Brooklyn marathon races return in full, drawing 20k participants

20220425 Brooklyn Marathon
The Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathon took 20,000 participants through the streets of Brooklyn on Sunday.
Photo by Mike Lawrence

Tens of thousands of runners sprinted through the borough on Sunday for the 10th annual Brooklyn Marathon and Half Marathon, attracting a rowdy crowd of onlookers cheering them on.

The Brooklyn marathon event is the flagship race of NYCRUNS, which produces two dozen large-scale runs annually across the Five Boroughs, including the largest half-marathon in New Jersey — the Newport-Liberty Half Marathon — and the well-known Empire State Building Run-Up. 

Both the marathon and the half-marathon premiered a new route this year, starting in Greenpoint’s McCarren Park and taking participants through a tour of Brooklyn’s streets— a contrast from previous years when the route only went through neighborhoods around Prospect Park, which was an expansion from the race’s original loop through Brooklyn’s Backyard.

This year, the two routes matched as they traveled from McCarren Park to the northernmost tip of Greenpoint, down to Williamsburg, west on Flushing Avenue to Dumbo, and headed through Downtown Brooklyn southeast on Flatbush Avenue to Prospect Park. From there, participants ran along the northern end of the park on Eastern Parkway and made a turnaround just before Brooklyn Avenue, and entered into the park back at Flatbush Avenue until half-marathoners completed their 13 miles at the finish line.

Two runners embracing at the finish line in Prospect Park.Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser

Full-marathoners continued around the inner perimeter of the park, until they again reached the northern tip and took Flatbush Avenue to Ocean Avenue, west to Parkside Avenue and south to Ocean Parkway where they turned around at Avenue P. Racers then ran back to Parkside Avenue, and turned into the park at the intersection of Prospect Park Southwest, and did one last inner perimeter of the greenspace before finishing up their 26 miles at the same spot as the half-marathon. 

Awards were given to the top three male, female and non-binary finishers of each of the 13 age groups, as well as the top three overall male, female and non-binary finishers. 

The $100,000 prize money was split between the top 10 finishers in each race, with first place participants taking home $5,000, plus an additional five grand if they’re a city resident. The top Brooklyn resident in each race also received a mystery prize package. 

Runners running under the Brooklyn Bridge in northern Brooklyn.Photo by Brandon Todd

Sunday’s, 20,000-plus participants included a number of runners who live, work, or were raised in Brooklyn — making the marathon event even more special to compete in. According to NYCRUNS, runners choose to sign up for a plethora of reasons, be it to support their mental or physical health, show who they are, or are just trying to push themselves.

Among those racers was Jake Caswell, who formally ran for the Columbia University track and field team, where they competed in the men’s 800 meter. On Sunday, Jake — who aspired to run as their “authentic self” — competed in their first marathon, being named the overall winner of the non-binary field with a time of 2 hours 35 minutes and 17 seconds. 

The overall winner of the men’s category for the full marathon was awarded to Aaron Mora with a time of 2 hours and 27 minutes and 46 seconds, and Hirut Guangul was awarded the overall winner of the women’s category in the full marathin with a time of 2 hours 36 minutes and 20 seconds.