Before spending an evening camped out on the couch, more than 5,000 jersey-clad runners made their way to a chilly Central Park on Sunday morning, kicking off the day sporting their team's colors for the NYRR Gridiron 4M / Longest Football Throw.
Runners of all ages warmed up by competing in the Longest Football Throw before the race.
LEAKED: I'm gonna be on the cover of MADDEN 18'! #gotjokes In my head, I had this one going just a bit further! I'll be looking out for @queensdistance and the rest of my friends at Mile 2 before I open the RUN Center! #queensdistance #nyrrgridiron #nfl #football #lol #dontstopbelieving #madden #100qbrating
These guys and girls had some good arms!
— NewYorkRoadRunners (@nyrr) February 5, 2017
Moving from the passing game to the running game, Diriba Degefa Yigezu of the West Side Runners and Ashley Higginson of the New Jersey-New York Track Club were first across the finish line in 19:12 and 21:55, respectively.
These top runners—and the 5,000-plus that followed them across the finish line—gained approximately 7,040 yards before reaching the "end zone."
Before they reached the finish, runners had the opportunity to predict the winner of tonight's game. At the two-mile mark, runners could vote with their feet by running under a banner for the team they think will take the title.
With all votes recorded, runners are predicting that Atlanta will prove to be the top team tonight, garnering 59 percent of the vote.
Many runners wore “Thank You Allan” bibs and “AS” stickers in memory of Allan Steinfeld, who passed away on January 24. Steinfeld was a technical genius who helped revolutionize the sport of road racing and grow the New York City Marathon into the world-class event it is today.
Whether you’re completing NYRR’s 9+1 program or looking for opportunities to keep your running strong through spring, don’t miss our great winter events, like the NYRR Al Gordon Brooklyn 4M on February 25 or the NYRR Washington Heights Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K on March 5.