Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi, NFL legends Tiki Barber and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, NYRR Virtual 6 participants and 1,000 youth to finish at iconic Coney Island boardwalk
Popular® Brooklyn Half Pre-Party Presented by New Balance, a free three-day celebration, begins Wednesday, May 15, at new location on Water Street
New York, May 13, 2019—More than 27,000 runners are expected to race through the streets of Brooklyn at the 2019 Popular® Brooklyn Half, the largest half-marathon in the United States, on Saturday, May 18. Runners of all ages and abilities, including Olympic medalist and 2009 New York City Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi, 11 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers, and NFL legends Tiki Barber and D’Brickashaw Ferguson will take a 13.1-mile journey through the unique and diverse neighborhoods of Brooklyn. The race will begin at the Brooklyn Museum, pass the scenic Grand Army Plaza, and run through Prospect Park and along Ocean Parkway to the finish line on the famous Coney Island boardwalk.
“The Popular® Brooklyn Half will be a fantastic 13.1-mile celebration that showcases our year-round commitment to the borough of Brooklyn,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “As the largest half marathon in the country, it will be a day to remember for all the 27,000 runners and 1,000 Rising New York Road Runners racing from Prospect Park to Coney Island, as we embrace the spirit of Brooklyn together. I’m looking forward to running myself alongside Meb as an NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador.”
Here are some highlights and new initiatives for the 2019 Popular® Brooklyn Half:
- Popular® Bank Returns as Title Sponsor
Popular® Bank is the title sponsor of the Brooklyn Half for the second year, serving as the exclusive official bank of the 2019 Popular® Brooklyn Half and strategic partner of the NYRR Five-Borough Series. Popular® will have two designated cheer stations along the course, a branded 3,200 square-foot Popular® Lounge at the race’s pre-party, and a Photo Wall/Map Experience and lounge post-race at MCU Park. For over 50 years, Popular® has been deeply connected to the communities it serves through fundraising, employee volunteerism, and collaboration. Popular® leverages its financial expertise to enable customers to focus on what matters most.
- Meb Keflezighi to Run with NYRR President and CEO
Olympic silver medalist and 2009 New York City Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi entered the Popular® Brooklyn Half via the NYRR Virtual 6 program, having completed six virtual races last year. He will run the Brooklyn course for the first time, and will do so as an NYRR Team for Kids Ambassador running alongside NYRR president and CEO Michael Capiraso.
- Local Elites to Lead the Way
The event will feature a men’s and women’s seeded athlete program comprised of talented elite runners and NYRR members. Runners will vie for a $5,000 prize purse, including a $1,000 first-place prize to the top male and female finishers. Eleven runners who are U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers will be participating: Esther Atkins, Alexandra Cadicamo, Sarah Cummings, Roberta Groner, Harriott Kelly, Jeanne Mack, Brendan Martin, Lauren Perkins, Caitlin Phillips, Louis Serafini, and Leigh Anne Sharek.
- Notable Names to Join the Race
A handful of notable runners will race the 13.1 miles to the Coney Island boardwalk, including former NFL players Tiki Barber and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Broadway actress and the star of Broadway musical Anastasia Christy Altomare, runway and cover model Ruby Aldridge, and world-renowned and award-winning chef Daniel Humm.
- Youth Races Take Over Coney Island Boardwalk
Race day will see an expected 1,000 youth participants in the annual free Rising New York Road Runners at the Popular® Brooklyn Half, which will feature kids ages 8-18, 700 of whom are from NYRR’s youth programs. The young runners will take on a one-mile out-and-back course along the celebrated Coney Island boardwalk and cross the Popular® Brooklyn Half finish line.
- First Year of Virtual 6 Participants
New for this year, more than 700 runners from NYRR’s Virtual 6 program who completed six NYRR virtual races in 2018 received entry to the 2019 Popular® Brooklyn Half. Now in its second year, NYRR Virtual Racing Powered by Strava allows runners anywhere in the world to run a race at their convenience in a location of their choice during a specified period of time. Since launching, NYRR Virtual Racing has seen 42,445 finishers from over 100 countries ranging in age from 18 to 99. Proceeds from the virtual races support NYRR’s mission to help and inspire people through running, and benefit NYRR’s youth and community programs.
- Pre-Party at the Popular® Brooklyn Half Presented by New Balance
New Balance returns for the sixth year as the official footwear and apparel sponsor of the Popular® Brooklyn Half. New Balance is an NYRR Foundation Partner, and the brand remains the presenting sponsor of the pre-party, which has become an annual kickoff to summer in the borough. This celebratory, free, three-day event will take place this year beginning Wednesday, May 15 at a new location at corner of New Dock and Water streets due to construction at Pier 2 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The pre-party will serve as much more than the main hub for race material pickup, and will be filled with celebrations of hospitality, local food, and beats with waterfront views. Runners at the pre-party can join in on a special-edition Running History Tour along the waterfront in Brooklyn.
The Popular® Brooklyn Half is the second race of NYRR’s Five-Borough Series, which also includes the United Airlines NYC Half, NYRR Queens 10K, New Balance Bronx 10 Mile, and NYRR Staten Island Half. Live unofficial results will be made available during the race in the NYRR app, which includes leaderboards, map tracking, and an individual runner search that can be shared on Twitter.
Media interested in applying for credentials to cover the 2019 Popular® Brooklyn Half can email Stuart Lieberman at email@example.com with their coverage plans.