So you didn’t get into the NYC Half-Marathon through the lottery. The More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon and Brooklyn Half-Marathon are already full. Don’t sweat it. There are plenty of other great half-marathons in the New York metro area this spring.
Sunday, Feb. 13
10:00 a.m. start (earlier starts allowed)
Can’t wait until spring to race your first half of the year? Head on up to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for the first iteration of this annual trail race that includes a half-marathon, 10K and marathon relay. Best of all? It’s free and everybody gets a red beanie to keep their noggins warm (though, donations are appreciated). The half-marathon course consists of two 6.56-mile loops in the park. The race is self-timed and runners log their times in record books at the start and finish. And for the ladies, expect a red rose and heart shaped lollipop when you’re all done.
Learn more at www.thevalentinesdaymarathon.com.
Saturday, March 26
9:30 a.m. start
Sleepy Hollow, NY
The 1st Annual Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon takes runners through historic Sleepy Hollow—yes, that Sleepy Hollow—along the shores of the Hudson River. A quick 40-50 minute train ride from Grand Central Terminal brings you to the race’s start and finish, which is a short walk from the Metro North station in Tarrytown. The entry fee is $40 until March 24, and includes a long sleeve shirt and goodie bag. After that, race day registration is $45. Members of Rivertown Runners, the race’s organizer, pay $35. Timing will be via D-tag electronic timing and the course has 3 hour and 30 minute time limit.
Learn more at www.rivertownrunners.org.
Saturday, April 2
9:13 a.m. start
This is the second year the 13.1 Marathon Series has brought a half-marathon to New York City’s Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The race starts at Arthur Ashe Stadium, home of the tennis US Open, and continues around the park. The course has a 3 hour and 30 minute time limit. The registration fee is $80 until March 30 and $100 on race day, and includes a technical T-shirt.
For anyone who’s not quite ready to tackle the half, runners can opt for the Karhu 5K starting at 9:05 a.m. on a separate course in the park. Any 5K runner who “beats the bear”—Karhu’s costumed mascot running the race—will win a pair of Karhu running shoes of their choice. I’m guessing they’ll have one fast runner in that bear suit. The fee is $20 until March 30 and $25 on race day.
Register at www.131newyork.com.
Karla Bruning is an award-winning journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning. To listen to an interview with Karla, check out The Marathon Show, available for streaming or download on BlogTalkRadio and iTunes, or listen to a panel of runners, including Karla, discuss the ING New York City Marathon.