Live From the NYC Half Marathon

NYC Half Marathon

Photo by qivn/Flickr.

Ryan Hall is running. Meb Keflezighi is running. Abdi Abdirahman is running. Galen Rupp is running. Kara Goucher is running. The 2011 NYC Half marathon is about to get underway with the deepest American field ever.

But they’ll have to fend of Kenya’s Peter Kamais, the defending champion, and Ethiopia’s Gebre Gebremariam, the reigning ING New York City Marathon champion.

In the women’s field, Kara Goucher is in her final weeks of preparation for the Boston Marathon–her first after giving birth to a son last September. Goucher is one of just three women who have defeated Paula Radcliffe in a half-marathon.

Challenging Goucher will be Edna Kiplagat, the reigning ING New York City Marathon champion, and Madai Peres, the Mexican record holder who defeated Goucher at the Phoenix Half Marathon in January.

Stay tuned and refresh this page often for more…

7:30 a.m. They’re off!

7:37 The first mile split for the men is in at 5:02. Not so fast.

7:39 The first mile split for the women is 5:24. It bit faster, comparatively, for the women.

7:40 Some fun facts: 36,987 people applied to the 2011 NYC Half. 12,934 were accepted, but about 9,500 are expected to run.

7:48 The men’s Mile 3 split is 4:53. A bit faster, but still tepid. The women have also picked up the pace a bit.

7:52 More fun facts: 5,753 runners who got into the race are from New York, the most represented state. 4,427 are from New York City. After all the brouhaha from local runners about not getting in via the lottery, that’s got to be some consolation that New Yorkers are still the biggest group.

7:55 Just got word that there were 10,225 official starters today in Central Park. Which reminds me, for those who don’t know, the course follows a loop and a half of Central Park, shoots down Seventh Avenue through Times Square, across 42nd Street and down the West Side Highway to the finish at Chambers Street and West Street.

8:00 The race is still in Central Park. Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil and Alistair Cragg of Ireland are leading the men’s pack. Ryan Hall was in 15th place at Mile 5.

8:03 Galen Rupp fell in a little course collision along with Peter Kamais. That doesn’t happen in road running! But Rupp is bouncing back.

8:05 It looks like Mo Farah of Great Britain is making a move a few paces ahead of the pack. Ah, but the pack reels him back in. Ryan Hall is 34 seconds behind the leaders. And Meb? Where’s Meb?

8:08 You’ve gotta love the guys who run with the lead women and get all sorts of camera time. #681 is all over the women’s camera.

8:10 The men are coming up on the Mile 8 marker and have left Central Park heading down Seventh Avenue.

8:12 The men’s lead pack is about 10 runners deep. Hall and Keflezighi are missing.

8:15 Mo Farah takes the lead again with Galen Rupp right behind him. The lead pack is down to about seven runners. And now Rupp makes a move!

8:17 Hall is a minute behind. Farah and Rupp keep trading leads.

8:18 Goucher is still running strong in the women’s pack, along with Kiplagat. The women turn onto 42nd Street, heading for the west side.

8:20 Less than three miles for the men. Rupp takes the lead again in his half-marathon debut.

8:22 Gebremariam and Farah reel Rupp in. Right behind them is Tesfaye Girma of Ethiopia.

8:25 Gotta run outside to see the finish…

8:27 Kara Goucher has fallen to fourth in the women’s race.

8:30 Farah, Rupp and Gebremariam are running three abreast.

8:31 Gebremariam makes a move. Farah, in his half-marathon debut is trying to catch him! He catches him!

8:34 Mo Farah of Great Britain wins the 2011 NYC Half in his half-marathon debut. Gebremariam takes second with Galen Rupp in third.

8:35 It’s a two-woman race coming down the West Side Highway. Caroline Rotich of Kenya and Edna Kiplagat have pulled away from everyone. And Rotich makes a move and puts some distance between her and Kiplagat.

8:36 From the sideline at the finish, it looked like Mo Farah had the biggest smile on his face as he broke that tape in 1:00:23.

8:38 Rotich has opened up a healthy lead. Kiplagat is in second and Kara Goucher is running third, seven seconds behind Rotich.

8:40 Caroline Rotich wins, Kiplagat takes second and Goucher third.

8:41 Just got word that, unofficially, Keflezighi finished 15th and Hall finished 21st. Wonder if Hall’s rethinking coaching himself.

8:42 Two really fantastic races with an unbelievable sprint finish in the men’s competition.

It was a great day for debutantes in today’s NYC Half marathon for the men. Mo Farah wins in his half-marathon debut and Galen Rupp finishes third in his half-marathon debut. Farah and Rupp, who are training partners, are coached by Alberto Salazar. There’s either something in the water in Oregon, or Salazar is a fantastic coach, which we already knew. He also coaches Kara Goucher who came in third in the women’s race.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


03 2011


  1. Episode 23: NYC Half | The New York Running Show 20 03 11