Priscilla Saavedra thinks the cool, early-spring climate is one of the best things about the NYC Half. “I love to run in cold weather since I live in a tropical country,” explains Saavedra, 38, who resides in Escazú, Costa Rica. She frequently visits her family in Jersey City, NJ, and says, “New York is my favorite city, and the half-marathon is my favorite distance, so this is a perfect combination.”
During family visits, Saavedra often trains in Jersey City, “where I can see the Manhattan skyline as I’m running,” she says. “I also enjoy walking around SoHo, the High Line, Union Square Park, and different concert venues. I can go on an on.” Her favorite spot is the Brooklyn Bridge. “I just got engaged there this past November,” she gushes. We have a love lock, and it’s still there.”
This year, Saavedra will line up for her second consecutive NYC Half. She thinks the 2013 event was “the best race ever! The course was amazing, and there was all this positive energy…it was incredible.” While she hopes to improve on last year’s time of 1:58:53, “I’m just happy to be running the race,” she says.
Saavedra took up running about five years ago. “I was really depressed, and one morning I woke up and said, ‘I have to do something about this!’” she recalls. “Many things had come my way all at the same time, and it was shocking to me. Changes always bring crisis in terms of adaptation, and running was my life vest.”
Now it’s a life habit. “Running keeps me in shape, and I hope to be doing it forever,” she says. “I want to be a good example to my young son in terms of having a healthy lifestyle.”
Saavedra would like to run more NYRR races, but she’s only tried the NYC Half so far. One big event is on her radar: “I'm applying to run the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon,” she says. “With some luck, I may be racing here again in November!”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg