If you have attended a Beyonce concert, then you can understand the pandemonium that is… THE AirBnB BROOKLYN HALF! How Sway? Well, it goes something like this… The #AirBnbBKHalf is the largest half marathon in the NATION! Much like how Beyoncé is the hottest concert ticket in the Nation—actually, the entire PLANET. In short, I woke up the morning of January 28, 2015 eagerly awaiting to give $85 to the New York Road Runners (NYRR, host of the race) so I could eagerly brag on Instagram about how I got a bib to the hottest race on the planet. When iSay eagerly—I mean that I had my personal laptop, work desktop, iPad, and TWO CELL PHONES (both for plug) opened to NYRR page trying to buy an entry to the race. After about 50eleven tries, it finally happened! SUCCESS!
Yes, I was PROUD when I got my confirmation page and now I could screen capture and #instabrag that I’m about to run hella miles over the next FIVE MONTHS in preparation to run one 13.1 Mile race!
Fast forward to May 20, 2015, the moment is finally here. Not so fast, wasn’t the race on 21st. It is, but you know you have to handle business first… so, bib pick-up it is.
HALT—THERE IS NO BIB PICK-UP!
No worries, we are in BROOKLYN, where they go HARD… So everything is cooler. The #AirBnbBKHalf has a whole race pre-party, where you could also pick-up your bib. Out is the wholesale expo situation you may experience at other races. In Brooklyn, there was a stage, food trucks, park attractions, music, and the most energetic bib pick-up I have ever experienced. It was so fun, the District Running Collective (DRC) family decided to just hang out for a few hours.
At this point you are probably wondering… are they ever going to actually run a race. Yea, but the #AirbnbBKHalf is not just a race… it’s a (half) marathon—so, is this post! Lol. So we are pretty much at MILE TWO (J/K, but you get the point).
PRE-RACE (Yes, it’s still a half marathon) NIGHT
Most run crews stop at the meeting each other to scoop the bibs, but when you are part of a movement like DRC—you get swagged out at the official sponsor’s spiffy new brand house (bigups to UNDER ARMOUR). DRC convenes at UA Brand House in SoHo (New York) to pick up the custom “District Running Collective” race swag. UA welcomed us with open arms and endless gear options. I scooped up my DRC race shirt along with some swanky race shorts and the UA Gemini 2 (which once I had on, I could not remove).
Armed with my dope @UArunning gear, I was prepared to #RunWithFight the next morning along with my crew—but first a selfie! That’s right, I had to put up the obligatory race post so people knew I was running a race in the AM, and my family knew what to look for as a cruised past the cheer section (which, if you #RunWithDRC is really a #turnup section).
The actual MOMENT you have been waiting for has arrived… RaceDAY!
This was no ordinary Saturday morning run. This day, May 21sst commemorates the birthday of Brooklyn’s own… he needs no introduction, but you can’t see him so, I’ll have to introduce him… The NOTORIOUS B.I.G. aka BIG Poppa aka Biggie Smalls (or just plain). So you know if we were gonna do this race, we had to do it BIG!
INDEED WE DID.
At the starting line, I was in the largest pre-race group that I have seen or been a part of since I started running. DRC set the tone per usual with the Beats Pill blasting Brooklyn’s Desiigner hit song “Panda” and doing unorthodox stretches aka the “milly-rock”.
When all the shenanigans ended, the race started, Briand and I was followed our faithful DRC captains Matt and Clif, in hopes of hitting my 8:15/mile pace.
We were off to a nice sub-8min pace then something happened… we, well just me, me…ADVERSITY. That first hill at MILE TWO had me rethinking life, and wondering if I could back out and join the #cheersquad.
I couldn’t. I had just convinced my cousin to run her first half marathon in spite of the fact that she has never done more than three miles on a treadmill, so I had to continue to #RunWithFight (FYI: she’s completely badass and finished in 2:30).
I muster up and keep on #poundingthepavement. BUT it happens again. At MILE FIVE, another hill. I revisit all those thoughts again, but I really have come too far now. I looked at my pacers and refused to let them down.
Pushing through with them at a strong 8-something min/mile pace, I keep going. About every ten strides, I keep tapping Matt to ask or pace like a child on a long road trip asking… “Are we there yet?” Matt being the good pace leader just politely answered me each time (thanks man).
Fast forward to MILE TEN… Just a 5K left. If I could just get there, and see my DRC #cheersquad… I knew, I would finish.
And there they were…I could see the DRC flag waving from a 200 meters away (yeah, we don that in America—miles and meters #At TheSameDamnTime). It gave me the needed boost that no energy gel could when I heard my DRC fam screaming name and clapping me by.
Long story short, I pushed through those last 3.1 Miles and eagerly met the rest of the crew at the end!
CONEY ISLAND… I HAVE ARRIVED!
We proceeded to engage joyous post-race celebrations of EPIC PROPORTIONS mixed in with endless poses for obligatory social media pics after each DRC runner finished and joined the crew.
That my friends is how I, along with my DRC crew powered by Under Armour took on Brooklyn.
To make a long story short, #DRCweGoHard!
I started running with DRC in 2014. I had torn my ACL, MCL, and meniscus in October 2012. After multiple surgeries and countless physical therapy sessions, I was along to run. After months on the couch, I started running and found it boring.
iRun with DRC because they do it #fortheculture. It never been just about running with DRC, its been about community. Community is important to me and that’s why DRC is my crew!
– @sockratyves | Yvesner “Yves” Zamar