The United Airlines NYC Half 2015 is ready to take a bite out of the Big Apple on Sunday, March 15 with 20,000 runners and 2,200 volunteers. I’ll be at the start as one of the race announcers, ready to send you on your way to a 13.1-mile tour of New York City—from Central Park through Times Square and along the Hudson River to a fabulous finish in the Financial District on Wall Street.
Are you running? Watching? Cheering someone on? Here’s your guide to the course, how to watch the broadcast, and how to track runners at the city’s marquee half-marathon, which kicks of the NYRR 5 Borough Series.
The United Airlines NYC Half course is a tourist’s dream, showcasing a great diversity of the landscape that Manhattan offers. You’ll see Central Park, a peak at Harlem, Times Square, much of the West Side and Hudson River waterfront, Battery Park, and Financial District, including the historic South Street Seaport just steps away. You’ll take in tree-lined parkland, open skies over the river, skyscrapers, and glaring lights—a bit of it all.
Honestly, I love this course. Even as a New Yorker, I get chills running through Times Square. Do you know how rarely Times Square gets shut down? Just twice a year: for the ball drop on New Year’s Eve and for the United Airlines NYC Half. That’s it. It’s a big deal. Huge. As big as all those Jumbotrons you’ll see.
What can you expect along the way? A quiet 6-mile tour of Central Park and 110th street. Once you exit the park and start heading for Times Square, you’ll find 13 on-course entertainment zones, roughly every half mile, including seven bands and six DJ’s.
I’ve had a few runners ask me about the terrain. I’ve been a New Yorker for close to 15 years and have been running the city for 10 of them. I know every dip and turn along the way. I last ran this event in 2012 and have worked it as a broadcaster and announcer ever since.
The bad news: Central Park is no joke. Even the pros I’ve interviewed talk about how challenging the park’s rolling hills can be. Read the rest of this entry →