As we came off the Verrazano Bridge and entered Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the first thing I noticed was the noise.  There were crowds of people in Brooklyn who came out to cheer for the runners.  After 2 miles on the bridge with no spectators at all, the cheering was a welcome sound. In addition to the crowds, there were several bands scattered throughout Brooklyn and it was fun to hear different kinds of music.  At this point I was right on pace, or even slightly faster than pace, and feeling really good.  The first water stop was around mile 3 and a good friend of mine from medical school was working the medical tent at mile 3.  Even though he was on the blue/green side of the street, I saw him across the divider and he came over for a much-appreciated hug!

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After passing the medical tent to see my friend, I quickly realized that the action was along the curb so I move over to the left.  Tons of high 5’s and cheers! Near the crowd is the place to be!!!

By mile 4 all three starting colors were running on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.  The orange start (me!) was on the left side of the street (against traffic) while the blue/green starts were on the right side of the street (with traffic).  There was plenty of room to spread out so doing my intervals was not an issue at all.  I was worried about this because course crowding is a major issue at Disney but the streets here were much wider. 

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4th Avenue continues for miles….

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Please note the LONG line for the portapotty.  At this point I was starting to have to go but didn’t want to waste that much time standing in line….

My instructions from Jeff Galloway were to increase my run/walk ratio after 6 miles.  Even though I was on my target pace, I wasn’t feeling great.  I was fine but not great.  So I decided to stick with my 30/30 and wait and see how things went.  Probably a good decision….

At Mile 8 the 3 starts merged together which didn’t cause any additional crowding or issues.  At this point we turned right off of 4th Avenue.  The crowd support continued to be good and I was still on pace for my 5:15 finish time.

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After passing the Mile 10 marker, the most noticeable change was the lack of crowds and the quiet.  Here is the Satmar Hasidic community of Williamsburg.  There were a few spectators who smiled and waved but definitely a quiet stretch.  It was somewhere in this area that I lost 4 minutes waiting in line for the portapotty.  When I entered the queue, I was about 3 minutes ahead of pace and when I finished, I was at least a minute or more behind.  

We then passed under the Williamsburg Bridge and re-entered an area with crowds cheering.  Many spectators were drinking outside of bars as they cheered.  As we turned left into Greenpoint, I noticed an almost-empty bottle of Jim Beam and asked the raucous owners if the bottle was for me.  They enthusiastically offered to give me some but I knew I had many miles ahead of me and gracefully declined. From here we were approaching the Pulaski Bridge which would bring us to borough number 3….

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