The 2014 NYC Half had it all: world-class competition, near-perfect weather, and a revamped course that allowed the field to expand to more than 20,750 finishers.The race around Central Park (with a dip into Harlem), through Times Square, and down the West Side Highway to lower Manhattan also featured the event’s first-ever professional wheelchair field, which started 20 minutes before the first of three waves of runners.
Da Ping Luo is a photographer and filmmaker, a native New Yorker, and a runner. When NYRR senior photo editor Jillian Babcock asked him if he could work at the 2014 NYC Half, he said “I wish I could, but I’m running it.” That gave Babcock an idea, and Luo liked it. The result is this photo essay, taken by Luo as he ran the race. The event became a completely different experience for Luo, a 1:39 half-marathoner, who decided to take his time and document the race from within. He took 3 hours and 29 minutes, including many stops to set up his shots. The following selection, chosen by Luo and Babcock, is accompanied by Luo’s informative captions.
Reyes Llopis was born Spain, but she’s called NYC home for the past five years. “Having my family and friends cheer for me in the Harlem hills helped a lot,” she says. “So did all the humorous signs I saw. I used the virtual trainer program—it’s the best ever—and it got me to do the half,” Llopis said.
Three of the race entrants that we profiled in our NYC Half 2014 Stories had amazing experiences on race day. All of these runners—and the rest of the 13 we featured—have a special connection to NYC and overcame significant challenges on their journeys to the this race.
Sally Kipyego has two very nice medals at home—from the most recent Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships 10,000-meter races. They’re both silver. On March 16, in a race more than twice as long as she’d ever run, she added some gold to her collection. Kipyego, 28, set an event record of 1:08:31.
Like the TCS New York City Marathon, the NYC Half has grown to become a destination event for runners from around the world. This year’s race drew entrants from 77 countries outside the United States. But also like the marathon, the NYC Half is a local event for thousands of hometown entrants, who’ve come to embrace this iconic journey from Central Park to the southern tip of Manhattan. NYC-area participants and fans see the race as a chance to shine in front of the hometown crowd and to show off the beauty and spirit of their city to a global audience.
The NYC Half, with more than 20,000 finishers this year, depends on the support of some 1,500 volunteers, who do everything from answer questions at the expo to distribute HeatSheetsTM at the finish. Some were volunteering for the first time today, while others were seasoned veterans who embrace a lifestyle of giving back to the running community.