A beautiful Sunday morning greeted some 7,000 women at the 13th annual MORE/SHAPE Women’s Half-Marathon. It was a perfect day for running 13.1 miles, as sunshine bathed Central Park with temperatures comfortably in the 40s.
With a 13-year tradition of empowering women of all ages and abilities, this race—one of the largest women’s half-marathons in the country—is all about solidarity. Women of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, and abilities came from the five boroughs of NYC and around the world to join with friends, sisters, mothers, daughters, and granddaughters and celebrate fitness and camaraderie.
Three friends from Cincinnati, Carol Sauerbrun, Maria Santiago, and Patty Dold, traveled together to New York for a weekend of fitness and fun. “We heard about this race on the TODAY Show and decided to do it,” said Dold. “Our goal was to have fun and finish!”
Helping runners of all abilities achieve their goals was a group of New York Road Runners Pace Team leaders, including Lisa Cao, who led the 2:30 finish group. “I try to help people run with a smile and cross the finish line feeling strong,” said Cao, who wore a brightly colored tutu.
World masters half-marathon record-holder and three-time defending champion Deena Kastor ran for fun in the middle of the pack, finishing—with a smile and to loud cheers—in 1:48:59.
The winner, Caroline Fefrak of the New York Athletic Club, who crossed the finish line in 1:16:28; her NYAC teammate Allie Kieffer was the runner-up in 1:17:07.
Spectators along the course—just over two loops of Central Park—included many family members. “We’re so glad to be part of this,” said Sydney Hensen of Wisconsin, who watched with her granddaughter, Emily, as her daughter, Heather—Emily’s mom—ran the race. “We all are here for a long weekend of sightseeing and having fun, with Heather’s run as the highlight.”
Male supporters included Jeremy Carrine of Manhattan, whose wife, Hillary, finished in 1:47. “We love running together,” said Jeremy, “so I’m glad to be out here today being a supporter.”
This year’s race included the first-ever Women Run the WorldTM Relay & Mentorship Program, which honored 13 notable women and showcased the significant role that women play as leaders and influencers, while also highlighting the importance of supporting, inspiring, and empowering the next generation of women.
Each of the 13 honorees was paired with a mentee from NYRR’s Run for the Future program, which trains New York City high school girls to run their first 5K race, build and strengthen self-confidence, and earn money toward college.
Each pair ran or walked a one-mile leg of the course as part of a relay team. The honorees included Sara Bareilles, Elizabeth Gore, Padma Lakshmi, and NYRR’s Vice President of Marketing and Digital Ronnie Tucker. Find more info about the program and honorees.