The good news is: NYRR seems to have taken some steps to reduce the crowd clog issue, at least for the first lap — I predict the usual chaos once the full marathoners hit the half marathon crowd on their second loop. They’ve also tried to simplify what was a complicated course: two outside loops, then three inside loops, then a fourth that rounds the bottom of the park. Just try to keep that straight when you’re already “loopy” from a lack of glycogen.
The bad news is: Marathoners now have to run four full outside loops of the park — hitting the hills at the north and south end four times. Killer course. I know because I did one training run there that featured four times around and it was quite an effort. Moreover (*cough*), even faster runners in future events can probably kiss their chances of breaking the course record (2:45:35) goodbye now too. [Or maybe not, as becomes clear in this press release.]
I’m somewhat tempted to do my 20 miler in the park on Sunday, to soak up the racing vibe and relive some pleasant memories. But that would probably be insane. What’s worse: Doing battle with vicious geese and idiots on bikes up here, or running alongside [7,000] 9,600 runners and walkers down there? [The following is a poor attempt at humor] At least I could score some free water, probably. Hmm.