Updated 05/19/2012 01:06 PM
Runners Take To Brooklyn Streets For Half Marathon
Saturday's Brooklyn half marathon saw runners run a path from Prospect Park to the Coney Island boardwalk. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed this report.
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More than 15,000 runners took to the streets of Brooklyn for Saturday's annual half marathon.
The race kicked off from Prospect Park, a hilly challenge that many runners said was the hardest part of the 13.1 mile race.
Part of the New York Road Runners five-borough series, the half took runners on a tour of Brooklyn, passing some of the borough's historical landmarks.
"This is just the start of this being a big time event," said Mary Wittenberg, the president of the New York Road Runners. "It's gotten amazing buzz right now and feeling and people are psyched. They walk by such beautiful landmarks even getting to the start line."
Last year just 6,000 runners turned out for the race. This year, that number nearly tripled. The race sold out in just ten hours.
Runners say they understand why it has become so popular, though they said the crowds made the course a bit difficult to navigate
"I feel like I almost doubled my distance between dodging around people and squeeze through and all that," said runner Sylvie Frank.
"It was really tough," said runner Sergio Casco. "It felt like like 20 miles instead of 13."
Runners say part of what kept them going during the race is knowing they'd cross the finish line here on the boardwalk at Coney Island.
The boardwalk also attracted plenty of spectators who said it's always important to show up to cheer the runners along, whether the race is four or 13 miles.