Icy winds sweeping through Central Park were no match for the runners who stepped up the line at the NYRR NYC 60K early this morning. Bringing ultra-running to New York City, the 60K (37.2 miles) takes place over nine laps of Central Park (one of 5.2 miles followed by eight of 4 miles each). Runners came from far and wide to take on the challenge, with their friends and family members bundling up to cheer them on.
A unique NYRR race, the NYRR NYC 60K offers hot food and snacks to runners during the race to keep their nutrition up over the challenging mileage they take on.
We caught up with six of today's runners after they completed their races and picked up their buckle belt medals, the traditional gift given to ultra-runners.
First across the line were James Gorman for the men and Tiffany England for the women.
"I really didn’t know what to expect. It was the first time I’ve done this distance," said Gorman after breaking the tape. "I live in Hell’s Kitchen and I was inspired to do this race because I ran from my apartment to Prospect Park, ran a couple of laps, and ran back and thought, you know, I want to do a longer distance race." Gorman finished in an impressive 4:04:28.
"It was amazing! I had so much fun and it was such a good day," said England after being greeted at the finish line by a large group of supporters. "There were so many people cheering and everyone was super friendly. They made it fun!" England finished in 4:47:22.
James Innes of the New York Harriers running club was part of the group of early finishers for the day. He enjoys the more laid-back atmosphere for this race.
"It's a lot of fun!" he said. "You get to take it out slower than most races. You go out at a jog pace and the support is great!"
Margaret Sheridan, or Peggy as she is known to her friends, had a great time racing in Central Park and celebrating a big 6-0 of her own!
"I am from out of town, so it was a phenomenal experience [running in Central Park]," she said. "I ran 60 kilometers for the 60th birthday!"
Ilja Herdt of the Prospect Park Track Club enjoyed the weather and had some amazing self control during his race.
"It started slow, but then the sun came out and it was nice and cool and sunny. I didn't look at my watch for 30 miles! It was amazing," he said.
For, Julie Thibault, this race was a chance to return to Central Park after running the TCS New York City Marathon in 2018.
"My race went better than I expected! It was my first time at this distance, so I didn't have high expectations, but it went very well," she said. "I did the marathon last year so it was different only being in Central Park, but I liked the challenges of Central Park. I loved it!"