Home races The Amazingly Emotional AirBNB Brooklyn Half Marathon #airbnbbkhalf

The Amazingly Emotional AirBNB Brooklyn Half Marathon #airbnbbkhalf

by Nellie


I have been writing about this Brooklyn Half Marathon for as long as I can remember. It was all I could talk about, all I could think about. The actual half marathon turned out to be harder than I thought but so many other things happened that makes this my most unforgettable race experience ever.

This recap likely won’t be filled with times and mile by mile recaps. I apologize if that is what you were looking for. My race was filled with a ton of emotion and a lot of surprises.

First, it is SO nice to take a cab to the race start. When I was dropped off all I could see in the horizon was people. 30k plus to be exact! The scene was breathtaking–I actually stopped just to admire how amazing the view was.


After being scanned by security (that was a first!) we were finally let into our corrals. I saw a few familiar faces including a couple folks that recognized me from high school. I had planned to run solo and really soak in every moment.


As I was weaving through the crowd I saw someone that was my best friend as a child, in fact we had been closer than sisters up until 7 years ago when things fell apart. No need for details but we had since made up. We don’t see each other very often and it was so nice to run into her in the midst of 30k people.

IMG_3317 IMG_3422If you guys think I’m Brooklyn–she is my counterpart. No one reps Brooklyn harder than her and I. We spent pretty much everyday running these streets as kids/teens/young adults. It was a relationship that no one could mess with. IMG_3421

So seeing her in the corral was a large mix of feelings. Would she want to run with me (and my slow self)? Would it be awkward? All of this 10 minutes before our wave started. Only I would have a Days Of Our Lives moment right before one of the biggest races of my life.

We fell right into step–literally and figuratively. We had laughs, selfies and bonded with nature when the skies opened up and rain poured all over us. We laughed at some of the best race signs and grumbled at the Prospect Park hills. She pushed me harder than I ever would have pushed myself, honestly I get why you all run with people–having someone next to you really keeps your legs moving!

Around Mile 12 I started really questioning why on earth did I sign up for this?! I started to run out of gas in the worst way–so I told her to go because she was still running strong. She refused. So I started slowing down and she kept going. As I wogged along I saw her with 800 meters left waiting for me at the entrance of the boardwalk. She said to me “we started together and we will finish together”. (Insert all the feels right here)


We did finish together and hung out afterwards and it was one of the most easiest and incredibly natural interactions I’ve had in a long time. In that moment we were back. I also know that I am very vulnerable from another friendship situation that I have that’s hanging in the balance, however, this was as easy as breathing.


I don’t know what the future holds for our friendship but I know that the AirBNB Brooklyn Half Marathon was a fantastic experience for me personally. I also learned that the heart can be broken and fixed anew.


The actual 13.1 was not easy but it wasn’t incredibly hard either. Out of my 7 Half Marathons this was my 3rd best finish and I am happy with that! This was however my most painful half by far. It was the hottest half I have ever run and my muscles cramped a lot afterwards. Being able to lay down and stretch out afterwards at MCU Park was awesome!!

Three things I learned from the AirBNB Brooklyn Half Marathon

  1. DO NOT volunteer to stand on your feet for 5 hours plus less than 48 hours before a race. Volunteering was awesome!! But my feet paid a serious price afterwards.

  2. Body Glide everything. I learned my lesson to body glide after last months More Half but there were certain lady parts that still ended up messed up 🙁

  3. Every race does not have to be solo! A running partner is fun–(who knew that would come from this only child?!)

The AirBNB Brooklyn Half Marathon is the biggest Half in the US. Running with 30k people is an experience but a fun one! I simply can’t wait to do it next year!

It’s Friday! How was your fitness/healthy eating this week? Have you ever had a friendship go awry and somehow come back together?

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Janine Huldie May 22, 2015 - 5:44 am

Aw, sounded like an absolutely awesome experience and love that you reconnected with you friend like you did. By the way, I would totally have a Days of Your Life moment, too, because that is so just me! But still so happy you had a great race in Brooklyn 😉

Allie May 22, 2015 - 6:03 am

Oh yeah, this recap is infinitely better then splits or mile markers! I’m a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason” and literally running into her amongst 30K plus people is no coincidence. I’m so happy for you and yes, all the chafing, soreness and muscle cramps are part of the joy of running! xoxo

Kristina Walters May 22, 2015 - 7:05 am

That’s awesome! I loved having my cousin with me at my last half marathon because she pushed me more that I could have ever pushed myself! I am very happy that you and your friend made up. I understand what it’s like to loose a long time friend and it does hurt.

Aliah May 22, 2015 - 8:12 am

Talk about emotional…wowsa! Your post gave me all the feels. Such a remarkable race and it will be a great memory of rekindling a friendship. Keep inspiring Nellie!

Kita May 22, 2015 - 9:38 pm

Love that you all finished together. Once I am done with a friend I am done I am very careful about who gets into my core so I don’t have friendships that go bad very often I think only twice in my entire life has that happened.

Leslie May 23, 2015 - 8:19 am

So happy for you Nellie! I know you’ve been looking forward to this race, and to be able to complete it with an old friend must have been so wonderful. I got a little choked up when you wrote about her waiting for you at the end.

Tamara May 23, 2015 - 10:24 am

Man, the community! I love that you saw old friends and high school friends. That’s incredible. Also glad for your heart-mending experience with your old best friend. That’s so touching.
You rock! Have a great weekend!

Terri May 27, 2015 - 3:21 pm

This is beautiful beyond words. As hard it is to accept, I’ve started adhering to the belief that every friendship has a season. Though the season with this friend has ended previously, it’s seems like her season may be coming back around. So glad all worked it with the race and the coincidentally run in with your blast from the past.

Nellie May 27, 2015 - 7:56 pm

ah thank you so much! Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that we would EVER be friends again—and so easily. But you are right I am learning this too as I get older and my circle widens and narrows–every friendship has a season.

Renee May 17, 2016 - 1:36 pm


Love!!!!! running is so much more than times, mile markers and PR’s. it’s constantly learning and growing, it’s friendship, and it’s actually having your faith restored in mankind. OK maybe not all at once, but these moments… this race with your friend… THIS is what I’m talking about!!

Nellie May 17, 2016 - 2:13 pm

YES, still one of my favorite races ever. <3 I find myself growing as a person with every race I do.

del May 19, 2016 - 10:28 am

I love this story!!! The finish-together part got me all teary-eyed too. Maybe it’s because I’m hormonal… Running it preggers this saturday!

Good luck to you on your second bk half! (And thanks for the body glide tip)

Nellie May 22, 2016 - 8:32 am

you got it!! Hope your race went smoothly!!


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