As the first race in the NYRR 5-Borough Series, the Manhattan Half-Marathon presented a great challenge to start the year. After a snowstorm turned the 2012 edition of this race into an unscored fun run, more than 5,000 runners registered this year to take on the Series’ toughest course.
Many runners took to the hilly Central Park loop with hopes of completing their first race toward a guaranteed entry to the NYC Half 2014. NYRR members as of January 2013 who keep their membership current through 2013 and complete four of the five races in the series will be eligible for guaranteed entry.
One such runner, Mark Vogt of West Brighton, Staten Island, expressed his hopes to complete the Series and to take part in the NYC Half next year. Vogt, the president of the Staten Island Athletic Club, entered the race with a number of his clubmates.
“We wanted to get some club members out for a long run, and we thought the race was a great chance to do that,” he said while waiting to greet teammates in the finish area. With a sub-1:40:00 effort today and the Staten Island Half-Marathon almost certainly on his calendar, Vogt is well on his way toward qualifying.
The race also offered participants the chance to shed warm-up layers and donate gently used clothing to the Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey.
Clement Canonne, a local college student from France, took the “shedding layers” concept a step further, opting to run the last few miles of the course without a shirt. “It was cold, but it gave me more incentive to run faster,” he explained.
With the first of five races brought to a close, the 5-Borough Series will continue with the Brooklyn Half-Marathon in May. The NYC Half 2013, which is not part of the Series, will take place on March 17 and will showcase some of the world's top distance runners.