A day before the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon, thousands of runners took to the streets of Manhattan for the NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K.
Defending champion and former NCAA All-American Donn Cabral and Oregon Track Club Elite standout Alexi Pappas were the winners in hotly contested races. Cabral (14:19) narrowly edged runner-up Diriba Degefa Yigezu of West Side Runners (WSX) and third-placer Travis Mahoney of the New Jersey-New York Track Club (NJ-NY), with both timed in 14:20, while Pappas (15:59) prevailed over WSX’s Weynshet Weldetsadik (16:07) and NJ-NY’s Ashley Higginson (16:16).
On a perfect morning for running, the top finishers led the way over a stunning course from the United Nations to the TCS New York City Marathon finish line. As will the marathoners on Sunday, the Dash runners enjoyed traffic-free pavement as they took in some of the most iconic sights of NYC.
“It’s a beautiful course, and a great taste of what we’ll experience tomorrow,” said Brigid Fallon, who despite living in Manhattan was thrilled to run past Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall, and other world-famous Midtown attractions.
Like many Dash finishers, Fallon will be running a somewhat longer race (26.2 miles long, to be exact) on Sunday, and she loved today’s preview of the finish line. “It was great to see everything all set up, and now I’ll be able to visualize it as I’m running tomorrow and feel even more excitement and motivation,” she said.
Also like the TCS New York City Marathon, the Dash drew an international field. Many runners wore their country’s colors while others painted their faces. And thanks to the manageable distance, many runners enjoyed the Dash as a family affair. Alan Craig of Australia ran with his daughter, Mandy Ellingham, and son; Craig and another daughter will run the TCS New York City Marathon tomorrow.
“We all came in 2012, the year the marathon was cancelled,” said Craig. “We loved New York and we promised each other we’d come back, so here we are. It’s nice to have this shorter run together as a sort of warm-up.”
John Torrans of Northern Ireland (running with an unidentified super-hero—today is, after all, Halloween) was also back to visit New York; he ran the 2013 New York City Marathon and he’ll be running the five boroughs again this year.
“Today’s race is one more way for us to add to the New York experience,” he said. “Once you’ve run in New York, in gets into your bones and you have to come back.”