Olympians, premier professional athletes, Broadway stars, and runners of all ages and abilities to be part of the record field of 25,000 on March 17
New York, March 11, 2019 – New York Road Runners (NYRR) today announced that the 14th running of the United Airlines NYC Half will feature an enhanced runner experience for the expected 25,000 runners from over 90 countries. This year’s event, set for Sunday, March 17, will feature new enhancements and upgrades at the start and finish areas, a new virtual race, immersive activations, and broadcast coverage available across multiple platforms. The field will include an all-star roster of professional athletes, Broadway stars and celebrities, and runners of all ages and abilities taking on one of the most anticipated road races in New York City.
“The United Airlines NYC Half is truly a unique experience with 25,000 runners and 1,000 kids taking a one-of-a-kind trip past many of New York City’s most iconic landmarks,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “We are excited to take the next step in the evolution of this globally recognized event, both on and off the streets.”
The following are some highlights and new initiatives for the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half:
- Runner Experience Enhancements
New for 2019, the move of the start staging area to the Nethermead in Prospect Park will offer a tremendous amount of space for runners as they get ready for their race. The start in the middle of Prospect Park will also be more accessible to multiple subway lines. The expansive area will feature a jumbotron for runners to watch the live professional race while waiting for their wave start. To better improve the flow of runners, this year’s race will increase the amount of start times allowing runners to stagger their arrival times. The post-finish in Central Park will feature a shorter walk-off for runners to exit the park. Title sponsor United Airlines will showcase runners crossing the finish with the United Airlines Arrival Board, which will show runners’ names on a finish line jumbotron.
- Blockbuster Professional Athlete Field
The race will feature more than 80 professional athletes including nine Olympians and nine Paralympians. The field will be headlined by 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden, U.S. Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo, and 2018 TCS New York City Marathon champion Daniel Romanchuk. The all-star roster will also include all four defending event champions: Ben True, Buze Diriba, Ernst van Dyk, and Manuela Schär.
- Kids Races Take Over Times Square
In Times Square, the field will run alongside 1,000 young runners from schools across New York City taking part in the Rising New York Road Runners at the United Airlines NYC Half on a 1200-meter out-and-back course on Seventh Avenue. Rising New York Road Runners is NYRR’s free, year-round youth program and events platform that serves nearly 250,000 youth across the country annually.
- Broadway Stars
The runner line-up will feature familiar faces from Broadway. Pretty Woman’s Jason Danieley will run in memory of his late wife, Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie. In September, Mazzie passed away following a three-year battle with ovarian cancer. Danieley will be running for the Cancer Support Community. To support his run, his friend and Broadway actor Brian d’Arcy James will run alongside him. D’Arcy James currently stars in The Ferryman and he is most known for his roles in Hamilton and the drama-film Spotlight. One of Broadway’s newest stars, Tiki Barber of Kinky Boots, will once again run the United Airlines NYC Half. Additionally, Netflix’s Stranger Things actress Cara Buono will run in support of victims of gun violence through her foundation, Liberty United.
- NYC Half Virtual Races
To provide more opportunities for participation nationally and globally, NYRR will launch virtual races to be held simultaneously. A virtual race is a race that can be run at your convenience during a specified period. The NYRR NYC Half – Virtual 13.1M and the NYRR NYC Half – Virtual 5K will be held from March 14 to17. The Virtual 13.1M has nearly 1,000 runners and the Virtual 5K has more than 5,000 runners signed up.
- Community Outreach
In celebration of NYRR’s 20th anniversary of free youth programming, Olympian Beverly Ramos and Paralympian Josh George will visit PS 187 in Hudson Cliffs on March 12 to inspire the kids to run and lead active lifestyles.
- New Partners
The event will introduce two new partnerships, Honey Stinger as the Official Energy Gel and UPS as the Official Package and Logistics Provider of the United Airlines NYC Half.
- United Airlines NYC Half Experience presented by New Balance
The United Airlines NYC Half Experience presented by New Balance will take place at the Metropolitan Pavilion, located at 125 West 18th Street, and will be open to the public March 14–16. The Experience is the hub for runners to receive their racing bibs as well as participate in engaging activations and course strategy sessions.
- New Ways to Watch the Race
The race will be featured across multiple platforms. The United Airlines NYC Half will be live on WABC-TV, Channel 7 starting at 6:00 a.m. ET. on March 17. Additionally, the professional men’s and women’s race will be livestreamed at 7:10 a.m. ET on ABC7 and NYRR social and digital media channels. The ABC7 Race Highlights Show, will air from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET, showcasing a condensed coverage of the men’s and women’s professional athlete races, along with features and interviews with inspiring runners.
For more information on the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half, including press releases, professional athlete biographies and photos, please check out the brand new NYRR Online Media Center.