fast Movers Mile is granted by invite only. All those interested are to submit a seed time with registration for a mile time (or metric equivalent) that has been run within the last twelve months. Cutoff times are not pre-determined and evolve as the field takes shape. Please reference prior years’ results for some indication as to what the times have been for these waves.
It is fast, but honest. Raw in bursts, urban to the core. But scenic. Street art dots the route, both genuine and commercial. The South Williamsburg start is narrow, forcing eager runners through a keyhole. Hints of North Brooklyn past. The Williamsburg Bridge marks the 1/4 mile, and casts a quick shadow over those underneath. Adrenaline subsides and heavy breathing onset is drowned out by the J/M/Z train trekking the span overhead. Then the route widens, goes quiet, offering you a brief moment of reflection and self-doubt, perhaps?
Grand Street marks halfway as the course leans right and slopes downward. The Kent Avenue gauntlet draws you in like a siren. Curious onlookers, first, then anxious crowds growing larger. At the 3/4 mile mark eager throngs surge, whoop and ring their bells; strategically positioned to mask the course’s only incline. Modest bump at best. You crest, and then charge into a funnel of screaming, blurred faces. Is there room to pass? Din. Gotham’s skyline and the East River State Park are to the west, but you don’t see them. There is only the finish red ahead. You’re aided by a gentle decline in the road across the line. It is a unique city running experience.