Fitness fanatics the world over gathered in Prospect Park for the 39th-annual Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday, where the runners pushed themselves to the very limit of human endurance — to snag one of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs!
“The minute you get to Coney you know there’s a party in the end,” said Sunset Park resident Connie Bree, who celebrated her one-hour, 46-minute finish with one of the Coney Island eatery’s delicious dogs. “That’s going to make anybody faster.”
A whopping 26,803 runners completed the 13.1-mile race, setting off from Brooklyn’s Backyard in the early hours, before shooting down Ocean Parkway, and ending to the roar of cheering crowds on the Coney Island Boardwalk in a route that one Manhattan runner described as hard to beat in more ways than one.
“It’s one of my favorites,” said runner Alex Rush, who clocked a personal-best time of one hour, 49 minutes during Saturday’s race. “The course is so cool, going through Prospect Park, getting to run all the way down Ocean Parkway, and you can’t beat ending at Coney Island. It’s so much fun.”
The race organizers with the New York Road Runners distributed an estimated 520,000 recyclable cups of water and Gatorade for the race, which was a year in the making, according to a spokesperson for New York Road Runners.
Out-of-towner Louis Serafini, who traveled from Somerville, Mass to compete in the Brooklyn Half, annihilated the race record by a breezy four seconds, finishing in an impressive one hour, three minutes, and beating out Ethiopian runners Birhanu Dare Kemal and Urgesa Kedir Figa for the gold.
West Side Runners Club member Fein Gudeto Gemeda won the women’s race with a time of one hour, twelve minutes, beating US Olympic Trials qualifier Roberta Groner and Harriott Kelly.
Saturday’s joggers were joined by former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, who ran for New York Road Runner’s Team for Kids Ambassador, and retired Jets offensive tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who jogged with Compassion International. Barber finished in one hour, 52 minutes, while Ferguson crossed the finish line after running two hours, 15 minutes.
Other famous finishers included Broadway actress Christy Altomare, model Ruby Aldridge, and award-winning chef Daniel Humm.