Road closures, cheer zones, and more: Your guide to the 2024 RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon

brooklyn half marathon finish line
Runners cross the Brooklyn Half Marathon finish line in Coney Island.
File photo by Erica Price

Roughly 26,000 runners will run 13.1 miles from Prospect Park to Coney Island during the RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday, looping through dozens of neighborhoods on the way to the finish line. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the race and how it will impact your neighborhood!

brooklyn half marathon
Runners will pass by some of Brooklyn’s most iconic scenery on the 13.1 mile course, which wraps up on the famous Coney Island boardwalk. File photo by Erica Price

The New York Road Runners Brooklyn Half Marathon started in 1981, and has grown significantly since then. Just a few hundred people participated in the first few races — a far cry from the nearly 30,000 who will cross the finish line on Saturday. According to Road Runners, about 20% of RBC Brooklyn Half participants are from Brooklyn themselves — and about 2,000 are part of Brooklyn-based running clubs. 

“For the past 42 years, the RBC Brooklyn Half has demonstrated the best of Brooklyn and the best of the running community,” said Road Runners CEO Rob Simmelkjaer, in a statement. “From reinvigorating Coney Island after Superstorm Sandy to spotlighting local restaurants, vendors, and artists at the pre-race festivities, the RBC Brooklyn Half has become integral to the borough.” 

Where to watch

There will be a few designated “cheer zones” along the course. The New Balance Cheer Zone will be set up on Ocean Parkway between Gravesend Neck Road and Avenue W, at Mile 11. The RBC Cheer Zone is located on Surf Avenue at the corner of West 10th Street, as runners turn into the home stretch. And, of course, spectators are always welcome at the finish line on the boardwalk.

You can also cheer runners on from just about anywhere along the course — there’s no need to be within one of the cheer zones. 

woman cheering at Brooklyn Half Marathon
Cheer on runners and loved ones along the Brooklyn Half Marathon course. File photo by Erica Price

The Brooklyn Half also includes a kids’ race on the boardwalk for runners ages 2-18. The free races are open to young runners of various ages and experience levels — one race, for example, is for ages 2-11 who are new to running. Another welcomes competitive runners ages 12-18. 

After they cross the finish line and get their medals, runners are invited to an after party at Maimonides Park — which also serves as a great place for participants to reunite with their families and loved ones. 

The course and road closures

The race starts at 7 a.m. next to the Brooklyn Museum. Runners will pass the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, loop through Grand Army Plaza, then take a lap in the park before exiting onto Ocean Parkway, where they’ll run just over 5 miles before turning onto Surf Avenue. From there, they’ll run down to the boardwalk, where the race finishes just past the amusement parks.

brooklyn half marathon course map
The full course map for the RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon. Image courtesy of NYRR

To accommodate the race, the city will close a number of streets for several hours on Saturday. Those roads are: 

  • Eastern Parkway between Grand Army Plaza and Bedford Avenue – 12 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Washington Avenue between Eastern Parkway and Empire Boulevard – 12 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Empire Boulevard between Washington Avenue and Flatbush Avenue – 6 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
  • Flatbush Avenue between Empire Boulevard and Grand Army Plaza – 6 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
  • Grand Army Plaza (Entire Circle)
  • Ocean Avenue between Flatbush Avenue and Parkside Avenue – 6 a.m. – 11 a.m.
  • Parkside Avenue between Ocean Avenue and Park Circle – 6 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Ocean Parkway between Ocean Parkway Entrance Ramp and Surf Avenue – 6 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Surf Avenue between Ocean Parkway and West 10th Street – 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • West 10th Street between Surf Avenue and Boardwalk – 12 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Surf Avenue between West 10th Street and West 20th Street – 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Stillwell Avenue between Surf Avenue and Boardwalk 12 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • West 12th Street between Surf Avenue and Boardwalk 12 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • West 15th Street between Surf Avenue and Boardwalk – 12 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

On many roads, parking will be prohibited starting on the evening of May 17. Check the Road Runners website for full details

Changes to public transit

The MTA is modifying some of its routes for the RBC Brooklyn Half – and some trains runners or spectators might normally take are out of commission due to planned service changes. 

On Saturday morning, 2, 3, and 4 trains will not stop at Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum between 4-9 a.m., according to the MTA. The agency recommended that runners traveling to the start line take a Brooklyn-bound 2, 3, or 4 train to Franklin Avenue, a Brooklyn-bound 2 train to Grand Army Plaza, or a Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue-bound Q train to 7th Avenue. 

Due to planned service upgrades, the F train will not stop between Kings Highway and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue, and D trains will not run between Bay 50th Street and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. Free shuttle buses will run between Kings Highway and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue, or riders can take the N or Q trains to the end of the line. 

Road closures will also impact several bus routes — the MTA encouraged straphangers to check its website or the MTA app for real-time updates.