In three weeks, Staten Island will welcome more than 50,000 runners to the region for the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon.
But before marathon week kicks off and captures the attention of the running world, New York’s southernmost borough had its own day in the sun as close to 10,000 runners finished the NYRR Staten Island Half, capping off a memorable week in running.
The NYRR Staten Island Half is a key fixture on the New York racing calendar, packed with history and its own narratives. It’s the last stop for runners in the Five-Borough Series, a celebration of what makes each New York City borough unique, inspiring, and an amazing place to get out and get moving. Collecting those five, unique medals is often the culmination of a year’s work for runners.
For some athletes out on the course, they also sealed their place in the 2020 United Airlines NYC Half as part of the Four out of Six program. For others, it’s a last chance to test their marathon fitness ahead of the big dance on November 3, with many runners spotted getting some extra miles in before—and after—the race.
The event is also a Clubs Points race, with thousands of runners racing in the colors of their respective clubs. The day was won by West Side Runners as Tariku Demelash Abera broke the tape in the men’s race, with a time of 1:04:44, edging out his teammate Urgesa Kedir Figa. The women’s race was also dominated by West Side Runners as all three ladies on the podium sported the club’s colors.
Belaynesh Fikadu was first over the line in 1:12:45, a comfortable four minutes ahead of Meseret Ali Basa. In third was Ayantu Dakebo Hailemaryam, making it a day to remember for the team.
After an amazing performance by Eliud Kipchoge in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday, runners weren’t short in supply of some extra race-day motivation and inspiration to get through those final, hilly miles out on course. Biofreeze’s Cooling Crew was also on hand at mile 10 at the Biofreeze Relief Zone to help cool the pain so runners could #FeelNoLimits all the way to the finish line.
The NYRR Staten Island Half signifies that marathon season is almost upon us. But before that, there was a pause for celebration. And for close to 10,000 runners today, when they collected their well-earned medals, the celebrations—and post-race brunches—were well-earned.
In the days and weeks ahead, thoughts will soon turn to the next time NYRR visits Staten Island: the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon on November 3.
NYRR members and myNB Rewards Gold Members: Stop by the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the NB Run Hub Sunday until 4:00 p.m. and Monday, October 14, 12:00-7:00 p.m. for free NYRR Staten Island Half medal engraving.